Here at Swift we get to build fly rods for some pretty interesting customers and from all walks of life. There are more than a couple of rock stars and at least one mega movie star (that we know of) out there casting an Epic fly rod, but the customers that give me the biggest thrill are those that teach fly casting.
These are the people I’ve followed, read about, learnt from and in a few cases, been lucky enough to take instruction from and even cast with.
While I have never met Macauley Lord, I’ve long admired his pragmatic no-nonsense approach to fly casting and teaching. Needless to say, it was a huge thrill to commission a fly rod for Macauley, but nowhere near the thrill received when we got this email in the office this week.
...Sure wish I could say I've landed 70 fish on my 580.
Subject: I love my 580!
I’ve fished my So Blue 580 three times now and have spent some time casting it in the yard. Only one other rod in my lifetime has given me anywhere near this much joy [an old Sage 389 VPS-L]. I’ve landed about 70 fish on it, including a few smallmouth bass in the 3-lb class, and have comfortably cast some big [#4] Chernobyls with it. It does everything I want a rod to do, except go long with a short stroke.
This rod is a magnificent achievement and I sing its praises [along with Craig Buckbee’s 686] to every serious flyrodder I know.
With deep thanks,
N. Macauley Lord
Macauley Lord is a noted U.S. fly casting instructor and author. Macauley holds multiple fly casting qualifications from the International Federation Of Fly Fishers (formerly the FFF) and in 1995 was certified as a Master Fly Casting Instructor.
In August 2012, Lord was awarded the highest distinction in the fly casting world, the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Federation of Fly Fishers. A press release at the time said “his words, like his instructions show beginners and experts alike how to take their skills to the next level, focusing on many of the little casting techniques that incrementally lead to the whole of being more successful in the water.”
Craig Buckbee is also an IFFF Master Casting instructor, all round good guy and lover of his Epic 686
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Fly Fishing Emergers. A semi-sunk fly projects more visible stimulus than a high and dry pattern, so it makes a lot of sense to use a design that penetrates the surface film as a ‘searching pattern’, rather than the high-riding flies usually recommended for this job like the Royal Wulff, Humpy or Elk Hair Caddis. For me, the old dry hackle jobs have been moved well down the bench, even for fast broken water.