A friend of mine from Denmark asked if there was anything worthwhile doing indoors in the winter. The answer is absolutely yes!
Casting outdoor just means moving your hand the same way you do inside only with a rod and a longer line. If you can imagine a rod in your hand and what you’re trying to achieve with it you bet your bottom dollar you can practice indoors!
Just try it sitting there right now, put your hand in front of you, close your eyes, feel a firm but not tight grip on the cork, imagine you’re about to make a backcast, slowly bring your hand back and up, get ready to flip the tip over and rotate the rod, squeeze your hand, flip the wrist ever so slightly, feel the rod feedback as it straightens and counterflexes and imagine that loop unrolling perfectly above and behind you. Repeat.
The mind is a powerful tool when it comes to practice. In casting you are primarily training a movement, the mind controls that movement, control the mind allowing precise control of the movement and you’ll be a champion in the spring having not lifted the rod.
There are all kinds of cool tricks for indoor practice – Echo set the ball rolling with the MPR, Wulff has the Fly-O, Reddington have a practice rod. All are great and superb additions to your indoor arsenal especially if you have kids and want to get them into the fly fishing game.
Need to practice hauling indoors? Get yourself a pencil or a rod butt if there’s one handy and a long piece of elastic or a large elastic band. You can now practice separating and returning your hands with some resistance.
Need to work on tracking? Stand beside a wall and cast with your arm kissing it, or in front of a mirror and ensures there’s no unexpected arm or wrist twisting going on.
Don’t forget the books and videos too for the downtime. Mel Krieger’s faults and fixes is a goldmine of simplicity, Joan Wulff never fails with either book, Jason Borger has an impressively technical book (and new one coming), Simon Gawesworth nailed the single hand spey casting book. Our man right here John Field has also written one. I’ve not read it yet so can’t comment but based on the excerpt from last week’s FP it looks a good read!
Last week I did a bit of climbing to ski, had the mountain bike out and now I’m back at work. See you next week!