A Rod is a Rod is a Rod



A double hand rod, equally suitable for Spey casting or overhead casting, as any other fly rod in fact.


Yesterday a beginner fly fisher with tennis elbow problems was asking for advice on gear. His #7 weight rod was too painful to use.

I offered him to try a bunch of my rods, and specially some double hand ones to see if they make any difference with his ailment —adding that the real cure is in improving casting technique in the first place. He replied: —But I don’t want to get into the water and those rods ask for that, don’t they?

Obviously he was referring to Spey casting. Then I explained that the casting technique you use is independent of the rod you are casting with. Continue reading

Grayling and The Laws of Optics



Pliva’s golden grayling. Photo by Zeljko Prpic.


The date is approaching. Another trip to river Pliva is at sight.

Frustrating and absorbing in equal parts, Pliva offers some of the most challenging sight nymphing you can find anywhere. Even blind fishing with tungsten beaded nymphs is pretty special.

There is a particular stretch with big grayling up to 55/56 centimeters long —maybe more; I don’t know for sure, as seeing them and catching them are very different things, and I haven’t managed to catch one of the really big guys yet—,  that you often see actively feeding suspended like floating in thin air at depths up to three meters. Continue reading

Stroke Angle



Photo by Álvaro G. Santillán


As an enthusiastic reader and book lover I am not very fond of electronic books. Most probably it is a lost battle but I still enjoy the smell and feel of printed paper. The majority of my more than a hundred books on fly fishing are on paper, although, since electronic books have their advantages too, I started purchasing them as well time ago.

One of my latest adquisitions was Jason Borger’s Single Handed Fly Casting, which Jason himself kindly sent to me. Jason’s work is a refreshing new approach and a brilliant start to a change of paradigm in fly casting. Continue reading

Lee Wulff on short rods



I like to browse through the books in my library now and then, and today it has been the turn of Lee Wulff’s Trout on a Fly, published in 1986. Lee was famous for using six foot rods for atlantic salmon… and being very good at catching them. I underlined the quote above more than sixteen years ago, when I did my first read of this fine work.

Lee’s statement was one of the first casting mechanics issues I started to analyze as an would-be casting geek. Unfortunately Lee doesn’t explain what those tests he mentions were, but something seems to be wrong. Continue reading

Bloody L (bird’s-eye view)

Bloody L is the name that Simon Gawesworth gave to that line configuration in which the anchor of a Spey cast is at right angles with the rest of the fly leg of the D-Loop. It is a very inefficient anchor shape as it wastes energy from the delivery cast as the fly leg of the delivery loop tries to lift the anchor from the water; it may make the fly to fall short of its target.

Here is a bloody L in full glory, although it didn’t make that short cast fail. The dolphin nose is a nice one, though.