MEL KRIEGER TEN YEARS AFTER
Next October will be ten years since the disappearance of the best fly casting teacher in the world. It seems impossible that this decade, in which so many momentous events have taken place, has passed almost like a sigh. At least for me.
Mel Krieger devoted most of his life to teaching the correct way to shoot with fly rod in every imaginable country on planet Earth. Moreover, he published a wonderful book on how to learn to be competent in the fly cast and numerous videos very instructive and easy to assimilate to learn correctly (and this is the most relevant in my opinion) all the techniques of fly casting for one hand fly rod and two hands fly rod. He said more, because for me the best and most important of all is not only all this, but he invested countless hours in teaching (and he got it) HOW TO PERFORM A CAST WITH A FLY ROD CORRECTLY.
Precisely this gesture so easy to explain and so difficult to execute is the most important thing to become a good fly caster, that is to say a competent flycaster, and to be able to evolve in the modern fly casting techniques and progressively learn all the casts that have been made and for having .
This “gesture” involving hand, wrist and forearm fundamentally, is what Krieger called LOADING THE ROD.
Load the rod !!, repeated Mel Krieger again and again in his videos and clinical fly cast. Without a good technique of how to grab a fly rod and how to lift the line leaving it to extend completely back, making a stop of the rod and again by a stroke project the line forward to pose the fly, it is unlikely to throw with comfort and even more !!: become competent in the fly cast.
All these teachings that are so simple and at the same time difficult to execute in the first instance, as well as all the schools around the world, we owe to Mel Krieger. And it’s not a small thing…
The creation of the fly casting schools and the IFFF are merit of Mel Krieger.
No less important is the sympathy, sincerity, honesty, simplicity and humility with which he treated everyone. According to Alejandro Viñuales (who shared the knowledge of the fly casting and fishing with Krieger), Mel was a man deeply convinced of what he was doing and knew exactly how to transmit it to others, infecting them with his natural enthusiasm. I think he was a born salesman, an excellent communicator of the essence of fly casting and fly fishing.
I owe him a lot to the fly caster that I am today.
In Spain he was on several occasions, some for the creation of fly fishing schools (the PAIL program) and the creation of instructors and master caster instructors examined by Mel Krieger himself. In others he was fishing in the rivers of Asturias, Sella and Narcea, while he was practicing with a two-hand reed that would later be the reason for his video of two-handed rod techniques.
Like most foreign fishermen he liked Spanish red wine and the good table he shared with his new friends. “In the middle of the afternoon we left the River Sella in the Sierra reserve and went to the Sidreria to eat and taste a bottle of wine of Ramón Bilbao,” Alejandro explained. “Then he took a teaspoon of coffee and explained to me with a pantomime, how it was casted with a fly rod” …
New friends. There is no technique to make good friends, but the only language that all people and animals understand is the language of love and fraternity among fishing partners. Fly fishing is such an interminable and wide world that allows for endless conversations, extensive deliberations and endless anecdotes. This is not a small thing either …
I like to fish in solitude a few times to be with myself, with the river and the trout, but I also like to share with my fishermen. I do not think it’s good for anyone to become a hermit, master only of his thoughts and of all possible time destined for his favorite hobby. It is best to share, talk, observe others fishing, go to eat or dinner … in short, live and share.
Mel Krieger often spoke of all this. Especially in one of his last video published in 2006 titled MEL KRIEGER 40 YEARS IN PATAGONIA. It seems to me a wonderful video because of the sincerity and humility that it gives off and above all because of the love in which it is involved.
Life goes quickly. Once a friend of a very old age told me in a pure Catalan: “life pass like a blow of wind, la vida passa com una bufada”, life must be seized because it happens like a breath of air, you do not realize and you have reached the end.
Mel Krieger until the last moment of his 80 years of life, took all his strength and energy to transmit and share what made him immensely happy. “Every time I travel to Patagonia it’s like a rejuvenation” he said …
And in this way, so loving and full of wise energy, he reached the end of his earthly journey, leaving endless teachings, of friends and acquaintances, that we recognize in perpetuity some knowledge, teachings and affection of a man of short stature, gray beard and touched of a curious hat, that dedicated good part of its life to the others of a simple, affectionate and wise way.
~ Carles V.