That Ten-to-Two-O'Clock Religion

February 1, 2009 By: Marshall Cutchin

“Well, until man is redeemed, he will always take a fly rod too far back … Then, since it is natural for man to try to attain power without recovering grace, he whips the line back and forth making it whistle each way, and sometimes even snapping off the fly from the leader, but the power that was going to transport the little fly across the river somehow gets diverted into building a bird’s nest of line, leader and fly that falls out of the air into the water about ten feet in front of the fisherman.” As Norman Maclean’s Presbyterian-minister father said in A River Runs Through It, it’s “closer to twelve than to two,” but for the most part the ten-to-two rule is a pretty reliable simplification for teaching new fly casters the sport. In the Concord New Hampshire Monitor, John Corrigan writes about how casting strokes have been changed by the introduction of new materials and the instructors who adopted their use.