Archive for October, 2013

A Pleasant Weekend at Llangollen

PLEASE, for those resident or rather born on this side of the border DON’T try and pronounce it, even the BBC make a pigs ear of it.  The other alternative is you make a good stab at it but end showering everyone within a mile with spit.  I digress – as is often the case.  I went down on the Friday evening, stayed over until Sunday morning at the Bryn Howell Hotel, good food, warm rooms (en-suite), with friendly and polite staff, great way to spend a weekend in the company of fellow members of the GAIA.  On Saturday both Bernie Ratcliffe and myself set out to point out some of the difficulties of casting a fly line from a wheelchair, together with what we considered the cure to these problems.

We have found that the wheelchair is full of little snagging points, especially when shooting line – the foot rests, brake handles, the wheels themselves just to mention a few (the brake handle cost me a 30 yard cast at Oswestry earlier in the year) my wife has designed a cover that fits over the whole of the chair, but I suggest that a line tray or plastic bucket is a must for longer casts.  The open and closed stances used in fly casting now become alterative chair positions, rather than any change of body position.  When hauling, it is possible to lean outside the arm of the chair, but I find that hauling horizontally rather than downward works just as well.  One of the many other things we noted was that since you are in a sitting poisition (stating the obvious) you are that much nearer the ground, so to execute the side cast the speed must increase slightly and the rod tip should point slightly upward in order to keep the line airealised.  In the main we have found that with a bit of “jiggery pokery” most if not all of the casts required for the Assessments were possible.  We found also that with the use of a “grass leader” all the GAIC level Spey casts could be carried out on grass.  This leader is made by tying sections of mono-filament together with blood knots, leaving the tag ends at about half an inch long, this creates the drag in the grass that would be similar to that experienced on water.  Making one is a rather time consuming and monotonous task.

Up to now the only feed back we have is from our Lord and Master, who has looked upon our efforts favourably, so either the rest have nothing constructive to add or, and I find this very unlikely, we covered everything.  Obviously the term disabled covers a multitude of situations, and to have tried to cover them all would have been an injustice to all, so we concentrated on someone who was reasonably able bodied from the waist up.  The Americans have gone into this in a big way and are using both fly fishing and fly tying as therapy for their ‘Veterans’ returning from Afghanistan, even to the creation of a system that allows a one armed person to tie flies.  The IFFF (the US equivalent  of our Game Angling Instructors Association – of which I am also a member) has a system called the “Evergreen Hand” which consists of a series of clips made mainly of fridge magnets and small  Crocodile clips which could be put together by anyone with a tad of DIY about them.

So be it – the little lady has returned and the evening meal calls (very loudly I might add) so, as they say, “watch this space”

Tight lines to you all