Deciding On The Loop
By Captain Paul Darby (QRRFISH1), Shalimar, FL

Let me see now were did I leave off, oh yea, loop control.

Perhaps better put as, deciding on the loop.

Now there's a different way of looking at it, but then that is in part what this is all about. Seeing things again for the first time. A case in point, a fella named John. We met at the FFF Conclave in Gulf Shores, Al., a few years ago. One of his objectives for attending the conclave was to get pointers on various subjects. The fly rod was one of those points of interest, specifically the operation of the fly rod. As I stood outside the main room, on the balcony taking a smoke break. I had a bird's eye view of the proceedings below in the side yard. John with a fly rod was making moves better suited to a man thirty years his junior in the company of a young lady on a dance floor. Forgive me John if you'r reading this, but it was an amusing sight to me, knowing the person advising you was an instructor. I couldn't hear the conversation but progress wasn't being made. Watching him swaying back and forth from the ankles up had me playing a fine waltz in my mind. It was obvious there was no lack of enthusiasm on either sides part. Which left me to conclude that the message wasn't working for him.

When John and I met later that day, I invited him to give it another go with a different message. Starting with how to stop casting and start realizing the efficiency of the fly rod. It all begins with loop control. It's been my experience that everyone develops their own style, as no two people are exactly alike. Each person knows better him or herself and therefore has to put the pieces together in their own time and in their own way.

While I would be the first person to defend the position that there's a time and a place for any move you can responsibly make with intent to propel a fly line with purpose. The basic push forward and draw back is the most logical point to start.

Understanding the subtle moves and control of this basic manipulation is the foundation of comfortably presenting a fly in any given scenario.

Ok helmets on, safety shoes are recommended; here goes another rant.

The idea, that you can learn to operate a fly rod in a timely manner seeing only half of what your doing is counter productive. The position of the rod drawing the line directly over the shoulder makes it physically uncomfortable to observe the line and your efforts playing out. This will put you in a position of learning by fifty-percent guesswork. So consider dropping the rod tip to forty-five degrees and setting your stance to a more comfortable position that allows you to see and consider the shape of the loop.

This will help you gain a sense of timing and feel for your efforts. Simply put, seeing is believing.

NOTE to editors: You know it ain't near as easy to change the world as I thought it would be. With OLE Blue all I needed was a rolled up newspaper and a dog biscuit. Simple matter of whack or reward. This writing stuff is almost like work. Almost mind ya, not quite work tho. The puter hasn't peed on my leg yet. That one was for Buford; I'm trying to reach as wide an audience as possible. ~ Capt. Paul

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