Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Dexter Casting Club

Image at left from the EPA archives as hosted on wikicommons. Public Domain photo.

The Dexter Casting Club is meeting on Monday nights at Hudson Mills Park in the stream pool adjacent to the walking bridge. 7 PM until dusk.

I meet on Monday nights through the winter at the Beer Grotto in Dexter where a hardy half dozen gather to guzzle stout and tie flies. I'd say we tell trout (or steelhead) stories but really, there is a great deal of tying in silence.

The Casting Club is an extension of the Monday night effort. Not a club as such. Just a drop-in casting fest with targets.

I've been on the Huron once in the last two weeks for smallmouth.

I haven't been up north fishing trout due to work and spousal social obligations. This weekend, I have a big blow-out graduation party for the daughter of one of my close fishing buddies and while I might grouse a little I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Even with trout-crazed bears, life can get in the way of trout dashes.

Casting on Monday night is at least a way to handle gear and improve skills.

I'd love to be more proficient with my single-handed Spey casting now that I am using OPST heads. After using light tapered line like Wulff TT for so long, the heavy headed OPST stuff takes a little adjustment on light 3 and 4 wt rods.

I do cover more water, though.

So, my snake roll is a little sketchy this year. It could use work. Mine is always a little sketchy.

I'd like to get a better accuracy out of cross-body cast. I'm over powering it.

I need to get my wiggle cast to be more consistent. Ideally, I draw the exact same wiggle pattern each time so my management of where to set the fly is better. I'm all over the map with it now and my terminal accuracy is not  as tight as I'd like. I'm going to need this cast on slow slicks.

Always something that I could do better with the fly line.

Going west, I'm going to need to tune my Belgian as well. I haven't had to really pull all that hard on the horizontal since coming to Michigan. I'm getting soft. A 30 mph blow across the Lamar will make me want to have that puppy doing all the tricks.

So, Casting. All of us non-commercial fishermen can use some tune-ups once in a while.



  1. Spike, interesting piece, and after reading it several times I "dig"

    In your side section you have a link to "Banks Fry Bake"...have you any personal experience with it?

  2. I do have some experience with the Banks Fry-Bake.

    I have the Alpine model which has the taller sides. I think they're 2 1/4" high. Might be 2 1/2". They allow biscuit making without any danger of crushing the tops.

    The pan is a thinnish annodized beast and cleans-up well. It heats quickly so it is necessary to really turn back thelevel of heat. A few coals on the bottom for baking and three times as many on top is a good rule. Using briquettes, putting two under the pan (maybe 1" below it if you can find the right rocks) and seven or eight on top seems right. I've gone to using just six on top for baking and extending my time by 5 -7 minutes. So, perfect biscuits in 27 - 30 minutes with no scorch.

    As far as one-pan field meals camping ... the thing is the best. Somewhere back here in posts I've used it for risotto. Worked perfectly. Sausage and peppers, cowboy meal (beans and beef), the usual. All fine.

    It isn't as convenient as a cast iron griddle or a simple 7" cast iron fryer for dedicated frying. The high sides and the desire to use too much heat make it awkward. A fifteen minute burger or modest heat: fine. A five minute burger with a nice heavy pan-fry crust on the outside? Not so much.

    I use butter, Crisco, bacon fat, and olive oil and all work well. It's slick enough that turning over-easy eggs cooked in the bacon fat can be an effort as the little devils run around the pan on you and you need to use a knife as a backstop!

    It's good gear. I carry mine in a paper bag inside a small stuff sack I dedicate to the transport of the pan and my "fry kit" of a couple small spatulas. The outside seems to have a special affinity for soot -- more so than any other piece of field gear I've ever used. It knocks off fine with a couple taps but the old "soap on the outside" trick did nothing for me and so, bag. Easy solution.

    I pack it in to remote sites for spike camping or just for hot lunch when it is a cold wet fall.

    The "boy scout" aluminum pliers are nice. My leatherman will grip the side but the pan is slick and filled chili, it hard to keep a grip on. The pliers work better.

    I don't pack my dutch oven for car camping anymore unless I'm going for four or five days (rare). The fry bake does a fine job for what I need.