The string of comments (on this blog and others) in response to news that Steve Rajeff punched out a world record 243-foot one-handed cast has been interesting: It’s either sheer awe, or “whoop-de-do, casting doesn’t matter.”

The latter is a symptom of “cast envy.” I can say that because I have it. I can’t throw it 125 feet, let alone 243 feet, so I grumble, “well, who on earth needs a 125-foot cast anyway?”

Then again, who needs a size #20 CDC-wing, goose-biot-body dry fly, when a regualr ol’ #18 parachute Adams will usually do the trick just as well? And who needs 7X flurocarbon tippet (honestly). Who needs boron rods and five-layer Gore-Tex waders… and on and on?

Truth is flyfishing is a sport about doing more with less, yet at the same time, making things more complex than they have to be. That’s why we’re all so weird.

I’ll let you in on a little secret…

I just finished a book on flyfishing for trout in partnership with Charlie Meyers of the Denver Post. It’s a how-to book. But not a “guru” how-to book, rather, an “it ain’t rocket science” how-to book meant to simplfy and take as much BS out of tips on flyfishing as possible. (I’ll tell you more later, when it’s printed, and I load up on a really huge, shameless self-promotional campaign to plug the project… but you’ve seen some of the tips on the videos we’ve put up here on Fly Talk.)

Nevertheless… in organizing the book we break it out in the four basic areas of flyfishing:

The cast. The presentation (drift). Reading water (finding fish). And choosing bugs (fly selection). The we do a “misc.” section on, gear, and fighting fish, and all that… but if you break flyfishing down, you can do it in four areas: The cast, the presentation, reading water, and picking bugs.

So here’s my question to you…

In order of importance to the (trout) fly fisher, how should we organize the sections of the book: Cast, presentation, reading water, bugs? Reading water, choosing flies, presentation, cast? Etc., etc. Rank them in order of importance to you.

Thanks for the help.