Last weekend my good friend Aitor Coteron and I met in Bilbao, Basque country (Spain). We then had the honour to teach fly casting to a brilliant group of 15 seriously advanced students (some distance experts included). Mainly we were teaching the details and different styles of distance fly casting. It's fair to summarize, we all had a fantastic weekend. Regarding the over-whelming feedback it seems both Aitor and I did an excellent teaching job.
No need to tell we had lots of great food (and excellent wine) in between. During the night we had a small shootout directly in the street between the bars. As you may already know, there was a serious amount of wine involved! Can't remember, if any of us won the competition. I think, we all won! ;)
Between midnight and 2am I had some fantastic fly fishing for mullet directly in the middle of Bilbao. Since we all were lucky and got a very unusual weather coming in 20°+ Celsius (0°C would be normal now) the mullets came in here early this year. I was well prepared and almost didn't sleep the whole weekend!
On Monday Aitor, Luis, Jorge and I fished together in one of the fine lakes near Bilbao. We had a brilliant catching day in best weather (blue sky and again 20°+ Celsuis). Luis (the local expert here) managed to catch his second ever perch on fly. It was a record sized fish as you may see in the pictures below. Huge congrats, Luis! I yet never saw a bigger perch! In addition I was able to nail down a grand slam coming along with a fine perch, a nice pike and a proper zander. All in all we had a blast all weekend long!
Of course all weekend long we had many fine fly casting discussions about the lastest details in fly casting.
During the past years here on the Sexyloops board (where current fly casting knowledge meets in the first place), we all seemed to agree, that "pull back" (a rod movement against casting direction done post stopping the lower section the rod just prior to loop formation) would always result in less casting distance. I remember to have said though, that maybe the tigther loop (when pulling back) may make for a better unrolling against wind and due to that giving more distance when being done in the best possible way. This weekend Aitor and I had again a closer look at what happens to my unhauled back cast in particular as soon as I add pull back in the way I can. Fair to say we agreed it to look very much like I indeed hit more distance.
Now I of course have thought a lot about the why/how. In fact this was on my mind for many years!
It seems to me I significantly can increase the speed of the fly-leg due to pull-back. Pull-back done in a way it's finished as early as possible, I think reduces the negative effect the rod tip has to the line during rebound in a normal cast. This is because I stop the tip from moving down as much as it would without pull-back! Pull-back results in more rod bound here, but the tip position at max counterflex relative to its position in a no pull back cast is higher (and though has to move less back upwards) as far as I understand it. I think we need to start a new discussion on the board here!
Anyway right now it's 7 am and I yet didn't sleep last night at all! Time for my bed now!
Great fly fishing week to all of you!
All my best
P.s.: If you ever get to teach fly casting in Basque country, please be aware of the clocks running different here. They run in half of the speed compared to the rest of the world.
P.p.s.: Next week I will be almost travelling to the other side of the planet and may not be able to shoot a front page on Wednesday. But don't worry, I'll be back here soon!
Some pictures as always...