Getting Funky

Getting Funky

Paul Arden | Tuesday, 22 November 2022

I’m planning to film a teaching video on hauling and cross-shoulder casting today. I’ve been planning this for a while so we shall see what happens. There does appear to be an incoming tropical storm and I have to pack for my weekly visit to town for both shopping supplies and a 16km training run. So if it’s uploaded and appears here then you can be very impressed! Otherwise, damn it, it will happen… “soon” :))

A discussion on the Board makes me want to write about Stance and balance in flycasting. Because it’s something I rarely see done well, indeed it is rarely taught. Methinks there might be a connection here!

I suspect in part it’s because it’s not understood or even done well in the instructor community at large. And I often hear comments like “well our caster might be wading and have one foot up his arse” or “he might be balancing precariously on a log while making the shot” and so on.

And yes, of course we do not only cast in optimal positions. Balancing on a kayak, hanging out of a tree, slithering along the bank with one’s nose on the ground — these happen all the time. And we should be prepared for it.

However, when it’s possible to choose the position of your feet and body, virtually everyone I watch chooses very poorly or not at all.

Now we might not expect a self-trained caster to make good choices, but surely a caster who has been taught by a coach should have the ability to position their feet and body optimally for the cast when it’s possible?

This is something IMO that the instructor community do very poorly as a whole. Standing to attention with legs straight in a neutral stance is going to have a serious impediment to one’s ability to stay balanced while casting.

A caster should be able to cast in both Closed and Open Stance and know the advantages and limitations of each. And above all they should bend their knees, similarly in some respects to “balancing on a snow or surf board.”

To me that is not just Intermediate or Advanced Level casting skills. We want to teach flow in the cast. That starts at the feet and travels up through the body. And this is one of the major differences that I see in performance. Fly casting is not just about how we move the rod; it’s about how we position and move the body to move the rod.

My advice is to “get funky” with it.


Today’s POD. Taking a shot at Ladyfish in Langkawi with Beq. That was a fun trip! Note the wide foot position using Closed Stance and bent knees. Closed Stance helps square the shoulders. Also this position allows me to fish both sides of the boat readily, utilising the backhand to fish Starboard without having to cast through the boat.