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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2013, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Yard Practice ?

The leaders I use for practice casting are dead ones that had seen better days when fishing on the river. I usually just tie in a couple of additional sections of tippet getting me down to something in the 4x range or larger for bigger rods. Nothing special here, just enough to give me something to cast with. The yarn on the end makes a big difference in my experience. It also makes that leader last longer.
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: Yard Practice ?

I plan on using poppers and some flies, should have put the "noob alert" up as fair warning.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: Yard Practice ?

For yard practice, I have some flies, streamers poppers etc that I tie and sacrifice to the Practice Gods. Cut them at the curve and have a straight shank fly with no hook. Not a bad idea to super glue the rear. Then I'm casting some of exactly what I'll fish with later. Half dozen sacrificed flies ain't that big'a deal really. I keep these few in a special box labeled 'practice.'
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:05 PM
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Default Re: Yard Practice ?

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Originally Posted by jimp View Post
would all the knots and such not affect the overall process thru increased wind resistance ??
There might be a touch of windage there but not much it seems. Knotted leaders were all we had for years. With the knots my biggest problems are weeds and other junk getting caught by them and my less-than perfect knot tying capability. When you get rolling at this fly fishing stuff you'll probably be tying tippet onto your leader eventually anyhow. It's a lot cheaper than buying new leaders.
I use knotted leaders less and less as knotless leaders keep getting better and better at providing the best transition from thick butt section to fine tippet.
Besides... throwing big hairy's, poppers and indicators makes for a huge amount of wind resistance that a halfway decent leader will help you overcome.
Enjoy the ride.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:20 PM
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Default Re: Yard Practice ?

I would recommend that you use a target. I use a paper plate with a rock on it to hold it down.

Practice casting at various rod angles including off shoulder casts, and practice different slack line casts. As long as you can cast 40 feet, accuracy is what new anglers need the most. But most practice adding distance.

Most casters think the reach mend is simple, but that is because they do not use targets. For a right hander casting to the left bank, get the right reach mend down first. It is not as simple as getting the distance right on a straight line false cast and then reaching the cast over to the right. Fly fishers think that the reach mend is making the same cast as a straight line cast and then reaching the rod, but this not true when you have a target that you want to hit.

If you do that, the fly will get pulled back toward you, and your cast will end up short. When you reach mend left or right, the distance from the rod tip to the target lengthens depending on the amount of the reach. To demonstrate this, cast a straight line to the target. Then do a reach mend with the same amount of line. You will fall short.

So you now you know that you need to add more line for a reach mend. You can lengthen the cast in two ways. You can add more line before the reach so the fly gets pulled back to the target with the reach mend OR you can shoot line into the cast and then reach mend. Adding the exact amount of extra line to place the fly on target takes practice. But you would never know that if you practiced without targets.

You will find that all the casts that place slack into the cast to counter drag will require adding line to the cast over a straight line cast. Anyone can wiggle the rod after the stop for an S cast, but can you do that and hit the target? Practice the S cast, pile cast, puddle casts, and side arm curve casts with targets so you know how do these casts accurately.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:38 AM
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Default Re: Yard Practice ?

Casting on the lawn is great to work on your stroke and mechanics but don't be disappointed when it turns out a bit different on the water. There's no way to simulate water tension or carrying a wet line/leader/fly. Get on the water as much as possible.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: Yard Practice ?

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Originally Posted by swirlchaser View Post
Casting on the lawn is great to work on your stroke and mechanics but don't be disappointed when it turns out a bit different on the water. There's no way to simulate water tension or carrying a wet line/leader/fly. Get on the water as much as possible.
I totally agree.

This is what I do. Whenever I find that there is a fish I can't catch because I can't make the curve or mend in a cast, I stay and practice that cast. Then when I revisit that spot that fish may be there again.

Here's another practice tip from my FAQ on mending:

"I tell beginners to try to read the stream and make their mends where they think they should go. Then after they have fished that lie, make several straight casts without mending to the same area. Don't watch the fly. Instead observe the fly line and leader as the mismatched currents force curves into the line. The flyline will show you where the differential currents are, and the direction and depth of the curve shows you the differential velocity between the various currents. Now try to mend the line so that it is a direct opposite of the displaced fly line. Make a mirror image mend. Those are the fishing mends you should have made in the first place."

http://www.uky.edu/~agrdanny/flyfish/faq/FAQ-6.HTM
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Old 05-11-2013, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: Yard Practice ?

I do aim for a target, just larger like a tree/shrub, the mailbox, telephone pole, etc., because they are handy and already in the yard. I aim "for" them, with the intent on being "on line" or "on target". I am horrible at estimating distances, always have been, always will be. I have stepped off the distances so I know the approximate distance, right now I am focused on being "on target/in line" to where I'm aiming. I move around the yard to change up the distances. One step at a time.

At this point in my journey, I don't have any "old" flies to scarifice to the practice gods. EVERYTHING is new.
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: Yard Practice ?

Given the choice of not practicing because there is no water around or practicing on grass, I'll take the practice every time and any time I can squeeze it in.
I use the lines I'll fish with most times too, or lines real close to what my fishing lines are.
I use good lines that last a very long time. Maybe it's because I vary the amount of overhang so much and the fact I'm fairly fastidious about line cleaning and lubing.
The main place dry casting seems to lack is in roll casts where the stiction of the line on water helps load the rod.
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