Once I’d given the usual morning briefing, we started the competition with the ‘heavy gear’ – the double handed T120, the new event – a double handed S55g - and the T38, which is my least favourite event. I find it the most difficult to cast and it whips parts of my body too often, so James is trying to help by making slightly lighter shooting heads for me. The one I tried at the competition was 30g but I still struggled with it, though that might be because I’m ‘injured’ from fishing! I’m having discomfort with my right shoulder after a whole day of high-sticking on the River Dee and problems with my right elbow from too much casting whilst reservoir fishing.
I also tried the new S55g outfit and loved it, and can’t wait to go out and practice with it. We’ll be using this outfit for the Game Fair competition at the end of the month, so it’ll be interesting to cast it on water.
After lunch we ran the #7, #5 and ST27g events and again this was a great competition – it isn’t typical to have a #5 event where someone casts 125ft and comes third! This is even more surprising based on the weather conditions as it was mainly hot and stuffy with the occasional breeze – if lucky you might get the breeze as you launched your final cast. Or you get a cross wind onto the right shoulder that’s a nightmare unless you’re a lefty, or you decide to back-cast as James did with his 7# outfit and recorded an amazing distance of 129ft 2”.
It shows that by competing regularly with other top casters it can really up your game! I’ve improved immensely this year and if I can get a casting event with better weather conditions then hopefully I can reach the ultimate 120ft with a #5 in competition (I’ve only done this in practice to date). This Meeting was the first one where I competed in the BFCC Open class (with James et al) since being promoted from the B110 class (improvers who regularly cast 5# over 100ft but not regularly over 110ft) at the last one. Currently I am only the second person to do this. In order to pass through these classes, you need to attend several meetings and do lots of practice. Though I have taken my time about it as I was promoted from the B100 class (entry level) in Oct 2013 – James might call me a ‘slow learner’! Part of the delay has been getting used to running the competition events without being so distracted that my casting gets affected; this still happens from time to time. Now I focus on key points about my cast, such as the position of my hauling hand, relaxing my rod hand and ignore everything and everyone around me.
We have quite a wait for the next BFCC Meeting, which is in October, though we have a few fairs to support in between now and then and a trip up to Cumbria to compete at Lee’s UK Fly Casting Sport event. I just need to heal from my injuries and get some more practice in! Though it won’t stop me fishing; we’re hoping to go catch some carp at the weekend if the hot, sunny weather holds, with some river fishing maybe the following weekend.