Gary Meyer | Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Not much fly fishing news from me. There is always a period of strong winds each spring in South Florida and we have been getting more than our fair share lately. It is usually a good time to get the yard in shape, which I traditionally ignore throughout most of the winter. Even though our normal subtropical winter temperatures are often the envy of the entire US, our vegetation goes dormant in winter just like in other places. Starting about now it cranks up into high gear and it will soon be fortified by the beginning of the summer monsoon period. If steps are not taken now one’s entire abode can disappear in a green explosion of vegetation.

That does not mean I completely forget about fly fishing though. Traditionally this is a time for reading up, tying flies and when asked, teaching. I recently read an article that I had to translate from Spanish into English. It is quite possible many on Sexyloops also saw the same article as the author, Aitor Coteron, is known here to many. I am nowhere close to fluent in Spanish but living near Miami it is almost essential to have a basic ability for everyday conversation. My attempt to translate without help was quickly abandoned as soon as I grasped the main idea: “It is not the arrow, it is the archer”! As soon as I deciphered that I went immediately to an on-line translation site to devour the remainder of the article.

I could not agree more. I recently gave lessons to a gentleman who was living proof of the concept. He is well beyond the beginner stage and has actually caught all three of the glamour saltwater species here in Florida: bonefish, tarpon, and permit. He also enjoys a financial situation that allows him to purchase the finest, most expensive tackle available, which he has.


On an aside note, the rod he chose to use during the lesson was an 11wt Loomis Asquith and I have to admit I found it to be likely one of the nicest tarpon fishing tools I have had the pleasure to cast.


Despite his assembly of top-of-the-line equipment, and his prior success catching some challenging species, his casting was only on par with the usual intermediate level casters I come across. His casting alternated between severe tailing loops and inefficient wide open loops. His tracking needed serious improvement and his rotation and translation were simultaneous. To his credit, he knew there was a lot of room for improvement and he seriously wanted to get better. He understood that he was not in control of his cast but he did not know why. I expect there will be a great improvement the next time I see him cast.


In his case, possessing arguably some of the best equipment available was helpful but not all that was needed. On the flip side of the equation, there are certain individuals who can make jaw-dropping casts with any equipment available. I’m sure you all know those folks to which I am referring.


The question is why. Sure, people arrive with all levels of athletic and physical ability, but is it only the blessed ones who become great casters? Not that I can see! The best casters that I know all possess similar traits like dedication and a thing we here in the South call “want-to”. Mix those two traits with a willingness to practice, practice, practice and I’ll bet you will find a real archer with a flyrod.