Andy Dear | Monday, 13 March 2023
"Spring training is the preseason in Major League Baseball (MLB), a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Spring training allows new players to try out for roster and position spots, and gives established players practice time prior to competitive play."
I have never been a baseball fan. It's much too slow of a sport for my liking, and if I am going to sit someplace for several hours, it's more than likely going to be a Redfish flat, and not a baseball diamond. The baseball concept of "spring training though, is something I can totally get on board with...at least in terms of fly fishing.
Spring in Texas is characterized by gusty winds and unpredictable weather. And, although the fishing in February, March and April can be really good...especially for Speckled Trout, there are simply many days, where the wind can cause downright dangerous conditions. Rather than sit around and sulk about it, for the last several years, I have begun using these transition months to re-engage and re-calibrate some of the casting skills in preparation for the calmer days of summer and fall. Winter months I usually spend building rods and tying flies, unless we have an unusually mild day or two that is comfortable enough to be outside for extended periods.
When spring rolls around I usually have plenty of ties in the box, and at least a rod or two that was wrapped and finished during the winter months. As I have done the last several years, I'll break out the old 2x4s I detailed in a previous Front Page called "WoodWork" (see Sept. 19th, 2022) that I use for my casting practice. Not only are the windy days a GREAT time to sharpen one's skills under adverse conditions, they allow for some type of fishing-related activity to be engaged in when the conditions won't allow one to be out there actually "doing it".
One thing I have found INCREDIBLY useful to keep my casting anatomy in shape during the off months are resistance bands. The great thing about these is they can be used indoors and require no additional space and are not dependent of an outdoor environmental conditions.However, with the warmer weather and longer days, Jack and I also try to ramp up our physical workouts, to knock the dust off old muscles and bones that will be used more intensely in the upcoming season. In addition to 25-30 miles of mountain biking every week, we both try to engage in some sort of weight training and body weight exercises.
Speaking of the Front Page that detailed my "woodwork" practice routine, I have plans to put together a detailed video of my casting course. I have had numerous people ask about it over the years, and this seems like as good of a time as any to put together a short clip documenting the way we utilize the 2x4 casting course.
In the mean time, I hope you all are having a great week and staying healthy.