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:

A Hundred Thousand



A hundred thousand? Of what? you ask.
Video plays on my Vimeo account.

Not exactly a record, to be honest. Popular videos on the net have that amount of visualizations in a month, some of them in even in a week! It took six years for my clips to get to that number!

And although it is a ridiculous amount by current standards I feel satisfied and surprised.

Filming fly casting things, focusing that work in fly casting mechanics, which is of interest just to the minority of the minority, puts that “hundred thousand” in perspective.
Must I know about casting mechanics in order to be a good caster? Some guy asked me in a fly fair in Germany some years ago.
Of course not, I replied. Do you see that beautiful BWV parked there? You don’t need to know how to design a car engine to be a good driver, not even need to have a clue about how it works, but if you like driving you should be grateful to those who spent their time trying to grasp the  physics of all the amazing things inside that hood. Without their apparently ridiculous and boring efforts you wouldn’t have the opportunity of enjoying a beautiful machine like that; not even the chance of using the most simple of all automobiles.

Thank you for having such a strange interest in these weird things and, please, keep watching!

There is more to come.