Ever watch a pro golf broadcst on TV??? Somewhere in the several hours of the airing of what Mark Twain described as "a good walk spoiled" (imagine what he might have thought of professional fishing), there is one segment which, using slow motion (or any other technical analysis), breaks down a golfer's swing. The recent Canadian Open, played on Oakvile's Glenn Abbey course, also included shots of two kayakers floating on the Sixteen Mile Creek that runs through the olf course. And then there was the one commentator's remark about going down to Sixteen Mile Creek early that morning with a fly rod and how if it had been in September there would have been large salmon in that same water. Now I have to confess to watching golf on TV, but it was a slow day for a couch potato or just somebody bored like I was because of yet another rainy weekend complete with enough thunderstorms to keep most people off their local trout streams. I'd read several books on fishing, including reviewing a beginners' guide to fly fishing before referring it to a friend. So instead of being out fishing, I was in front of the TV watching the Canadian Open. Those few remarks about fly fishing on Sixteen Mile Creek and even about those large salmon (plus the book I'd just re-read) got me to thinking. What if those frequent television fishing shows, especially those on fly fishing, used the same slow moion sequence as on pro golf on TV to analyze the casts of those professional fishermen (granted some are more "professional" than others) that usually host these shows??? Or better yet if such shows were truly "reality" based fishing shows and included everyday regular fly fishermen on their local trout streams. What fun one could have with the "analysis" of their casting??? Imagine the comentator expounding on the fishing show host's casting ability with a fly rod:

"Watch how he takes up the fly line, bringing the rod from 8 to 10 o'clock position, completing the pickup or lift stage. Then going from 10 to 12 o'clock, he stops abruptly. This is the all important 'up-and-back' stroke. The result is a narrow loop in a correct casting plane. Let's break that down a little bit more. First notice the position of the hands. the one hand is on the fly rod handle with the thumb on top and the four fingers wrapped around the lower side of the handle. The reel hand holds the fly line firmly as the line is cast with the rod hand."

"Now watch as the pickup begins with the fly rod tip is almost touching the water's surface and pointing toward the fly. With the fly line hand, he pulls any slack out of the fly line between his hand and the fly...."

"Now watch as from the final position of the pickup stage at 10 o'clock, he begins the up-and-back cast with a slow, smooth acceleration from approximately 10 to 11 o'clock. This is followed by a stroke between 11 and 12 o'clock with maximum power and acceleration. He stops abruptly at 12 o'clock resulting in a loop in the fly line forming, which moves up and back the rod tip. A nice narrow loop unrolls up-and-back. This is where many of our normal fly fishermen at home may be having their biggest problems. Remember not to take the rod too far back, breaking that 12 o'clock position...."

"Now here we see another part of the fundamental cast that is usually overlooked -- the 'forward-and-down' cast. See how he watches the fly, leader, and line tip, then just before they straighten, he slowly begins a smooth stroke forward from 12 to 11 o'clock. His stroke is continued from 11 to 10 o'clock with maximum power and acceleration, stopping abruptly at 10 o'clock. This forward-and-down stroke and stop forms the loop shape and determines the direction it will travel...."
"In the presentation stage of the cast, he keeps the rod at 10 o'clock until the loop completely unrolls and the fly is about one foot from the water...."

"This same technique is used whether an overhead cast or an off-shoulder cast or a side-arm cast. For a side-arm cast, simply visualize a horizontal clock. See how the casting arm is angled to the side and he follows the same procedure as in overhead casting."

"Now here we see him using a roll cast. Remember a roll cast is really only a forward cast without a back cast."

Now that's the nice "professional" approach to fly casting of a true "expert" (remember "EXPERT" in this case is the same as "EX-SPURT" or "FORMER DRIP UNDER PRESSURE"). Of course one is assuming the person selected for analysis actually knows how to cast even reasonably properly. But like in golf, where the average duffer is far from as proficient as a tour professional, the "average" fly fisherman may have obvious "holes" in his technique. Imagine the type of commentary given if that fly fisherman selected for the analysis is anything like me (although I see myself as anything but "average"):

"Now we see Mike snap his rod back sharply from 8 o'clock to well past 2 o'clock. The passing fly very nearly lodged in his right ear. The fly line, without any reasonable chance for a loop of any kind, looks like it will end up wrapped around Mike's neck. Instead, the line and leader get caught up in the nearest tree behind him. Of course, the fly also ends up firmly attached in the highest branch possible on the same tree. Watch now as Mike never once looks where the fly, line, or leader are. Not realizing the tangled mess behind him, Mike snaps the rod back forward with the same force as he had on the back cast (something roughly equal to a stampeding rhino). Here we see the rod tip breaking completely, followed by the rest of the rod shattering as its forward motion is abruptly stopped at about 12 o'clock or is it 9 o'clock -- appears too fast to even be picked up in slow motion. Let's try that again from a different angle. It's obvious from this angle that the forward motion of the rod was suddenly stopped because the tangled and knotted fly line would not permit it to go any further. However once the rod's "comfort zone" is overextended, the rod is seen to "overload" as it were. This causes a definite "tug" on the rod which Mike seems to try to follow through on. But the rod is already disintegrating. Thus we see it shatters, even if it is not clear from even slow motion where that exactly occurs. Perhaps the rod was under tremendous stress through the whole casting process."

"One can now see the "fine" presentation as Mike throws the assorted parts of the rod, complete with reel and remaining line, as far away as possible in absolute disgust. Mike is seem mumbling something about a life-time warranty on the rod being completely useless, as he stomps up and down all over the river, effectively spooking every trout within miles by doing so...."

Mike Ormsby
Somewhere on a river (hopefully?!?!?)

Previously posted on General Discussion board but also now here because of humorous content (at least I hope it's seen as such).