Posts Tagged ‘fused wrist

24
Mar
14

Adaptations: Lemons and Lemon Juice

“Life handed him a lemon,  As Life sometimes will do.  His friends looked on in pity,  Assuming he was through.  They came upon him later,   Reclining in the shade  In calm contentment, drinking.  A glass of lemonade.” Dale Carnegie

This morning, I was reading a piece over on Limp Cobra re casting styles. One of Marc Fauvet’s frequent topics is casting the fly line (hence Limp Cobra references a type of fly line presentation Marc created years ago). I was reminded, by Marc’s post today, that one has to adapt not only in fly casting mechanics under normal circumstances, but when things change in life due to physical limitations.

Photography-Injured Hand-Fused Wrist-Arthritis-Injuries-SwittersBYears ago, my right hand and wrist were repeatedly injured through various activities. Arthritis resulted in the right wrist and the pain became unbearable. Ultimately, my right wrist was basically disassembled, hip bone was brought in to replace the arthritic wrist, the new bone/joint was fused solid. Then a ten inch long titanium bar was screwed in from behind my middle finger knuckle up through the now fused wrist on up the forearm. Over the years, I have developed arthritis in my right forefinger and I am losing sensations in the finger tips of all the fingers. The fused right wrist of my dominant hand, was to some, an advantage in fly casting. I could now cast a fly line without breaking my wrist etc and the perceived imperfections of presentations. And, I have adapted pretty well over the years. It may not look pretty but it works. Even if the wrist does not break during casting, the shoulder can offer up some unusual machinations to alter the path of the fly line for sure.

At any rate, the long worded portion above is to suggest as a matter of course practice casting with your off hand…your non-dominant hand. Not for when you have that odd presentation, but in case you need it as life changes your physical abilities. I have had surgeries/procedures to my right hand, right wrist, left achilles, right achilles, neck, left shoulder and lower back. Throw in degrees of arthritis, aging, lack of fitness and the mechanics of casting (or any other physical endeavor) become very important. I have learned to cast with both hands now. When the right hand becomes fatigued from casting and all the fish I catch (tsk, tsk), I switch to the left hand and rest the right. A good benefit, too, is I get the fly out there and don’t make nearly as many false casts. More fishing, less casting.

Practice with both hands and visit Marc’s site at Limp Cobra and go back through his many posts regarding casting dynamics.

23
Aug
12

Casting the Fly Rod: Both Hands

SwittersB

Yes, that’s actually me fishing. Hard to believe. Now aside from the fact that I am a terrible double hauler…there is something else about this shot for you to consider for your own evolution.

My right wrist is fully fused. It has been for the better part of maybe 15 years. A titanium bar extends from right behind my middle knuckle half way up my forearm, secured with 7 screws. The wrist bone is actually a lot of hip bone, as the original bone was so badly damaged with arthritis it had to be removed and hip bone fused into the location. So, I can still cast ok with the right arm, my natural arm. But, my finger tips are partly numb and my knuckles are slightly swollen and painful.

But, after that surgery, a very painful ordeal I might add, I started out of necessity to cast with my left hand/arm. Yes, at first it was clumsy. At first, I played with the roll cast. But, today I am a passable caster with my left arm and you should be too. Not that you will have surgery necessarily.

But, injuries happen. Surgeries happen. Pain happens. Give it a try on a small scale. You won’t be wasting valuable fishing time. Or, go to a nearby park or your back yard or school yard and practice the stroke, the line management in your right hand, the single haul and if you are real coordinated the double haul (eventually). It will add to you arsenal, to your presentation. Of course, you will have to adapt to that reel handle being where it has always been should you catch a fish. Easy enough to switch over to the other hand as ‘normal’ to play the fish. 

12
Jul
12

Fly Fishing: Casting With Your Off Hand

There are  obvious practical reasons to learn to cast with your off hand. A few years back, because of injuries and degeneration, I had to have my right wrist fully fused. A titanium bar was inserted from the back of my middle finger/upper knuckle, up my forearm and screwed in along with the wrist bone being replaced with hip bone and then fused. May I just say that it is a very painful surgery/recovery if you consider it. That said, years later, my right hand is slowly suffering loss of sensations and swelling/pain in the knuckles.

A full day of casting (maybe catching) eventually makes the right hand give out. I have learned to ease this gradual decline by casting with my left hand/arm. I have never progressed beyond a single haul, but I can get the line out via roll casts and normal casts. The right hand is able to do the normal line retrieval. Because my reel is still set up for left hand cranking, if I do hook a fish I still have to revert to bringing the fish in with the normal right hand holding the rod while the left hand cranks the reel or strips. But, that occasional casting with the left hand helps. It also helps when the lay of the land necessitates a different casting presentation.

Also, there are theories that doing endeavors with your off hand, arm, foot etc. actually may improve your performance afterwards with your dominant side. I recall my son’s venture into throwing the javelin. He had smaller practice javelins/darts and he was encouraged to also practice throwing with his off hand and practice his footwork to support that off hand approach-throw. It seemed to work…for whatever reasons. The same seems to work by casting with your off hand. 

Not only do you expand your tactical possibilities, but you may well improve your strong side casting abilities. Worth a try.




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