I'm heading down to Okinawa at the end of next week, so I've been out with the 10 practising quick shots out to about 70 feet, but usually less. I say about because I try to make my drills simulate the type of shots I'll be making on the flats and scatter football cones around an 80ft square that I then slowly walk-maybe a little faster than fishing speed- around and through, picking targets at random. It's still not just as random as fish moving through but I think it's better than just casting to fixed distance targets from a fixed position. Ideally I'd have a practice partner so we can throw the cones out or call out the cone to cast to for each other but that's not always possible. I'm not saying that's absolutely the only or best way to practise for a DIY flats trip, but I really find that it does work for me. I think it's particularly useful to practise the shorter stuff for DIY because you see the fish much closer than you would in a skiff with a guide spotting fish and calling shots at 100ft. Those short 15ft reach presentations or clumsy looking curves for a fish that's snuck up behind you in bad light might well be much more useful than longer shots. I've done a bit of practising with the 12wt too, but I'm in 2 minds about taking it. It might be better to just walk with a 10 and see what shows up when tides and condidtions suit then move to the conventional gear and a popper if/when conditions don't suit sight fishing. I Just finished rigging and packing up the lures and other kit to post down to the inn rather than taking them with me as I am the fly gear.
The parts for my Renzetti finally arrived, and I have to say USPS international shipping really has become a joke: 3 and a half weeks to get here after paying 3 times what I would have pre-covid! But at least I can get back on the vice and turn out some last minute additions to my box. I don't really need any, but you know how it is. AS part of the probable 12wt free plan I've been doing some mid size EP flies, Big enough to catch the attention of a GT if I encounter one, but also small enough for smaller yellow spots, brassies, blue fins etc. It feels like ages since I've tied any and I don't really know why because they're deadly. One thing I've changed since I last tied any is the eyes on them. I used to hate those doll eyes that are on the commercially produced EP minnows, but over time I've come to prefer them on some flies. It's just the look of them that I sometimes struggle with really. Because the dome is so aggressive on them it makes the eye more visible when viewed from an angle. Although they're more cartoony than a lot of other, more realistic eyes, I think the shape and suggestion of the eye- the black pupil on the lighter background- is what makes a difference to the fish. The plastic seems to take adhesive well, and you can leave a little nub when you trim the stalks for better grip and fewer one-eyed flies. For sticking them, and most other eyes actually, to flies I've come full circle and returned to good old marine goop. Before you get used to it, it's not as easy to work with as a lot of other glues but it's fine once you do, and crucially it's a better glue than anything else I've tried for keeping eyes on. The closest is probably old fashioned epoxy but that can be brittle. None of the new easier to work with adhesives do the job half as well.