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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 12-19-2013, 02:33 AM
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Default Re: Joan Wulff Fly Casting Video by Winston

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbine
I'm very, very happy with my own style but am very interested in how other people cast and the mechanics of it, etc. It's cool to me.
That's all that counts, Turbine. If you're happy with it, then it must be comfortable for your physiology as well as working for you. Joan Wulff did not cast the way her videos show on brooks etc with light rods when she used to come down here for permit, tarpon and bones.

She adjusted her style to the conditions. A woman with national distance titles against all male competition knows how to get a line out there.

I use a casting style described by George Roberts, Jr. in an article for Loop Magazine, I think, reprinted from one of his books. I've been casting that way for as long as I can remember and not only didn't even know I was doing it, but didn't think it made any sense at all after reading the article, and thought it was an editing error in the re-print.

If I get a chance this winter, I'll make up another LED setup which lights up when line is released and shuts off when it's clamped. Then take a magic marker to a fly line so shooting line will show up on video. Basically, it's shooting line on both forward and back casts, and actually shooting line backwards while in the transitional move forward for the forward cast, clamping just prior to rotation in the forward cast. Same thing on the backcast.

I don't think it's something that can be taught, frankly, but I think its something a lot of impatient guys who fish the salt a lot just kind of slide into over time and don't realize they are doing - like I didn't.

You ought to make a video, too, Turbine and stick it up here. I like seeing different casting styles as well.

---------- Post added at 02:33 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:57 AM ----------

Silver,

I think there is considerable confusion over what exactly is "leading with the elbow". Most people think of it as the "woodchopping" motion shown on all the videos on learning to fly cast.

I am a little confused myself. I don't see how it is even possible to cast without leading with the elbow, at least in the initial stages of the cast.
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Old 12-19-2013, 01:20 PM
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Default Re: Joan Wulff Fly Casting Video by Winston

I'm going to reply to myself here - nothing new since I talk to myself all the time.

I've re-read that portion of Al's article once again. He's talking about "elbow in" and "elbow out'. I don't know where I got the "leading elbow" thing. And he talks about all the casters, including Steve Rajeff and Joan Wulff using the elbow in style along with the the "elbow out" preferred by Dan Blanton and Bruce Richards.

Here is a still from the Rajeff distance competition video.

Click the image to open in full size.

And here is one from Joan's very last cast in her video sponsored by Winston. A hint of a smile of satisfaction begins to form on her face at the very end as she watches the loop forming.

Click the image to open in full size.

So Turbine, you have to remember that the videos and instruction methods most commonly quoted and viewed are for beginners. You are not a beginner as evidenced by the fact that you have developed at least one "style" of casting. And you will likely develop many more - though the differences between "styles" and "techniques" are blurred in my mind.

The "style" of Blanton and Richards as described in the article sounds like, I think, one that I used to use a lot for tuck casts when dropping a dry repeatedly just out of reach of a trout sitting in a lie. It is a good way to execute a tuck with a "pullback" and set just the fly down, without any leader or line, on the water long enough to be noticed, then pop it back into the air with no water disturbance. I would do it repeatedly (rod held way high) to aggravate a lethargic trout. Sometimes it even worked - enough that I used it often. It is also very easy to have a collision with your tip, so the rod tip must be dropped again quickly after the pullback then raised again once it is safe to.

If I am interpreting Al's description correctly, I would describe that cast not so much as rotisery motion around the elbow as a rapid 90 degree rotation of the elbow upwards, with the center of rotation being near the middle of the forearm. If that's wrong then what I'm describing is just another technique or style of casting.

The question is, does the same teaching technique or style or method or progression of teaching apply to every newby to fly fishing. I think not, rather, that it is up to the instructor to identify which particular initial style to work on with his "student" based on observations of the "students" existing "natural" inclinations. The basic essentials do not change, but the methods of getting there and the words used to describe how to do it do.

Merry Christmas/Holidays and happy casting to all.
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Last edited by wjc; 12-19-2013 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 12-19-2013, 02:12 PM
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Default Re: Joan Wulff Fly Casting Video by Winston

Quote:
Originally Posted by wjc View Post
Silver,

I think there is considerable confusion over what exactly is "leading with the elbow". Most people think of it as the "woodchopping" motion shown on all the videos on learning to fly cast.

I am a little confused myself. I don't see how it is even possible to cast without leading with the elbow, at least in the initial stages of the cast.
The terminology may be confusing you.

