As some friends already know, I’ve been following the 30 Reasons film project. Just found out that the website is now live. 30 Reasons is absolutely worth a look (watch the trailer).
So what’s the status of Single-Handed Fly Casting? INKING! That’s me with a laptop, a pen, and a pack of transparency film. At least the process is way faster than finding all the video frames on which the inking in based (that took about 10 full no-fun days). I ink, I scan, I clean-up, I vectorize, I finalize, I place, I caption. That’s the process until I read (one last time), and then I print (1,001 times). Then, I hope that my readers enjoy.
For those who have signed up for a copy of SHFC, I’ll likely send out the “please pay now” email when I am finalizing the “I finalize” part. The placing and captioning go fast, relatively speaking.
I’ve been talking with disabled angler Martin Clemm about a new film project entitled, 30 Reasons. The production is of real quality, and Martin wants to do it right in order for the film to be an inspiration to many. Funding is only partially there at this point, but that’s a topic for another post. For now, take a look at what Martin’s 30 reasons are all about, and the beginning of his focused journey back into a fly fishing life.
Working through dozens of HD video clips isolating images for my casting book. Came across this example of a tailing loop. Check out the rod flexure, line flow, and ultimate crossing problem in the final loop shape (this loop actually contacted the rod). While I enjoy beautiful casting as much as anyone, I also like casting this type of thing on video to see the carnage.
And in case anyone is wondering, no, I am not using actual photos like this for the book. I’d never do that (I consider these garbage as far as the overall visuals; far too much background noise). These are used solely for building illustrations, so I don’t really care about backgrounds, foregrounds, or anything else that’s pretty, ugly, or whatever. As long as I can see the rod and line, I’m good. I do have a killer location for shooting video. Maybe the place I’ll shoot a real casting video some day. It’s 2,000 miles from me right now, and I’d have to get clever with cameras (since I shoot myself), but it would be sweet….
UPDATE: A little tweaking to make the final tailing loop more obvious:
So, I’ve been asked a number of times on facebook and elsewhere if my upcoming casting book focuses primarily on a vertical (overhead) casting stroke/style. No. I just haven’t posted pix of other stroke types yet. I cast with and fish with whatever gets the job done in the way I want to get it done. Here’s an except from the book that explains a bit of my approach to strokes/styles:
The vertically oriented Foundation Casting Stroke will be used to directly build the Overhead Cast. Then, the Foundation Casting Stroke will be angled (tipped to each side) to create various forms of the Side-Arm Cast, the Cross-Body Cast and the Across-The-Head Cast—all of which are casts made at orientations other than vertical. Following the various angled casts will be the Elliptical Cast, where the arm travels back and forth in distinctly different planes. Along with the changes/combinations of plane, the movements of casting will be both tightened and stretched out, with the casting arm traveling along both shorter and longer pathways.
In 2001–2002, I assisted Dr. Tim McCue with a survey on the incidence of fly-casting injury among casting instructors (subsequently published in the journal, “Wilderness & Environmental Medicine”). Out of that survey came a number of findings, including one showing that casters who utilized multiple casting styles (overhead, elliptical, sidearm, etc.), had the lowest overall pain incidence of any group.
So, by starting with the Foundation Casting Stroke, and then using that to create a collection of other strokes, you can hopefully build a highly effective, and lower stress casting environment that covers many angling needs.
I mention a lot of friends and fellow casters/instructors in Single-Handed Fly Casting. One of those friends is Christopher Rownes. I’ve known Christopher for years, and always enjoy watching his casting videos (they aren’t as much about instruction as about enjoying casting for its flow and beauty). If you are an instructor or caster who loves the flow, check out a little of Chris’s work here:
Into the image layout for “Single-Handed Fly Casting” now (and for the next few weeks). Illustrating each chapter first and then dropping everything in (and further editing text, too). Have a sample of a spread from Chapter One shown here. The illustrations you see are what you can expect throughout. Grayscale vectorized pics based directly on photographic frames (most shot at 60fps, some at 200fps and 240fps). This approach lets me isolate what needs to be seen without extra clutter, and also makes what you see quite accurate.
The video that I shoot as the basis for line drawings is often fast and dirty. All I need to see is enough to make the drawing, and who cares about the rest. That is exactly the case for the video that I have been shooting for “Single-Handed Fly Casting.” But…I just bought myself a new platform ladder and it allows for better, more stable camera angles in a variety of situations. So, I figured it might be of interest to post at least one video sequence shot from the ladder, while capturing at 720p/240fps.
The sequence shown here is of the C Pick-Up, a skill that has a relationship to the Snake Roll in the D-loop world. I have shown it in a basic, “here’s how you do it” form, plus a more “real world” scenario starting with the rod tip high and slack in the system. Sharp-eyed observers may note that my forward cast loop is relatively open. That’s what I refer to as “an actual fishing cast.”
Hope at least a few readers find it interesting. One of these days, I’ll bite the bullet and shoot video to really show as video, all pretty and everything.
Starting to get feedback on Single-Handed Fly Casting from outside readers. All of them are English-as-second-language speakers/writers. Their feedback is very helpful in cleaning up concepts and adjusting word usage. If they can’t understand what I’ve written, without the use of images, then I need to think hard about fixing things. In other words, my text has to make sense to people other than native “American-ese” speakers. That is especially key for this book, since the majority of pre-orders are currently from fly fishers residing outside the U.S.
It is my desire that the text is approachable by readers of all casting levels, with only minimal moments of “huh?” involved. SHFC is not “light reading,” that’s true, but hopefully it won’t seem too heavy in how it goes about explaining the information.
Single-Handed Fly Casting has been written, slashed to pieces, re-written, slashed and re-writtten some more, and then kind of edited. And now it’s out for some proofreading, which it desperately requires (I can barely stand to look at the text anymore, much less read it again while doing a fine-grained error check). A special thanks to Aitor, Grunde, and Lars for taking on the gruesome task.
I will make no apologies, SHFC is going to be a big honker of a book, with lots and lots of words between the pictures. I see it as the basis for the rest of the casting writing that I do from here on forward, so it needs to be built strong and deep. If you like detail and getting into what makes things tick, then SHFC is for you. If you want page after page of gorgeous photography without having to take a trip down a casting rabbit-hole, then SHFC isn’t for you. Just being straight-up.
It is my sincere hope that the 1,001 buyers of SHFC will find that their money has been well-spent on a text that can accompany them far into their own fly-casting journeys.