Wishing, not fishing

Wishing, not fishing

Gary Meyer | Tuesday, 9 July 2019

I would love to have something exciting to post, but that is not the case. Despite having an extended weekend off from work thanks to the US July 4 holiday, I never got close to fishable water.

The weather is getting on my nerves. I suspect I could not survive in the northern latitudes where winter puts an end to fishing for some finite period of time. It’s not cold, but rain, that is driving me out of sorts. I imagine these last few weeks are a minor version of what it is like living in a tropical rain forest.

The vegetation around my house sure seems to like it though. About all I did for the last few days was trim back plant growth. They must grow at night because for the length that increases in just over a week it would have to be visible to the eye if it took place when the sun is up.


About the only thing interesting that relates to fly fishing took place when I was practicing. I continue to play with casting from both hands. If you have not tried it… well, I won’t go on that rant again.


I guess I must be a bit ambidextrous. I have had my suspicions that I may be a closet “lefty”. I went to Catholic school as a youngster and they are famous for breaking a child’s inclination to write with the left hand, although I do not have any memory of it being an issue. Later in life, although still in the youngster stage, I was totally envious when an older kid received an Ambassadeur 5000 casting reel for Christmas. All I had were spinning reels, so I just had to have one too. When I finally got one, I was dismayed to find that I could hardly cast it. I made massive back-lashes on almost every cast. My remedy was to cast it left handed where I wasn’t so snappy. The reel handle was on the right side anyway, so it worked out that way too. I have cast these revolving style reels left-handed ever since. So, I guess it was not as big a deal for me to try casting a fly left-handed.


This weekend I made an interesting (to me) discovery. While I may be able to cast with both hands, my eyes are definitely “right-handed”. My accuracy with a fly rod is pretty good. When I cast with my right hand I can close my stance and easily line up to the target sighting with my right eye. But no matter how I try, I cannot do the same on the left. My right eye is dominant and the definite source of accuracy. If I force things by closing my right eye, my accuracy goes to shit. And while my right-hand accuracy seems to be very 180 degree-ish, and I feel like my eye, the rod and line plane are all in a line, it is quite different with my left hand. My best accuracy left-handed only happens when I cant the rod off to the left and bring the line in from an angle. My best accuracy then comes not from lining up but from feel and compensation. Likely, that is a remnant of casting my plug rods to shorelines for so many years.


So, I was deeply engrossed in casting. I was switching hands. I would make a few false casts, concentrating on one thing or another, then lay down the presentation. Before the pick-up, I would switch hands and repeat the process. By the way, this is the best way I have found to quickly switch hands if needed for a fishing reason: trying to switch over during false casting is too cumbersome.


Mac Brown has an entire chapter in “Casting Angles” on what he calls enlightenment casts. This altering of hands has become something like that for me.


I was so entranced that I did not notice a woman who came across the park to watch what I was doing. She was not the outdoors type and was clueless about fly casting. She said that she equated my exercise with Thai Chi.


I think I might like that analogy, but I need to look into it further. For all I know, she might not have been being complimentary. I know about as much about that subject as she knows about fishing.