Making Shots Happen

Making Shots Happen

Paul Arden | Monday, 4 November 2019

You’ve just flown halfway around the world. Your guide has just set you up for the perfect shot. Up from the depths the Snakehead suddenly appears - it’s a big one, of course! Quick! Only 2 seconds! You lift, shoot, deliver - but on the fish’s back, or short, or 2 metres too far to the right, or left, or too long... what the hell??? And now your chance is over and it’s time to think about where you went wrong, while the search continues...

That’s not the Snakehead experience anyone wants but it’s what most people get first time. Even top flight casters. Can do in practise, but try the money shot with a fish and it’s total catastrophe!!!

Yes it’s hard and I’ve seen it thousands of times now. I don’t actually have the complete answer. All I can say is that when push comes to shove and I’m in that place I WILL it to happen. The mind can prevent your best shot, if you let it, and so you have to take control. You ABSOLUTELY MUST make the shot happen!!!

Always see your front target before you begin your backcast, the back target follows from this. The front target is NEVER the fish itself; it’s always where you want to place the fly, in front of the fish and compensating for the time the fly takes to arrive. Easy? No. Quite hard actually but this is the game! Time and again I see the fly land on the fish’s back - what happened? The angler cast to the fish’s nose and by the time the fly landed the fish had moved on. That’s picking a target but the wrong one - and casting at the fish!

Solving this problem of wild shots is a tough one. I think how we practise can help. If this is your problem then try imaging to see the fish before you practise your shot. See the fish in your mind and then pick the front target and then fire to your back target (“ring the bell’) - now everything is set; it’s almost impossible to change target after you’ve started your backcast. Practise slowly at first and then gradually build up speed. In fact start by practising in slow motion!

Know that, you WILL break through this wall, and once the wall is broken, then you will become one of the best shot takers there is, because the stronger the wall you have to break through, the bigger the hammer you need to use!

And always remember, that this is the hardest game there is. Nail this and you are top of the sight fishing shots game. It’s well worth the effort because everything else will be straightforward with loads and of time for shots. Believe me, after you’re the other side of the wall then time actually slows!


And now to recent stuff...

This week I have a couple of chores to do. I’ve just done two weeks back-to-back on the lake. It was a fantastic experience. First a week with Richard and then a week with Zhongxiang where we found an entirely new way of Snakehead fishing and Zhongxiang created a new method of catching them - I kid you not. From now on I will call this the Zingzong method. We had a great time hanging out together. :)))

So a few days of chores, hopefully only one day, but probably three, and then I really must get back on the lake and with Ashly. The fishing is firing at the moment. I want Ashly to up her game and I also want to start sticking some fish myself. I also have to explore the ZingZong method over the entire lake. This will take time!

Brilliant time to be on the lake. This is the best time fly fishing I’ve had for sure. It truly is amazing and there is NOTHING else like this. As I was saying to Zhongxiang today, if you had to invent a crazy way of flyfishing then this would be it!!! It is insane!! :D :D I genuinely don’t think that we could ever imagine such a thing. And yet it is real!

Cheers, Paul