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An Afternoon With Neil Houlding

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Neil Houlding Demonstrating Two Handed Casting

I finally managed to make arrangements to meet with Neil Houlding for some guidance on two handed spey casting.  It’s not something I’ve ever tried much of, and Neil is a very efficient two-handed caster, having considerable knowledge and skill.  He’s also a very good instructor, patiently pointing out errors and how to try to correct them.  Muscles seem to have their own “memory” when it comes to some activities that you’ve done over and over, and bad habits can be hard to break.

In that regard, it was interesting to me that for some movements, I felt more comfortable left handed than right once my left hand and arm figured out what I was  trying to tell them what to do.  For some things, my right hand and arm was better.   I should note that normally, I’m a right handed caster.

I very much enjoyed the afternoon and evening, even though shortly after we arrived, it poured rain on us for about half an hour.  Later, it cleared up and the sun came out.  We were on the Grand River downstream of Cambridge,  and it was quite a nice bit of water through there that holds smallmouth bass. We didn’t use flies, rather a piece of yarn was tied to the end of the leader.  It was fun to feel the small bass that were in the river nipping at the yarn at times.

After almost five  hours, I was feeling a bit tired and was heading back to “old habits” land, so we thought it best to give it a rest for the day. I’ll have to go back out on the water tomorrow to practice and try to get what I learned solidly in my head.

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