Gaula

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fresh grilse for Fabrice

 

Back from a fishing trip to Gaula river in Norway. No luck with the big salmon we were looking for, but a very nice trip to a beautiful river anyway.

Many thanks to the Norwegian Flyfishers Club for their support and kindness, they manage a beautiful and varied water.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One of the beats of the Norwegian Flyfishers Club water

 

Many thanks also to  my fishing partners Fabrice, Nathalie and Varo who have been a fantastic company; many lessons learnt from them.

Even without takes, casting a fly on Gaula in a beautiful summer morning is a privilege:

Aprender de los errores

 

 

back-problem

Lejos de ser un ejercicio de auto flagelación estas reflexiones se basan en que hay buenos motivos para pensar que se aprende más de los errores que de los éxitos. Mediada la temporada, y con algún importante viaje de pesca a la vista, es el momento de reflexionar sobre algunos fallos para evitarlos en el futuro.

Este artículo previo se quedó corto, lo que sigue a continuación es su secuela:

  • Lanzando ninfas hay que estar bien atento a lo que tenemos encima de la cabeza. Cualquier tipo de vegetación que no plantearía problemas pescando a mosca seca puede ser mortal con moscas pesadas. Inercia lo llaman.
  • Comprueba regularmente el terminal en busca de posibles nudos o picadas. De hecho conviene chequear también las partes más gruesas del bajo: en alguna ocasión he tenido roturas en un tramo del 0,15 en vez de en el 0,10 más abajo —tengo un recuerdo reciente de ello. La vagancia no compensa. 😞
  • No seas remolón a la hora de cambiar/modificar el bajo/terminal si las condiciones lo requieren. Muchas veces transformar una deriva mala en una buena es cuestión de pequeños ajustes en el material. La falta de motivación tras un largo periodo sin tocar un pez conduce a la pereza, y esta última se come la motivación. Parafraseando a Picasso: Cuando llegue la inspiración prefiero que me coja trabajando.
  • Cambiar de lugar en el escenario de pesca llevando la mosca en la mano y algo de línea y bajo colgando de la puntera de la caña pensando en ahorrar tiempo no es una buena idea. La verdad es que se suele perder tiempo en enganches y líos. ¡Debería tatuarme esta máxima en la mano de la caña!
  • Aprende a calcular cuánto puedes tirar hasta romper el terminal. Después de una sesión de lanzado puedes anudar uno de tus bajos de pescar a una rama, un banco del parque o cualquier otro “pez” que haya disponible; luego tira empleando diferentes ángulos con la caña. Si tienes un terminal del 0,17 o más grueso ten cuidado al tirar con el talón de la caña vertical no sea que rompas la puntera. Las sesiones fotográficas interminables seguro que matan peces destinados a ser devueltos, pero bastantes de ellos probablemente ya estaban “muertos” antes de llegar a la sacadera debido a “peleas” interminables.
  • Al entrenar lanzado mira siempre tu lance trasero. Un vadeo algo profundo, ninfas pesadas, bajos largos, terminales finos, lances moderados o largos… por separado o combinados, son proclives a resultar en lances traseros desastrosos, y un lance delantero podrá ser tan bueno como su correspondiente trasero pero no mucho más.

No sé si a ti te convencerá pero yo suelo volver a esta lista con frecuencia. A base de releerla igual aprendo finalmente. 😓😀

When a good loop isn’t enough

A nice and tight loop is normally considered the tell-tale sign of good casting control. However, in spey casting that is only part of the story.
Let’s take a look at the following example:

I was satisfied with the loops I was seeing, but subsequent analysis of the video shown a gross error that normally happens inadvertently: a slipping anchor.
Why is this bad?
– It detracts energy from the forward cast —but that is a problem only if your aim is maximum distance, not with an 18 m cast like this one.
– It may send the fly against the vegetation behind you and hook a branch, ruining the cast. It is a nuisance but without further consequences.
– If you are fishing a vegetation-free bank with a shingle-beach behind you things could get worse if you don’t care about your slipping anchor: your fly hits a stone and the hook looses its point… now you are subject to Murphy’s law.

Now the important thing is how to avoid it in practice. The reason for that failed anchor in the video above is a too inclined-up sweep; that leads to a too high apex of the V-loop, which amounts to a big angle between the water surface and the fly leg. The usual result is a fly traveling backward instead of rising up from the water to start its forward trip.

Sweep lower and back and, if the anchor is properly placed and long enough, it will work fine.

As an example let’s see a couple of casts at the same distance and with the same gear, but with a proper anchoring angle:

Schrödinger’s Double Haul (an exercise for curious casters)

alejandro

Hauling is not only a great technique but a very logical one: if we have two hands, why not use both when casting?
High speed cameras are great as well. Now we have them available even in our phone, and they provide better image quality than what an expensive camera did not that long ago. Plenty of opportunities to learn about the nuances of fly casting just by tapping on the screen. Do you want some ideas?

Start casting in a very relaxed way, sending your fluff eight meters away. No force, almost by letting gravity to do the forward cast, trying to get the narrowest loop possible.

After a while strip one meter of line from the reel and go on casting leisurely. No force, tight loops.

Continue with that same routine till you get to a point in which you start to feel out of your comfort zone; false casting isn’t effortless anymore, loops don’t look tight now. That may happen at 16, 18, 20 m… depending on your ability, but it will eventually happen. Keep at it anyway, false casting while trying to get as narrow a loop as possible.

Then —using the same length of line— start double hauling. Do you feel any difference, both in comfort and in loop width? Can you cast tight loops in a relaxed way again?

Now something to think about while watching your video:

We have to match casting stroke angle to rod bend
Hauling bends the rod
More bend due to hauling asks for a wider casting stroke angle

I see hauling to be akin to Schrödinger’s cat: it does bend the rod and it doesn’t at the same time.

Film your casting and see by yourself.

 

Loop Control Paradox (divertimento for curious casters)

Loop width control is a recurrent topic in casting instruction. Several aspects govern loop width, but “matching casting arc to rod bend” is what instructors use the most; so “if your loops are too wide narrow your casting arc” is the usual fix we offer.

Let’s say that I am bass fishing with a popper knotted to a short, stout leader, followed by a bass taper #7 weight line. I want to cover a very promising spot, just a small hole among low hanging branches, which asks for a side cast with a narrow loop.
First try my line crashes against a branch: I need to narrow the loop considerably. So keeping everything equal I decrease my stroke angle… and the loop fails to straighten, for same acceleration along a smaller angle gives, obviously, less line speed.

So keeping the same stroke angle I increase the force applied to the rod to gain that lost line speed. But, hold on one second! More force applied results in more rod bend, and a basic principle of casting mechanics says that we have to match casting arc to rod load! So this time I must increase the stroke angle! Now I widen the angle applying more force at the same time… and my popper curves to the left hooking a branch, as a result of an overpowered cast.

Reducing casting stroke angle to narrow your loops doesn’t work in isolation. No wonder that beginners have a hard time in controlling loop width, as it is a question of very fine-tuned adjustments, more than just varying “casting arc”.

Playing with loops by changing the casting stroke angle is fine; play with force and stroke length as well just to see what happens.