Ok, I am pretty much a newbie as far as fly fishing goes. I got my first real taste about five or six years ago, I was very lucky to get my first real experience on the San Juan River here in NM and I succsefully netted some large rainbows. I have continued fishing streams and rivers here in NM to varying degrees of succces.
So that leads me to this week end, I had a great time taking my 77 year old father and my two sons to a local lake/pond that stock trout for catch and release. What became very apperant was that I have some casting issues. On the smaller rivers and streams it is not so bad, I rarely have to through out past 20 or 30 feet at the most. But on this lake the trout that were rising were out at 50 to 60 ft and I just couldn't get there. I was able to land a few out to maybe 35 or 40 ft fairly close to where I had seen a rise, but more often than not my line would coil up out at 20 50 25 ft or so, and I also snapped off 4 or 5 flys. I know these are multiple issues but I could sure use some tips. I understand that typically snapping the fly off is because I am starting my fore cast a little early, maybe? Any way, could use some help.
By the way my set up is a Cabelas Three Forks rod 9 ft 5 wt medium action, I picked this up as a package from Cabelas with Ross Flycast Reel loaded with some basic WF5F line and a Rio 9' 6x tapered leader. I was throwing mostly small drys.
Location: Lake of the Woods/Rainy River Minnesota Canada border
Re: Casting Issues
It would really help to see you casting on video. Some of it I think we can fix from what you are telling us, but it really would help to see it.
When the flies snapped off, was it in the back cast and did it make a cracking whip noise?
Do you know how to double haul? The related question, if you were not hauling on your forward cast what did the distance between your hands do as you were going into the last forward cast?
Note: That rod is, although not very expensive, capable of casting really far. It actually performs a lot better than you should count on from a rod that sells for $49.95.
OK, where you said "I understand that typically snapping the fly off is because I am starting my fore cast a little early, maybe?" I'm pretty sure that's it as long as all of them are snapped off in the back cast. You need to let your loop roll out before you go into your forward cast. If you ever had a whip as a kid, you know the move to get that cool CRACK! sound. It's the same thing with a fly rod. If you have trouble stopping the problem, look back at your backcast.
The line piling up in coils sounds like you are killing your line speed going into your forward cast. While you are setting here reading this, put you rod hand up like you are holding the rod. Put your other hand like you do holding the line. As you go into the forward cast, does your line hand move with it or not? If you are allowing your hands to get closer it feeds line out of the rod stopping the rod from fully loading, killing your line speed and it will flutter and die in little coils. I can't be sure this is what you are doing without seeing it. It sounds like it though. If you are not hauling, you should learn to do it.
There are some good videos on you tube. Once you get the double haul down you should be able to get past the 60 foot mark with the greatest of ease.
Tie a small piece of yarn on a leader and go out in the yard and try this. If it doesn't fix the problems, video tape yourself casting and post it someplace we can see it and we'll go from there.
Thanks alot, I will see about doing a video. What you did say though made a lot of sense. I am losing them in the back cast and definitely whip cracking, but the best ones I did where when I turned and watched my back cast. As far as my non casting hand, I never really paid much attention to it, I try to do a little haul on the back cast but on the fore I have been soemn time just letting go of the line. I have seen some of the double haul videos, not sure if I am there yet. I do need to do some casting an pay more attention to my non casting hand....definitly food for thought.
My son learned to fly cast this summer. He would be doing really good for a while and then he'd get in rut where he couldn't make a decent cast to save his life; every time, I simply had to tell him "forget distance and go back to the basics, you're forgetting to do your 10 and 2 stroke with quick stops on the back and fore casts" and invariably his casting came back. I actually still do that sometimes myself on a bad day.
I learned to double haul this year by watching this video of Mel Krieger and copying him with my hands at the computer; it works!
@ Wannafish, that is funny I was just watching this video yesterday.
I did get a chance to go out in my back yard and do a little casting and by just paying attention, (watching my back cast) I began to get a better feel for when the rod was loading and I wasn't whip cracking very much at all. I actually had a few good casts out about 50 or 60 ft (good for me), but I still need to get my line hand working right, I think I am doing waht Randy is saying and building extra slack during the false casting. But, I definitely feel better about it, my new rod helped alot to, even though it is a faster action, with 1 line size up on it I could feel the loading reel well.
The double haul is cool and effective and all but I would suggest taking casting in steps and having a good, solid foundation to build upon. Make sure that your stops are proper, your front and back casts are mirror images of each other, your application of power is correct and other basic necessities for a good cast are engrained before stepping up to the double haul. You will likely find that a large percentage of your casts need no haul at all, just good, basic technique.
Taking casting in steps will do nothing but make you a fine, all around caster ready for darn near any casting situation.