Originally Posted by silver creek
You should try to cast accurately into an 18 inch circle at 50 feet, 12 inch circle at 40 feet and a 6 inch circle at 30 feet.
In terms of distance with a dry fly try to cast 80 - 85 feet, all casts with a 9 ft 5 wt rod.
I think for the shorter distances that these are good goals especially when you add the reach cast and the aerial mend both left and right with the same accuracy and the same distance. For dry fly trout fishing your catch rate will improve dramatically over just straight casts. Out to eighty feet it becomes a lot harder to do the mends with any accuracy, not impossible but hard. From the majority of responses you can see most people stress distance AND accuracy.