Bill Haenel

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Posted by Bill Haenel on 25-Jan-06

So as anyone who knows me is keenly aware of, over the past year I have taken up Fly Fishing - to an extreme.

Here's how it works: I work, I sleep, I spend time with my family, I fish, I fish, I tie flies, I fish, I think about fishing, I look for places to fish, etc. I know it sounds tremendously normal, but from my point of view it really isn't, because I love fishing.

Anyway, I just read a really great article on correcting a common casting mistake called "the tailing loop". I have seen this common mistake in action (by my own hand) many times. So when the article opened, written by famous caster Lefty Kreh, and he made no mention that this effect is limited to those who can't cast worth a darn, I was very excited. I read the article immediately.

Like most things, I look at fly fishing using the same eyes with which I see everything else. I try pretty hard to learn about humility when I am leading my children on a bicycle ride, to learn about spirituality when I am preparing food, and to learn about business when I am fishing. And let me tell you, a person can learn an awful lot about business by fishing. (Much more than by golfing, but that's for another article!)

Lefty very aptly explains how to get rid of a tailing loop in your cast. He speaks of the solution as though it is incredibly simple. Indeed it certainly sounds simple to implement, but since it is now Winter I will not likely be able to try the solution for a few months, after the ice clears from my favorite river. More importantly, Lefty begins his instruction by explaining that others have tried to explain a fix for the tailing loop, but they were all completely wrong.

This brings me to my point. I almost always find that by listening to others and their ideas about how to get things done, one can be easily mislead. It is so very important to listen carefully, then know in your heart what the right answer to your troubles might be, in spite of what others say and think. Nobody knows better than you do what is right for you. Probably they don't know what's right for them either, but this only drives my point home even harder.

However, when you are fortunate ebough to stumble upon a true expert, someone who has "been there", someone who has nothing to gain by telling you what they tell you in order to impart their knowledge and decades of experience, you should listen very carefully. Listen especially carefully when they start with, "Let me say that I believe just about everything I have heard and read related to the cause of a tailing loop is incorrect." That person is probably bang on. They know. They've been there more than once, and they are only telling you because they can, not because there is something superficial to gain such as ego-boosting or money or fame. Lefty already has plenty of fame.

Now that I've said this, please ignore it. I'm young, I haven't been there, and I have little knowledge or experience. Plus, what I'm really hoping is that you'll just send me some money.

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