I sat in the back of the boat, half cold, half warm. The lake was still covered in a thick fog, but the sun was out and the dry Colorado heat was about to take over. I'd never fished a lake before, never seen an expanse of beauty like this. The day's goal was to find some big, fat, happy lake trout.
In Western North Carolina, there's really no need for a 60-foot cast, you'll just end up catching a laurel. My preferred weapon of choice is a size 16 dry fly and a 4 weight fiberglass rod. Ninety percent of the time a double-haul is only used to show off.
So here I was, with a six weight, graphite stick and a small chicken tied to the end of it. To say I was out of my comfort zone is an understatement, to say I was ill prepared is accurate. I spent most of the day watching casts, trying to wrap my head around this whole "move both arms at the same time in opposite directions." It didn't work. The most likely cause is that I was over-thinking it and I couldn't get out of my own head. Also highly probable, I'm extremely uncoordinated.
At some point, I let go of "the goal" and decided to just fish. As with most things, that's when it all started to fall into place. Well, kind of...
Since that trip, I've spent several hours in my backyard, positioned between trees and power lines working on my double-haul. I still haven't got it quite right, but I can cast the same distance as my peers without it, and most importantly, I'm having fun.
“Most fishermen use the double haul to throw their casting mistakes further.”
-- Lefty Kreh (February 26, 1925 - March 14, 2018)
Today, let's take a minute to remember a man who could definitely double-haul, and more importantly, kept it real in fly fishing.