A Professional Tangle

With over half a century of flyfishing under my belt, decades of which have been spent teaching, practicing, and thinking about flycasting, I’d like to think I’m immune from the snarls and tangles that frequently befall the less experienced.

I’m not.

My latest effort—what I’d consider a “professional tangle”—can be seen in the photograph above. 

No one that’s ever touched a fly rod is immune from a bungled cast. Doesn’t matter how skilled they might be, doesn’t matter how much experience they’ve accumulated. It’s the nature of the sport. Snarls and tangles happen. Yes, it’s certainly possible to excel as a caster and remain tangle-free for long periods (measured in weeks, perhaps even more, of steady fishing), but sooner or later we’re all going to shank or slice one into the weeds, the water, or the adjoining fairway.

As I look at this picture—taken by my brother and summarily forwarded to me with much chiding (naturally)—I’m no longer sure how this tangle even came to pass. One minute things were going along smoothly, next thing I know my leader has birds-nested itself around my rod. I spent at least five minutes untangling it, making it worse along the way, amazed the whole time at the intricacy of it all.

Over the years, I’ve good-naturedly teased many a fishing partner about their casting. I think it only fair that they get some laughs at my expense too. I’m sure this won’t be their last chance either, even if I wish it were!

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