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Ronan's report


Monday January 21st, 2008

Just got back from the Best of the West competition in Sacramento. Took a little longer to get back than expected; weather, chain controls and two accidents added 3 hours to the return trip. Luckily, I haven't developed a twitch from watching the long line of brake lights flashing on and off.

The fly fishing part of the show was ok. More booths selling trips and saying "5 pound trout" than there were manufacturers, but I got to fondle a few reels and cast a few rods. Mmmm... tackle, but on to the competition.

The casting pool cut right through the middle of the hall with the 100' mark just short of the main doors. With people going in and out, cold air would blow in and a lot of casts didn't turn over. The hall isn't quite long enough, so the backcast corridor stopped about 65' behind the foot high platform (a platform too narrow for Paul to do a big forward step I think). A rail about 10' high kept longer carries down unless you put it over the rail, not many tried this. Air currents definitely moved through the room and all casts pushed left the longer the carry. 3 scored casts in 3 minutes, first cast could be called a practice cast if you didn't like it. Laying your backcast down to abort and restart was permitted.

Though I was only there Sunday, there were 2 qualifying sessions each previous day to get a clean 90' cast. One qualifier on Sunday, then the finals in the afternoon. Several used this multiple chance to qualify. I was a bit nervous and dumped my 'practice' cast, piled the first, a good second cast went OB left, then piled the 3rd. Lots I should have done different, but my first competition is behind me. I was definitely disappointed but a "you're a nice caster" from Brian O'Keefe helped. I suspect he says that to all the girls. 17 qualified, 3 were no-shows for the finals, leaving 14.

Jamie Lyle, the regional Sage go to guy and MCI from Truckee, got 1st with 96'3" over Tom Hyde with 96' even. Brian O'Keefe jumped in and threw the only one out of the pool reaching 100'4" but wasn't eligible after winning in San Mateo. Full results are in today's PoD, and I got video of all the casts as well (I pray, stupid batteries!). Will take me a while to get them up, but post production shouldn't be quite the affair that The Revolution has become!

Cheers, Eric

p.s. Matt, I hate tying copper johns. All the different beads, wire sizes and colors, the biot tail, the perfect little legs, the double back, the little epoxy drop... I think everyone has a nemesis fly they hate to tie and would rather just buy. Well the copper john is mine.

p.p.s. Last weeks mystery bug is a Crawling Water Bug! Thanks Steve! Bumcast, I think the guys at artonhook.com have a pattern for you (2nd row down).


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