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Ian Walker

Although it's a little bit dark and seedy (because it's set in California) and following a great discussion on the Board, Ian Walker (Tournament caster from the Long Beach Casting Club) has very kindly send me some videos of his casting stroke so that I can learn the shooting head technique.

Ian Walker in explosive action, it's a *bit* dark and mysterious but that's for effect Ian's stroke is completely different to the flip-flop style. But with a shooting head it has to be (as I have only just recently discovered :-))

This is how it *should* be done...

Notice how Ian punches the rod forward and couples this movement with an extremely fast haul.

Another interesting feature of Ian's style (as can be seen from the video lower down the page) is the very slow backcast (Rudi note well ;-)) coupled with an almost flat drift (I instantly draw parallels to the flip-flop technique of course).

Line speed is everything. This cast explodes at the end of the stroke. A couple of things that Ian pointed out having seen himself cast for the first time, is that he would like to have finished with a higher trajectory on the forward cast coupled with a faster and later haul (later starting that is, finishing at the same point).

In this cast Ian is using a 30 foot 300grain High Density shooting head, 15 lbs test amnesia backing, a 9' Loomis ACA Angler's Fly distance rod, and a 10' tapered leader with a piece of yarn for the fly. It's no toy. In fact it's a beast.

I asked Ian for a short biography, you know to introduce him to the European readers who may not be completely familiar with his flycasting prowess. I was hoping for stuff such as his record distances to the nearest inch, perhaps who he's smashed in the Tournament scene, you know Tourney flycasting stuff.

This is what he wrote:

Here is a very short bio

Born in Calgary Canada 1959. Moved to Long Beach California in 1964 and I've lived in Southern California since then. My parents are both from Yorkshire, England. My Dad learned to flyfish as a youth in England. He had to teach himself to fly fish on the small becks and rivers in Yorkshire. I was incredibly fortunate to have him as a Dad and a fishing mentor while I was growing up.

In 1966, two years after moving to California, my Dad joined the Long Beach Casting Club. At that time, there were many world class fly fishers and fly casters in the club including Jimmy Green, designer of the first tip over butt internal ferrule fly rods and the designer of the first Graphite (Carbon Fibre) fly rods made by Fenwick. Anyway, my Dad and I were very fortunate to have such casting and fishing expertise available. I was also fortunate that my Dad was a college professor and would spend his summer vacations on long fishing trips with my mother, 2 brothers and myself. When I was younger we fished mostly around Southern and Central California. Later we would also spend a few weeks fishing in Idaho and Montana.

Also when growing up in California I had chance to compete (I almost always lost) with and learn much from the fine casters of the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club. Steve Rajeff, Tim Rajeff, Chris Korich, Rene Gillibert and others from up north are all extremely talented and knowledgeable casters and they have been very helpful and generous in sharing their expertise with me.

At present Im working full time as a Software Engineer (Real Time, Automation and Robotics) with far too little time off for the pursuit of fishing. I spread the little time off I have between trout fishing and saltwater fishing (both with flies and conventional tackle). Most weeks I'm down at the Long Beach Casting Club two nights a week still refining my casting technique and trying to help others learn about casting and fishing. With luck I'll spend a couple of weeks in September visiting my parents at their summer fishing cabin near Henry's Lake Idaho. The end of September is a great time up there because the summer crowds have left and the hatches are good and the fish are usually cooperative.


Which is *extremely* cool if you ask me.

I'd like to thank Ian (well of course I already *have*) but I'd like to thank him publicly for (a) helping me with my stroke and (b) for the fantastic stuff that he has written on the Discussion Board. Largely through Ian's contributions I feel that we are starting to really understanding flycasting. Thanks :-)))

And finally one other rather striking difference between the Walker-cast and the Flip-flop style is the use of shorts. Ian lives in Long Beach California, I don't. This explains everything. Thank you.

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