There's a rumour that famous Danish physicist Niels Bohr once, to prove that it was possible, read a book on how to swim, and then jumped in a pool and swam - and supposedly he couldn't swim. Now, he was clever and contributed to the understaing of the structure of the atom and the development of quantum mechanics, but to learn to swim by reading? I doubt it and I think it's a popular myth.
But it is actually possible to learn how to do something by reading, which was the case when I learned to double haul. Firstly, we often advocate learning the basics of fly casting on grass to avoid the temptations (and troubles) of water, which I of course do as well, but I acutally learned to double haul standing on a rock in deep water on a coastline in Denmark.
It was May, probably around the middle of May (I can't remember the year) and there were garfish - and when there are garfish around, they're usually present in good numbers. I hadn't flyfished for very long, and thought the garfish would provide some valuable experience in hooking anf fighting fish (they are are to hook and don't fight very well :-). I was still only using the flyrod on the coast occassionally, cathing most of my fish on light spinning gear.
So i knew garfish aren't the greatest fighting fish in the world, so I had brought a 7' 4-wt rod and line. I used that outfit for trout and grayling, and I don't think I could csat it much further than 35 feet. So even though I had waded out as far as I could, right to the edge of my waders and placed myself on a big rock to gain some height, I couldn't reach the fish.
This was before the internet and YouTube, hell, it may even have been before the DVD became common. I had read Mel Krieger's fantastic book on the library a few times, and I decided, standing on the rock, that I needed to learn the double haul so i could reach the fish. I actually managed to get the basics down - I can't remember whether I actually lengthened my casts or even caught a fish - I probably got caught up in the double hauling.
But the day is quite vivid in my memory - I remember thinking to myself: "Hands apart on the stroke, together on the pause".
So - I was wondering - do you remember when you learnt the double haul? Where? How? Who taught it to you - if any? I suppose you could say Mel Krieger taught me. I hope that some remember that I taught *them* the double haul. Maybe not, but as long as they remember how to double haul, that's fine. I also remember some refinements on my hauling taught to me by Erik Kyrping (bit of a flycasting instructor legend here in Denmark) when he taught me how to (double) haul on speycasts. And I of course remember many other pivotal monments in my flycating. I've written about this before, but when I met Paul for the first time, I was a bit shocked. I thought I was pretty good (and looking back, I probably wasn't catastrophic :-). But Paul showed my, amongst many other things, how to lift a looooong line and cast the rest with a single backcast. It's fun to think of these moments!
Thankfully, I had the above mentioned demonstration before the picture attached with the unforgettable comment: "What? You don't sarong under your waders?"
Right - to the Board!!!
Have a great weekend!