bait in the air – I
I wasn’t very happy at first. The line kept tangling, I kept missing my finger grip and shoot, my loops were wide open and hopelessly ineffective. I thought this was going to be easy, ‘100’-00″ casts in no time’ they said, plus with the added benefit of half the effort. It was mid November 2014 and I was learning to fish and cast a DH 11′-0″ surf fly-fishing rod. I found myself expending considerably more than half the effort for not nearly going half as far! This was not to be confused with a wish to cast further, I don’t need to be quantified by distance casting prowess, but this project was about energy conservation more effective presentation and a personal search for better ‘fishing’.
Spending time during 2012 and 2013 researching the equipment available I was looking for something very specific – I didn’t want a really long DH rod, I didn’t want to cast very heavy lines, I didn’t want to Spey cast nor did I want to fish a switch rod. I certainly didn’t want to loose any of the fun that heavy gear would impose on the fish. I wanted a DH rod to cast overhead with medium / light lines plus the added benefits of the DH technique in reasonable to tough fishing conditions. I wanted the gear to match the average size of fish I regularly encounter on the coast, probably three to seven pounds, when I’m lucky!
Its a minefield out there, weights and grains and headlengths and casting techniques and leaders and options, and then of course the reality, who was fishing on the Irish coast for bass using these techniques? All of this stuff is for another post, a damp day during winter.
I decided after much time and effort that my choice would be the Beulah DH #5/6 I have this rod and I combine it with the Rio Outbound short #8 weighing in a 330 grains for the 30 ft head. I also use the Rio InTouch Striper Intermediate #9 also weighing in at 330 grains on this rod. The benefit here was that my single handed lines transferred across to the DH handed rod, the InTouch was a new investment.
The important thing for me was that the lines were medium / light and so was the rod and Beulah make these rods for Overhead casting techniques on the coast. Everything fitted.
You may have already noticed the minefield sentence above containing the parameters #5/6 #8 #9 all for the same rod – the key here is grain weight, more later, trust me.
I spent most of last Winter and into early Spring of a Saturday or Sunday morning, an hour each time, practicing the cast. Somewhere around late February it came together and I eventually gained control – effortlessly, it was true after-all. Through spring and into summer I went to sea and during July I found my way and started catching fish. I was fishing better and better.
A Sunday morning in Cork harbour, late August, confirmed to me only what I had previously dreamt of. Drifting Andy Elliotts flies onto fish that held in a current, I learned so much in 75 minutes its hard now to comprehend that it happened and would mean so much.
Autumn was simply one of those times given to me by fishing that I can never forget
And now I cant help but think of anything else and the places where I want to go, places where I know I can sometimes see jumping terrified bait in the air, places where I will cast and fish with this gear probably for the rest of my bass fishing life.