American Eagle

American Eagle

Tracy&James | Thursday, 19 September 2019

I was away on business last week so there was no fishing or casting for me. I was visiting Albuquerque, New Mexico where I lived for a short time a while back. It was here that I first cast a #5 weight over 40m assisted by the thin air (the city is around a mile high) and the steady winds that funnel past the mountains. This was in the days of casting the MED on noodles such as the TCR#5 and while I was still improving my distance casting pretty rapidly. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to go out for a practice on this trip, I’d have been interested to see how far I’d cast these days with a more honed technique and a much stiffer rod.

My trip out there did not go to schedule as immediately after taking off from Dallas the pilot announced that there was something wrong with the plane and we were going to loop back around and land.  On board we already knew there was a problem from all the juddering and whining noises.  It’s fair to say that the short time airborne, dumping the fuel, was pretty tense and I was most relieved to be back safely on the tarmac when we did touch down, albeit in the wrong state.  In hindsight what made the whole situation worse was that the flight was delayed for 3 hours prior to taking off – I assume this was for some maintenance issue which they clearly didn’t resolve!

As it was I was re-booked on the first flight the next day, by the time I arrived at Albuquerque, picked up my hire car and drove straight to the base, I was pretty much on time for my first meeting of the week.  Unfortunately my luggage arrived pretty much in time for the last meeting of the week, but at least I got it.

I find casting practice to be a great way to de-stress, as such I headed straight to my practice area on my return to the UK (once the jet-lag had cleared).  I know all the signs of being tense in my own cast and can work through them individually in the course of 20 or 30 minutes and before I know it I’m feeling calm and relaxed.  I guess casting is a bit like yoga in that respect.

There are two BFCC competition days left this year plus the UK Championships in Cumbria sandwiched in-between.  As such, I need to step up my practice a little if I am to have any hope of being competitive.  This weekend Tracy and I hope to also get out fishing on the river Dee, currently the level looks perfect with not much in the way of rain predicted.  Autumn has definitely arrived in the UK and the mornings are decidedly chilly, so this weekend may be one of the last for dry fly fishing before the colder weather tactic of French nymphing takes over.

Have a great weekend, James.