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Old 07-15-2008, 08:09 AM
Dana Parmelee's Avatar
Dana Parmelee Dana Parmelee is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Tempe, AZ
Posts: 1,991
Just One Of The Reasons

By Chip Chipman

I was casting a Silver Doctor upstream to the head of a pool. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Harvey watching me with his arms folded across his chest and slowly shaking his head from side to side.

Harvey was a friend of my father and was my fly fishing mentor during my early teens. Whenever Harvey struck that pose, I knew that I was doing something wrong.

“What, pray tell, are you doing waving that fly rod about?”

“I’m false casting.” I replied.

“You look more like the Fairy Godmother waving her wand over the fish to make them into a bunch of Prince Charmings.”

“It was a frog, Harvey. She turned a frog into a prince.”

“Whatever,” Harvey said.

“So what am I doing wrong?”

“You’re false casting.”

“Tell me something I don’t know, Harvey.”

“At the short distance you’re casting, you don’t have to false cast at all. A good snappy back cast is all you need. Just pick up the fly at the end of its drift and place it right back to the head of the pool. You might have to shoot a few feet of line depending on the distance, but there is no need to false cast, just leave enough line out in front of you to load the rod.”

I tried it and as always, Harvey was right.”

He continued. “About the only time I false cast is when I don’t have enough line on the back cast to load the rod. I may have to make a false cast or two to get enough line behind the rod to load it so that I will be able to shoot the line.”

“Another thing,” said Harvey.


“Would you like to decrease the number of times your fly gets hung up in trees and bushes behind you?”

“Nooooo, I like the opportunity to become familiar with the local flora.”

Harvey ignored my smart *** answer.

“If you need to lengthen your cast, rather than letting more line out use your feet.”


“Take a few steps forward.”


“Think about this. If you’re making false casts before dropping the fly on the water, and I don’t make any false casts or very few, then I my fly is in the water probably twice as long as yours.”

“So that’s how you out-fish me all the time.”

Harvey grinned. “It’s one of the reasons boy, just one of the reasons.”

Chip Chipman is a fly fishing guide and lives in Nutrioso, Arizona. Visit his website

Creeps and idiots cannot conceal themselves for long on a fishing trip.
~ John Gierach
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