Monday, May 17, 2010

The wonderful aerial ballet of frustration: The single spey cast.

It reminds me of a Chinese gymnast with a long red scarf dancing through the air painting fleeting pictures and creating beautiful forms like a Picasso sparkler drawing on a long exposure film. It is at once the most perfect of all casts, with the power of a double-haul and the grace of a ballet dancer. Performed perfectly, it is grace.

But, dear reader, the single spey is a fickle friend. Forgive me for the analogy, but is like some girls I dated in my college days: so beautiful and interesting that you kept coming back, even if she messed up your head to no end.

The single spey is a delicate flower as well. That perfect loop is only attainable through precise timing and cast structure. Do it wrong, and it lets you know right away.

This is why I am drawn to the art of the single-spey like a moth to a flame; no matter how many times it burns me, I always come back for more.

The funny thing is that the single-spey is the one cast that goes off for me over the winter, or when not practicing. The double-spey, poke, snap-T, snake-roll, reverse casts, etc. all fly out, but the single-spey lets me know when I am not paying it enough attention.

The single-spey even haunts my dreams at night.

One of the major problems I have with this cast is over-analysis and too many sources for input. After watching a video or reading an article, I will change something and get a positive result, which then goes awry the next day. Then I watch a different video, and make another change…
The result this early spring was like a bunch of unrelated spare parts welded together to form something that didn’t work, and looked ugly.

So, learning from my past mistakes, I started from scratch, and concentrated on basics again. Slow lift angling to the casting direction, an ever-so-slight dip created by the underhand, a rising flat sweep and turn, pause, and stop.

I then realized that I had been making basic errors for the last seven years at least.
My anchor landed piled due to an up and down dip thanks to one video. My upper-hand was over-dominant. I had to begin the use of the underhand at the beginning of the cast, and maintain it throughout in order to form a large enough D-loop. I also lacked, and still lack body twist, and I over-compensate for that. I stop too low, and fire my casts too low. Etc.

Funny thing is, with a shorter head and sustained-anchor casts, these problems correct themselves, and faults are not as easily noticed, but add a mid-belly or DT line, and watch out! Now all the errors get multiplied to create frustrating and seemingly unsolvable problems.

So, to make a long story short, I will be down by the river when the winds are not blowing at 30 mph, and trying to re-discover beauty in the simplest but most difficult cast of them all.

2 comments:

trout chaser said...

Oh brother I hear you! A cruel, beautiful mistress the single. When you take her and make her your own, you stand astride the world. When she turns cold and denies you, all the world is become ashes. In an Inverness accent repeat after me: It's all about torso rotation!
An when yer good an scunnered, awa wi the rod an up wi the bousin! (it helps)

trout chaser said...

Oh brother I hear you! A cruel, beautiful mistress the single. When you take her and make her your own, you stand astride the world. When she turns cold and denies you, all the world is become ashes. In an Inverness accent repeat after me: It's all about torso rotation!
An when yer good an scunnered, awa wi the rod an up wi the bousin! (it helps)