Monthly Archives: August 2014

Sometimes Less is More in Casting

Why is the fly line wavy on my casts?

While conducting an intermediate to advanced casting clinic, the above question was frequently asked. The cure in most cases was to point out that the caster had a ‘death grip’ on the rod. Combining this with too much power created shock waves in the rod; these were then transmitted to the line. Remember, the fly line follows the rod tip. The result was a cast with unwanted waves. Concentrate by casting with the rod tip, especially at shorter distances. Start slow, pick up speed and then stop. You will see an immediate improvement. A good caster can intentionally create line waves, where they are needed, to help control drag.

Pat Damico, MCI

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Filed under Misc.

A Man for All Seasons


Brown relaxes on his porch at his Bryson, City, N.C. home

Finally back in the swing of things after a week in Western N.C., where I interviewed master fly caster Mac Brown, who can handle a fly rod, play a mean banjo, crunch a few numbers, hike the AT, fix a timing belt, build his own house and race mountain bikes. …. I’m sure I’ve forgotten something.

After interviewing athletes and coaches much of the past 25 years, where cliches are the primary mode of communication, it’s invigorating to write about someone with an array of interests. Interviews often bore me. This one didn’t.

The truly great casters, Brown said, are often the most creative. He equates elite casting to playing music or painting a picture. The best casters are artistic.

“There’s something about them, I can usually tell in about five minutes, that makes the creativity flow out of them,” Brown said. “Jason (Borger) is like that. Jason is one of the most c reative people you could hang out with. Super creative. He’s not a musician per se, but he’s an incredible artist.”

Stay tuned for more. The full story will be in Trout Magazine.


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Filed under Entertainment, Fly casting

Time for a Little Knot Tying

From my colleague John Frazier when he was editor at Fly Fishing in Saltwaters. It’s too hot to fish for reds,  and the tarpon are just about gone, so why not kill some time waiting for the cooler weather?

I will never forget the first big fish I lost on fly–it was the biggest snook that I’ve ever been in the presence of.

This lifetime fish was in and out of my life in about a half-second all because of a poor knot.

During this time, I was a complete beginner, and like many other neophyte fly-anglers, I spent all my time practicing my cast. It was my belief that being able to cast 100 feet was what constituted fly-fishing greatness.

A non-slip mono knot.

A non-slip mono knot.

After weeks of persistent heroic casting-practice sessions, I could see my skills sharpening. I was able to cast a rather good distance and was also getting pretty accurate.

While retrieving my fly for another cast, an absolute beast of a snook came out of nowhere and violently swiped at my fly. Because I didn’t feel a thing, I just figured it missed the fly. When I looked at the end of my leader, I saw the dreaded pigtail–the telltale sign of a knot failure.

I was embarrassed and angry. It was right then and there that I realized a long cast and a picture-perfect presentation don’t mean a damn thing if you can’t tie a knot.

All of you beginners out there, kiss pigtails goodbye and learn how to tie the fly fishing knots

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Filed under Education, Fly fishing

Book Review

Time to give credit where credit is due. Thanks to Ross Purnell at Fly Fisherman for the book review. I finally ran down an issue of FF through Walt Durkin, who gave me a copy yesterday.

As for On the Fly in the Bay, I’m working on a few updates for the next edition, including beach snook. In fact, I’m headed to the beach tomorrow morning now that the morning winds are expected to shift back to the East.


The latest issue.


The review.

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Filed under Education, Fly fishing

Red Tide On the Way?

Officials have targeted a Red Tide north of Tampa Bay. It’s reportedly moving south. Hopefully, it stays offshore. Here’s the story from the Tampa Bay Times.

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Filed under Conservation, Misc.

Around the Corner

Northeast Florida flood tides are almost here. In another month or so, the marshes around St. Augustine and Jacksonville will flood. Ideally, you want high tides of about 5.4  with north, northeast winds. That combination of wind and tide flood grass that’s normally dry. The reds, of course, know this and gorge themselves on fiddler crabs.

The Black Fly Outfitter in Jacksonville is having a Flood Tide Festival to celebrate the arrival of the high-water reds and all the opportunities that abound for fly fishermen. Should be a good time on August 30th.

Here’s a preview of what it’s like on the water.


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Filed under Entertainment, Fly fishing