The Big Spring Cleanup

The Big Spring Cleanup

Paul Arden | Tuesday, 8 August 2023

It may not be Springtime and the boat is relatively small, but I have been living aboard solo without guests all year!! It’s definitely “lived in”. Basically if you imagine the world had exploded and everything was then put into a small boat, then this should give you a pretty good idea of the challenge I’m facing. And I wouldn’t normally change anything about it, however I have a guest coming next week! So I have to tidy up, “organise”, wash, clean – all these really important things necessary to make my upcoming guest’s stay comfortable.

I find that in order to execute a large and challenging job like this, it takes meticulous planning. For example today I have spent many hours planning the operation. Sitting here in the back of the boat, drinking coffee, answering discussions on the Board, feet up, planning. Tonight I will continue with more planning, while drinking beer (it’s important to look at the problem from all angles). Even the boat roof needs cleaning, I’ve just noticed (always keep a keen eye)… more planning. Of the eight days I have left to clean the boat, 7 days and 23 hours and 56 minutes of this will be spent planning.  I can’t clean it now of course, because then it will need cleaning again. Many inexperienced people would make that mistake!

I also have to go through the John Waters video. I wanted to do this yesterday but I had four coaching sessions, which for me at least, is a “hectic” day. All good, all different too, which I like. First lesson we were covering the Roll Cast and three stops, introducing both pull-back and Stopless for the Overhead Cast. Second one was a second Spey casting lesson; Snake Roll & Double Spey. Third was Presentation Casts and the last one was mostly focussed on Open Stance Distance, to a high level, and wasp fighting.

It’s rare that I give the same lesson twice in a week, let alone in the same day. I normally deliver about ten lessons/week and have 12 as part of my initial course structure. I could actually have done Speys twice yesterday but I chose not to!! For me that’s very important because it helps keep it fresh and interesting.

And after those twelve sessions, for those who rebook, then life becomes even more interesting! Coaching sessions from that point onwards, are either focussed on some particular aspect of casting that the caster is currently training, or focussed on casting preparations for a forthcoming destination fishing trip.

So let me talk about this second part of coaching now. At this point I have a fly caster who has been through a comprehensive 12 lesson course and has trained his (I would love to say his/her but the her part hasn’t happened yet!) casting for a minimum of 60, but quite possibly 120 hours or more, over six months or more. So we are talking really a significantly high level of flycaster now. And no doubt totally obsessed as well!!

Going forward from here, I offer blocks of 6 lessons – you can still book twelve sessions (less trips to the online bank!) – that can be utilised as and when fits. Normally, at this point, we meet once every 4-6 weeks. It’s a bit like me dropping into a casting training session to offer some advice, to specifically work on a problem or to help develop an existing cast to a higher level.

Personally, while I enjoy all that coaching gives, these meetings I enjoy the most. Finding solutions to advance already high level casting skills. Sometimes inventing new drills and exercises. This coaching is really very interesting and is definitely the most fun I have in this strange profession. While my lessons always seem to go a little over time, for these ones sometimes the watch might as well go out the window :)))

I imagine I shall always do this. What started out as a solution to pandemic lockdowns has turned into a busy and entertaining coaching practice. Quite the silver lining!!

Alright, back to planning.

Cheers, Paul