Re: Am I doing something WRONG?
Blueduds first-- welcome to the forum, glad you found us.
You got good answers from the guys-- the longer the cast the longer the arm motion often needs to be to be to carry line in the air-- at 30 feet though, you should be able to slow down a bit and take a little off your cast as Okuma suggests-- using just your forearm with elbow at your side, hard stops at 10 and 2 o'clock, and relying on an easy, smooth stroke and the flex of the rod rather than trying to muscle it too much. Kelly also gave you excellent casting advice.
If your fly dings a rock on your backcast it's very easy to break off the point of the hook-- it happens a lot in some of the areas I fish-- and it's been the cause of a few lost fish-- it's a good practice to check your hook points every so often if you fish around rocks for a broken hook or a rolled point (usually caused by retrieving your hook through rock areas) especially if you feel like you're getting hits but not hooking up..
Remember the fly is traveling very fast-- that whip crack sound you might hear if you start your forward cast too soon ( without waiting for the fly line to straighten out on your backcast) is actually a sonic boom caused as the end of the fly line whips around and changes direction, so it's very easy to break a point even though the fly is so light in weight.
Again welcome to the forum-- keep asking questions if you have them-- there are a lot of great folks on the forum that can help get you started.