Hows this for a fly fisherman’s life goal? Be able to cast your age well after you turn 70 years old.
For all of you golfers, you know that shooting a score that matches your age is an objective that not many old duffers can achieve. I can shoot my age now… on the front nine. I’m not holding out hope that I can break chronological par over 18 holes unless I live to be 123, and medical and golf technologies really improve in the next 80 years.
Granted, most of us fly fishers under 50 can cast our age in feet. At least we should be able to. Maybe we should make the challenge being able to cast your age in yards, at least for the AARP- ineligible crowd.
Here are a couple of my casting heroes… Frank Moore, age 86, whom I watched easily boom 90-and 100-foot casts with a sinking tip line off a 9-weight a few weeks ago on the North Umpqua in Oregon… and Tyler Palmerton, who can cast his age (early 30s) in yards, with a 5-weight rod.
There is, of course, a lesson in all of this. Your brain is what powers that cast. It’s all about, timing, tempo, and feel. It’s never about muscle. Practice enough… watch your loops… always focus on form before you attempt distance… and you’ll make the physics of great casting second nature. And that, my friends, is the foundation that can carry you through a lifetime of great fly fishing.