Re: How far can you cast?
Most guys overestimate their cast by 10 feet just like trout are always 2 inchers longer when we tell of them. To be honest I would be very surprised if more than 10% of fly anglers can reach out at will to an honest 80 feet plus with straightened leader at the end of the cast!!!
That said, learning to go the distance (80 feet plus) in ideal conditions is a good skill to have in that if you can cast that far, you shoudn't have problems with the shorter more typical fishing (30- 60 foot) casts in less than ideal conditions.
For a lot of flyfishing, accuracy is far more important than distance and accuracy suffers as distance increases. There may be anglers who can hit a 3foot ring at over 80 feet more often than not, but I would be skepitical of anyone making that kind of claim. However if the angler can reach out 80 plus feet consistently, he/ she should have the ability to nail a 3 foot ring at 40 - 60 feet fairly consistently.
Hitting 80 feet plus is a lot easier with the right tackle - a good stiff 9 and 10 wt rod is very capable of delivering that kind of distance in the hands of a good caster. It takes an exceptional caster to get this kind of distance with a 4 or 5 wt medium action trout rod. Tournament casters use specially designed 5 wt rods and lines,,, a 105 - 125 foot cast typically is the winning cast (indoors).
I believe FFF instructor certification requires a 70 foot cast.