Low-Country Lessons Page 2
2: Fly-Casting, and
By Jeanine Detz — March 2001
Following a break for lunch, we headed to nearby Frederica docks, a marina just down the road from the resort. The subject of the first class was rod and reel selection, where I learned not to skimp when buying a reel and the three major attributes of a rod: action, power, and sensitivity. Next the group gathered on a grassy field where Revels demonstrated casting while Edwards tugged the line as if he were a fish. Their antics provided an entertaining lesson in fish-fighting. Then we split up for breakout sessions.
After trying in vain to learn how to tie about five different knots I started a fly-casting tutorial with Kennedy. I was previously unaware that saltwater fly-fishing is so popular--and so challenging! It took Kennedy a few minutes to explain how to fly-cast, and I decided to watch one of my classmates give it a try before taking the rod myself. After only a few flicks of the rod to make the line swish into an S curve, I had the hang of it, but it was time to move on to bait selection with Edwards. Next we hit the docks, where Rogers and Glenn taught us how to enter waypoints into a GPS, contact other boats, make emergency calls using a VHF radio, and properly tie up at a dock. When I'd had my fill of knots, hooks, and electronics, it was time for dinner, a "low-country boil" set up in white-glove style on the covered dock where we'd initially met that afternoon. After feasting on shrimp, sausage, and potatoes, we were shuttled back to the hotel to rest up for our first day on the water.
In my father's school of fishing, if you are not on the water when the sun rises, you are not really fishing, a philosophy I was never entirely keen on. So I was thrilled to have time for breakfast the next day before meeting the shuttle to the docks at 8 a.m. Here we were each assigned to one of four Wellcrafts: a 32 Scarab, 29 Coastal, 27 Coastal, and 230CC. Jo-Ann Searls from Poker Runs of America and I were aboard the 32, with Rogers and Glenn.
Wellcraft calls this program a sportfishing school, and that's all I expected. But I would learn with pleasure during the next two days that this class was about much more. For example, Searls and I had to fill out a float plan detailing who was onboard, our destination, our estimated time of arrival, and information about the boat. That done, I was ready to take off and fish, but Rogers and Glenn were not ready to let us go. We had to complete a safety checklist first.
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This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.