The “Adaptive Caster”

Dave Cleaves talks about streams, fishing, and casting

Small Streams – Headwaters of the Fly Fishing Experience

“Time in a mountain stream is not time wasted, but rather time fully used, felt, experienced completely.” Harry Middleton in “On the Spine of Time”

My mother sent me an old photograph of myself, sitting with toy sailboat beside tiny stream in the last pool before it emptied into Intermediate Lake in northern Michigan. The picture triggered a shower of memories. I remembered that in the brook behind me was a familiar collection of tiny brook trout. I would sit in the grass at the edge of the pool for hours and watch their furtive movements, how they maintained their assigned positions in the pool, and how they launched themselves to the surface to take the hapless crickets and ants I would flip into the water. After a while, I would walk the little brook upstream, stopping to watch similar villages of brookies. From the fence that bordered the resort, the little stream groped across a field into the wooded Michigan hills. I wanted to follow it, beyond my boundaries, to know every pool and bend up to the source of the cold water that floated my sailboat and suspended the imaginings of a chubby little kid.

That’s what little streams do to you. They make you want to know them. Read the entire article here.

Weighty Adjustments

The first time I tried to cast a heavily weighted fly was a humbling experience. I had become quite confident from my entire backyard casting practice, watching my jaunty little piece of yarn scoot out behind the loop like the ribbon in my daughter’s pigtail. But then the scene changed to the big river, with big fish and big flies. My fishing buddy had just discovered what the smallmouth were taking. He was nailing them—big bronze brawlers—and I wasn’t. In a blend of gloating and mercy, he tossed one of flies up to me. It hit the bottom of the canoe with a resounding thud. Uh Uh …

I was horrified at the creature in my hand. It was a mutant Woolly Bugger, a Darth Vader of streamers. It couldn’t have been made for a fly rod! It had dumbbell eyes I could have done curls with, an oversized hook, and enough chenille, rubber, and Crystal Flash to be entered in a parade. How was I supposed to get this thing moving? Even if I could, it would surely bonk me on the back of the head, bang the side of the canoe, or fly off like a stray bullet.

First, don’t abandon your casting fundamentals; just adapt them. Read the entire article here.

Tips & Techniques and Teaching Fly Casting

Dave was a speaker at our October 27 meeting. His presentation was about “Casting Tips and Training”. Dave has generously given us his notes from that evening. In Casting with a Purpose Dave provides some excellent guidelines to help improve your cast. Dave also said that whenever we are out practice casting or fishing, we are also “teaching”. Dave has some good guidlines in Tips and Techniques, Teaching Fly Casting. We hope you enjoy the articles.

Accuracy—Tips for “Spot-on” Casting

“… to deliver a fly consistently to a square inch of water – overhead cast or roll cast, off-shoulder or side-arm, windy day or still, short cast or long.” Joan Wulff. Fly-Casting Accuracy. 1997

Accuracy is important in any fly fishing experience and it doesn’t just happen. You must work at it, in practice and on the water. Having an accurate “experience” is one thing, but consistent and efficient precision—achieving a high percentage of casts of any type at any distance easily—is another.

Look at a cast from the fish’s point of view. If the fly doesn’t arrive close enough, he never makes your acquaintance. If it splashes down on top of his head, he’s just had an emotional experience and not likely to respond to anything for awhile.

You should try to be spot-on accurate across a wide range of conditions with a minimum number of strokes and false casts. Accuracy is the core skill for good overall presentation. Read the entire article here.


President: Noel Gollehon
Vice President: Warren Junium
Secretary: Dave Cleaves
Treasurer: Nate Wallace

Board members

L. Gollehon, J. Higgins
D. Thatcher, T. Vegella
and two Open positions

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