Tracy has hit the ground running and is casting quite well. Just last week, after reminding herself of her competition procedure (pick up points, body movement, amount of line to slip, trajectory etc.) she was putting out a series of great casts with a #7 outfit. Inevitably when the tape measure is out an element of competition creeps in to the training and we had an untimed shoot-out. The untimed bit was important as I spent a long time trying to beat her best cast of 130ft, achieved in a very light breeze, but I wasn’t going to hand the rod back whilst trailing behind. Actually if it was a proper competition she would have certainly beaten me; getting a big cast out whilst the competition timer is counting down has always been an issue for me. I suspect Tracy is casting well enough to challenge her personal bests – we’ll perhaps see this weekend as the weather forecast is for conditions that could be perfect for long casts.
Tracy’s biggest asset when it comes to distance casting is her tracking, mine however seems to have gone slightly astray. I notice this when using my ‘mega head of doom’ – an extremely long shooting head made from an old MED #5 line. This has a tape ‘flag’ on the shooting line that marks a carry of exactly 90ft. This is at the upper end of what I’m capable of especially once the wind starts blowing and collapsing the final few feet of line in the back cast. Having seen that the likes of Michal, Bernt etc. don’t lose much carry even in a pretty strong wind, I know I have to improve my game with this line. The first step in that process is to get my tracking back to where it should be as I’ve noticed the line swinging to the side slightly just before it turns over straight. Once I’ve fixed that I’ll work on line speed – this will be the bigger challenge. I’m still trying to figure out what works for me in terms of adding speed from increasing my overall casting stroke, I’m currently trying stepping but have yet to add any distance from doing so. However, I’m hoping that trying a technique like this will eventually lead to an improvement whether I choose to use it or just apply some of the learning to my standard cast.
Although the BFCC calendar has yet to be set, this year is already looking like it’s going to be a busy one. As well as the normal BFCC championship we have the UK championship in Cumbria and three game fairs to look forward to. This year the BFCC have been requested to support the fly casting competitions at the English, Scottish and Welsh game fairs, with the overall winner (determined at the Welsh final) being awarded the GF championship and no doubt showered with great prizes. Being involved in all three means that there will be consistency of the rules across the events and a clear and accountable method of determining the winner.
Have a great week,