Five Days, Three Rivers and Lots of Casting Revision

The past five days began gently last Saturday morning with a nice relaxed visit to my local mountain stream. It was from this point, however, that I began noticing my levels of ‘busy’ increasing rapidly.

Thankfully, Saturday was a relaxed affair full of trout, Ephemeroptera and wild upland freestone streams and with so much casting theory going on lately it’s always nice to put it all into practice. Six months ago I would have thought it a little strange to employ spey techniques within the tight confines of a small stream environment, however now, I wouldn’t be without them.

Sunday saw the meeting of a mentoring group which I’m part of and where discussions and demonstrations flew from casting dynamics to spey techniques all in preparation for the weekly Casting Clinics due to begin this evening and run by the Gwent Angling Society. As this will be be my first time coaching fly casting I’m, as you would imagine, a little nervous but preparation has seen me stood in various fields throughout the past week, casting a piece of wool over a tape measure and at brightly coloured cones; passers-by tend to look on with a mixture of curiosity and distrust and comments such as “You’ll never catch anything there!” or “Water’s a bit low mate!” are mockingly shouted from the field’s main path. Very funny. I laughed hard.

With constant casting practice and study going on around my day job (before and after work, during lunch breaks, while I’m in the car…) I saw fit to take a break Thursday and, in order to continue with the ‘theory and practice’ theme of my week, I visited one of my home club’s Usk fisheries after work and where a lot of the more technical casts can be practiced on the water as opposed to grass.

Friday and it was time for a true relax with a couple of days away in West Wales but with the faithful GAIA Syllabus and the 28 exercises which I’ll eventually be assessed on quietly sitting in my pocket for the times when I’d need to look over my scribblings relating to rod actions, definitions of high modulus and high strength carbon, AFTMA line ratings, casting stances and grips, how tailing loops are formed, etc.

Sunday, home from West Wales and a great meal for Father’s Day over, it was back to standing in a field, waving more sticks and working through more GAIA assessment exercises. After talking out loud to myself all evening in mock response to any possible questions at the Casting Clinics or the GAIA Assessment later this year, you tend to go to sleep continuing these conversations. In my state of half-asleep-mode, with constant fly casting explanations/discussions running around in my head (fingers sore with fresh blisters from gripping rod handles a little too tightly after my arms became a little tired), casting tends to meld into one thing. Acceleration, loop formation and energy transfer.

After a few more thoughts of straight-line-rod-tip-paths and rod-tip control firmly shouting out to me I must have, at some point, successfully dropped off as it now appears to be Monday afternoon, and all the hard work will be tested this evening…let the games begin…

A few busy images from the last week…

Saturday – Wild upland streams…
Saturday - Wild Upland Streams

…wild upland trout…
Saturday - Wild Upland Trout

…and wild upland flowers.
Saturday - Wild Upland Flowers

Overhanging canopies…
Overhanging canopies

…the view from beneath…
The view from beneath

…and the results of a tricky cast under the ceiling of green.
After a tricky cast under the ceiling of green

The valley-sides bloom.
A blooming valley side

A rare shot of yours-truly, making a gentle cast to a far-bank food lane.
A rare shot of yours-truly, making a gentle cast to a far-bank food lane

Thursday evening and Mostyn makes a cast on the Usk
Thursday evening and Mostyn makes a cast on the Usk

The smile says it all; after a frantic four-minute fight, a beautiful Usk two-pounder is landed and safely returned.
A beautiful Usk two-pounder

Dusk beauty…
Dusk beauty...

Back to it, and more casting practice…
Back to it, and more casting practice

What a backdrop…
Two Days; Streams, Fish, Olive Uprights and Casting Mentoring Groups

13 Responses to “Five Days, Three Rivers and Lots of Casting Revision”

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