By Justin Pickett
Why do we do that?
While on our latest fishing trip I brought up a rather interesting subject that I just don’t get.It was windy. Like 20-30mph windy. And to add insult, the wind was blowing right into my casting shoulder. I had just made a shitty backcast and knew that it would only translate into a shitty cast, likely causing the fly to tag me along its way. Even with this thought working through the innards of my mind I still ripped a double hauled cast that Steve Rajeff would be proud of, sending the fly screaming into my back. Shit Damn Piss! Seriously?! The streamer was stuck in the back of my shirt, and as Louis removed it, I posed the question… Why do we do that? We know when we’ve made a crappy backcast, and we know that when we follow through on our forward stroke that it’s going to be a horrible cast, and possibly inflict pain. So why the hell do we still make the damn cast?!
In my entire career, I can’t think of one time I made a jacked-up backcast and then decided to abort it because I knew the outcome would likely be less than desirable.
Instead I just keep on trucking and hope the “chuck n’ duck” will suffice.
I mean, I’ve been brought to my knees from these errant casts. One of the worst occurred on a windy day at a local pond. I was fishing a #2 Clouser Deep Minnow. You know… the one with large, lead eyes and a big stainless steel hook. The wind was blowing right into my right shoulder at a pretty good clip. I made my backcast… Nope, no bueno. As I completed this totally awesome cast, this Clouser proceeded to rip into my right ear on it’s way out to its target, sixty feet away!!! The end result was me on my knees with blood oozing from a gash in my right ear. I half expected my ear to be completely ripped off when I reached up. Not. Fun.
So as we floated the beautiful Lemay River, we laughed about this fly fishing conundrum. We never decided on a clear answer as to why we do this to ourselves. Is it pride? Optimism? Ignorance? Insanity? Who knows…. All I know is that I decided that day that I was going to make a change. If I make a shitty backcast, I’m laying it down!
“Justin, watch your backcast,” our guide, Eduardo, instructs me as the wind picks up.
I begin my next cast, and then start my forward stroke followed up with a wind-smiting haul……