Learning to Cast

I recently took my annual trip to visit my sister in Vermont… she married a man whose parents started a family resort on the northern shores of Lake Champlain, The Tyler Place. It’s always a very relaxing trip, a nice place to spend a week, eat well, as well as visit a dear sister who I just don’t get to see enough of…

Thrill number one was arriving and opening up a package containing a gift from Orvis, a Trout Bum sweater. Is that sweet, or what? Apparently, one of my clever remarks on the Orvis Fly Fishing blog was declared sufficiently witty to award me the prize of the week, and I’m pretty thrilled about the whole deal. With daytime temps well over 92F, I didn’t get a chance to try it out, so you’lll just have to stay posted for pics!


Thrill number two? TP was hosting a workshop on Fly Casting, the very first morning I was there! Bonus! The workshop was being run by Mark Wilde, who spends most of the year teaching at a local high school, and runs a guide service, Uncle Jammer’s, in the summer months. Early Sunday morning, I trooped down to the softball field, where we were to meet. With a row of Orvis fly rods lined up against his truck, a bearded man dressed head to foot in Simms gear, I knew we were in for a treat!

With an audience ranging from complete noobs to utter novices, Mark patiently explained the subtleties of casting with a fly rod. I have had no more than the briefest of introductions to casting, spending an afternoon with Uncle Ray on the shore of Como Lake one afternoon last fall. It was a bit of a challenge to make the leap from the false casting I learned in BC, to the roll casting we were expected to do. A one-inch long piece of yarn, thirty feet in front of us, we were told.

I tried.

I tried, I tried, I tried…. (think of Devo singing the classic Rolling Stones song), but it seemed to me that I could probably spit my gum out further than I was casting that yarn. Mark came over, told me to relax, pretend I was on vacation, grabbed my arm, slowed me down, showed me the moves.

Then it hit: that “wow” moment. That little piece of yarn, being tossed forward by the fishing line, snap.

I can do this!


(Interestingly enough, despite all my sweat and frustration, I was later told, (over a few beers up at the Inn), that some of the others in the class were totally impressed with how far I could cast…. and my perception was that I was the worst… go figure!)

Up Next: Fly Fishing in the waters of Vermont.

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