Tracy&James | Thursday, 3 January 2019

Well the weather was perfect for casting a #5 weight over 130 feet at the UK fly casting sport event in Millom, Cumbria last weekend (as per last week’s FP). Paul had beaten me at pool just the previous night, with me throwing away a 2-nil lead to lose 3-2, so I thought I’d hit back where it would hurt most i.e. on the casting court. Paul threw before me and put in a very good performance, recording a number of casts above 130 feet and some even higher. I would have to beat my competition PB to take the lead, but given the casts I’d been seeing on the flat in the lead up to Christmas, and the great conditions on the day, I was confident. How wrong I was!

In the best conditions for distance that I’ve cast in all winter not only did I fail to beat Paul or cast 130 feet, I didn’t even manage to break 120 feet.  Two 4 minute rounds of casting and I did not get a single cast off that I thought was even OK. 

Actually I tell a lie, at the start of both rounds my ‘line-straightening’ cast went significantly further than anything I threw once the timer started.  Now, I have said previously that I don’t do ‘practice casts’ for this very reason, however the situation is different between grass and water (as at Millom).  Over grass when you can walk the line out and then retrieve it so it coils the right way up ready for the start, whereas over water the best option is to cast the line to the backing otherwise you’re going to
 have to get wet.

To say I was disappointed with myself was an understatement.  After the competition had finished I returned to the casting platform and stayed there until the 130’s were flying out with some regularity.  But as I noted last week, this was about 30 minutes too late for it to be of any consequence (other than adding to my woes).  The #5 event is very ‘mental’ in nature, and at the moment it seems that I’m not in the right frame of mind to be competitive in it.  This is interesting as it’s the event that I practice the most, conversely I managed to win the ST27 which I haven’t practiced at all since I’ve been back in North Wales.  Perhaps there’s a lesson there?

There’s been a few mentions of New Year’s resolutions in recent FP’s, well I’ve decided to make hitting 130ft in a #5 competition mine.  I’ve done this before but not for a few years, but now I’m going to train in order to get my best cast out within 6 chucks, not 60 minutes.

I don’t really set fishing resolutions, but Tracy has.  This year she intends to land a nice sized shark on fly, whilst wading.  Last year she came good with her ambition to land a decent flats cuda, so this year she hopes to get lucky with the other big predator that we often encounter.  She also intends to tie more than one fly, maybe at least 10 this time, since her only self-tied fly last year did so well in accounting for a number of bonefish (before it was nicked by a cuda).

We both wish you all a successful 2019, and hope that your personal resolutions (if you made any) are fulfilled. 

All the best, James and Tracy.