Sightfree fly casting

I received this text recently from a good friend of mine.  “Had some bad news from the medics – it seems I’m going to lose most of my sight over the next 10-15 years.  Needn’t be the end of the world but need to sort out my casting so that I can get a decent line out when I can’t see what I’m doing.  Any ideas about exercises I can do away from the water?”

I am not going to dwell on the negative (hence the use of sightfree rather than blind casting) because my friend certainly didn’t.  So instead let’s just close our eyes for a moment and imagine what it would be like to cast without being able to see.  The late great Mel Krieger talks about pantomiming casts and this is the perfect opportunity to try just that.  Did you try?

For sure you may get some funny looks if you are in an office full of people, chilling in a coffee shop or jammed onto a train, but who cares, your casting is more important than that!  Health & Safety Warning: make sure there is nobody behind you while pantomiming casts or the Zen feeling of being at one with your rod may turn into something rather different…

Imagine fly casting if you couldn't see

Imagine doing this if you couldn’t see (photo by Henry Gilbey)

Despite my friends news this question has really got my mind buzzing and we both agree that it can be turned into something very positive that will be shared during the coming season here on my blog.  We hope that our journey into the world of casting without sight may help someone who has received similar news but in all honesty I don’t think it hurts any of us to get back to basics, so please join us for the ride.  There is a sign up box at the bottom of this post.

Think about casting as if it were a house; get the foundation right and many happy years of enjoyment will follow.  Get it wrong and before long the cracks will appear, usually when casting at the biggest fish of the day.  Or even a smaller one, tucked under an overhanging branch that would really make your day if you could get it to take.  I find in ninety nine percent of cases that these fish in hard to get at places are not so bothered about what fly you chuck at them its whether or not you can make the cast in the first place.

I am hoping that it wont all just be text/photographs either and that I can bring you some diagrams such as the one below to illustrate what we have been getting up to. Unfortunately well beyond my skill set, this beautifully crafted digital image was produced by the very talented Andy Steer of Angling Knots who also illustrated my book.

Fly casting diagram showing loop formation by Andy Steer

A fly casting basic – loop formation (diagram copyright Andy Steer)

More soon but before I go what was that rubbish on Friday?  Black Friday seemed to bring out the worst in humanity.  It might be a bit black & white to compare & contrast my friends’ recent news; the tragedy that befell cricketer Phillip Hughes last week and all the other terrible stuff that goes on in the world but those appalling scenes demonstrated perfectly the greed which has consumed so many human beings these days.

Did any of those idiots squabbling over their cut priced bargains get home, fill up their BOGOF kettle, relax in their soft interest free nothing to pay until it is worn out sofa and watch themselves on their shiny new TV that they wrestled off a granny?  They must have felt very proud of themselves.

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One Response to Sightfree fly casting

  1. Loved this Nick. See you on Friday mate.


    Hugh | December 15, 2014 at 7:04 pm | Reply

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