Review by Steve Raymond
The Lyons Press
Remember those old casting texts that said the only way to develop proper form was tohold a book under your arm while you practiced? At only 157 pages, this book is so thin you'd have trouble doing that -- and Lefty Kreh wouldn't approve anyway.
''The book you arenow holding in your hands is designed to introduce you to the worldof advanced fly casting,'' Lefty says. This includes ''how to make effective casts, how to cast at greater distances, how to overcome the fly caster's two greatest enemies, wind and vertical obstructions and, most of all, how to cast to catch fish.''
Lefty starts with a chapter outlining the ''five principles'' of what he calls his ''modern'' fly-casting method. ''The style of casting I teach greatly differs from the standard method used over the past 300 years, principally because I believe that the longer that we move the rod through a casting arc, the more the rod contributes to the cast,'' he writes. OK, but were they really teaching fly-casting back in 1702?
In his efforts to describe his five principles, Lefty encounters the same problems as nearly everyone else who has ever tried to explain fly-casting in print: It's just a devilishly hard thing to do.
Numerous illustrations help, but even with these you probably will need to read this chapter several times to thoroughly digest and understand what Lefty is trying to teach.
The second chapter, where Lefty addresses the ''elements of the cast'' (which are in addition to the ''principles''), is easier to digest. The''elements'' include such important but often-neglected matters asstance, rod grip and thumb position. He also analyzes many common casting problems and offers solutions.
In the third chapter, ''Advanced Casts for More Effective Fishing,'' Lefty really hits his stride. Here he describes five types of roll casts, along with other specialized maneuvers such as the roll pickup,water haul, reach cast, long-line pickup, the double haul, curve casts, tuck casts and slack-line casts.
You may think you're already a good caster -- and maybe you are -- but even a crusty old pro can't help picking up a few pointers from what Lefty Kreh has to say on the subject.