As every salmon angler in Ireland eagerly watches this band of weather moving in with anticipation I am making preparations of a different kind. This weekend I am heading for Lough Corrib, my first trout fishing experience on one of the big lakes. I am really looking forward to the uncertainty it is bringing, I have no idea what to expect, and its a completely different form of fishing that I am used to so hopefully next week you will have a blog entry with a different story compared to what I usually write.
The low water conditions are really dragging on, but I have been out doing a bit of casting as always, actually with the single hander for a change and a few lessons thrown into the mix as well. I was recently showing a customer the benefits of the spey cast on the river, even when trout fishing the single spey allows you into places others cannot reach.
If you scroll back a few blogs you will find entries touching on some casting tips, the lift and the stop. Both are vital phases of the cast but there are still a few pillars that help hold up a good cast and I wanted to touch on one of them that was so apparent on the water, the curve!
The first time I heard about the ‘curve’ in casting was from Robert Gillespie. He talked about a climbing curve once the lift had been done and the rotation into the anchor point begins. The rod tip must always be rising, climbing in an upward curve during this phase of the cast. The climbing curve is the perfect description for this and I can even picture it now on the square ruled graph paper from school that rising concave curve intersecting the dots once you had plotted your graph, picture your rod connecting the points as you rotate round and rise the rod tip into your stop. How high you climb is all dependant on you and will change with conditions, water height, wading depth and your surroundings. But as long as that rod tip rises during the rotation you will have a good anchor, it can rise 6’’ or 6’ but it ,must rise upwards and never dip.
So why? Why do we want the rod tip to rise? It’s all about making the cast as efficient as possible. The climbing curve results in a smooth anchor placement with the aim of only placing your leader on the water, resulting in an easier forward cast as your leader slips off the waters surface much more easily than a thick fly line sticking to the film. The delicate anchor allows a stealthy approach and easier casting.
Forget about lifting and dipping the rod or dipping in between two telegraph poles as I remember being taught at the start of my speycasting journey, connect the dots and make that rod tip climb in a smooth upward curve, go out and try it, experiment and see just how much fly line sticks in the water when that rod tip dips. Practice the climbing curve until its a natural motion, even at home, with the low water conditions you can sit on the sofa with the rod butt and make some curves.