Classic Video: Joe Brooks on Casting Into the Wind

Here’s a great piece of film footage from the very first episode of the “American Sportsman” television show, shot in 1963, hosted by Curt Gowdy and featuring legendary angler Joe Brooks. Gowdy and Brooks are in Argentina, where a fierce wind blows across a Lago General Paz (now called Lago General Vintter), the source of the CarrenleufĂș River. The conditions made it impossible to film the fishing show they were planning on, so instead, Brooks gives an impromptu lesson on how to cast directly into such a wind. As you’ll see, he was pretty good at it.

8 thoughts on “Classic Video: Joe Brooks on Casting Into the Wind”

  1. The American Sportsman was my favorite thing to watch on television as a kid. Loved watching this. Thanks for the post.

  2. Hi Phil, great description of what took place. Much better then mine on the documentary facebook page. Amazing to consider what Joe is casting with, a bamboo rod and most likely silk line. Nothing like what the fly caster has at his fingertips today. Lovely to see and hear Joe and Curt. More to come. Joe Brooks

    1. Fly casting in those conditions will learn you or burn you. I couldn’t cast worth a d— in any wind until I spent a week in Patagonia where 30 mph is common. It’s interesting that Brooks uses a high backcast, which you can get away with in a headwind, but his forward cast (“under the wind,” he emphasizes) looks as if he’s trying to swat a snake with it. I think it must take some serious power to punch it forward from up there, but he brings it down fast. Notice that the belly of the line lands on close-in water while the rest of his loop is still unrolling. Not pretty, but he gets the fly out there.

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