Here is a description of the 3 major styes of fly casting by Al Kyte. He describes them according to the FFF casting terminology by noting the elbow position.

http://www.fedflyfishers.org/Portals...l%20Styles.pdf

In the elbow forward stye, the elbow moves down and not forward during the cast, but this is what the FFF calls this style of casting because this is the starting position of the elbow relative to the "elbow up and to the side style" and the "low elbow style" of Lefty Kreh. I didn't name this style, the Federation of Fly Fishers did. If you read Al Kyte's article above, it is clear that he describes the stroke with the elbow going down and not forward.

Al Kyte writes, "I start a beginning class with what I call the “elbow-forward” style….. This upright forearm is also important to accuracy by leading and thus controlling the vertical forward movement of. your fly rod and unrolling fly line.

I believe this is why most tournament casters use an elbow-forward style….

The arm-lifting motion of this back cast is called “shoulder flexion.” Lowering the elbow on the forward cast is “shoulder extension.” This is the arm style of people who have most influenced casting in California, including Jimmy Green, Mel Krieger and Steve and Tim Rajeff. They personify a longstanding link between our interests in tournament fly casting and trout and steelhead fly fishing. The elbow-forward style also characterizes the casts of other notables, such as Joan Wulff, Jerry Siem, and Gary Borger."


All styes can produce good casts; but having said that, more elite fly casters and instructors use and teach the elbow forward style of fly casting than the other two styles combined.

Click the image to open in full size.

These are illustrations from Jason Borger's Book on Fly Casting. The first illustration shows the arm position for the basic cast.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Here is a stop motion photo of a cast. Notice the curve of the of the rod stroke as the caster goes forward and down, rotating his arm at the shoulder and his forearm at the elbow, then the micro wrist flick to form the loop.

Click the image to open in full size.

Slow motion elbow forward cast by Cris Korich. Cris Korich is an ACA Hall of Fame member, 34 times on All American Team, co-holder of Men's Dry Fly Accuracy Record (score 100), co-holder of Men's Bass Bug Accuracy (score 100) and co-holder of Men's 1/4 oz Plug Accuracy Record (score 100).

American Casting Association


Watch the following basic cast video by Mel Krieger. Pay attention to the basic cast he teaches. It is identical to the motions I described above for the elbow forward cast.

The shoulder and not the elbow or wrist is the most power joint in your arm. Cast from the shoulder. The shoulder drives the cast by moving the elbow up and down while the elbow opens and closes.

The shoulder moves the elbow up and down like a pump handle. Simultaneously, the elbow opens and closes but never opens so much to widen the fly line loop.

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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 12-19-2013, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: Joan Wulff Fly Casting Video by Winston

I just finished a short casting practice session after watching her videos, and wow, still need some work, but I'm getting casts down to the backing now with an old Eagle Claw Sweetheart 8.5' 6/7wt with 6wt line.

A few little tips make a world a difference
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:41 PM
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Default Re: Joan Wulff Fly Casting Video by Winston

Silver,

Yes, I believe the terminology, descriptions and some of the generalizations drawn are confusing. Take this sentence:

Quote:
In the elbow forward stye, the elbow moves down and not forward during the cast, but this is what the FFF calls this style of casting because this is the starting position of the elbow relative to the "elbow up and to the side style"
How would you describe the position of Steve's elbow at the start of his forward cast here - taken from the video you posted? "Up and to the side" or " Forward"?

Click the image to open in full size.

How would you describe the position of Joan Wulff’s elbow here? "Up and to the side" or "forward?

Click the image to open in full size.

It looks to me that, most casters would say that if Joan were not to move her elbow forward, she would have to complete her forward cast with her elbow behind her head.

Neither looks anything like these 2 illustrations or the time lapse below to me.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

There is no question that for accuracy competitions, the “elbow forward” method as illustrated above is by far the best method of casting to use for that purpose.

For sit down fishing from kayaks, canoes or float tubes, for surf casting, and casting long distances, it may not be the best to use, as Al said about float tubing. And, indeed, people like Joan Wulff, Tim and Steve Rajeff do not use that style either in all fishing situations.

However, Al Kyte also prefaces his discussion of “elbow forward style” with this:

Quote:
Elbow Forward
I start a beginning class with what I call the “el-
bow-forward” style.
He is talking about starting beginning classes.

His description of the “elbow out the to side” starts with this
Quote:
“In its simplest form, the upper arm acts like a rotisserie without going anywhere….."
But few things in dynamic motions such as casting exist in simplest form. I use that "out to the side" style or an in close pull , but my upper arm is certainly going somewhere - on long casts, it's going back as far as it will go as fast as it will go there without yanking itself out of its socket. Is that something I would teach ? No. Has it ever once hurt my arm in the last 55 years of doing it? No. Have I ever had any injury whatsoever due to flycasting? No. Am I a wild, crazy man? Yes .

Not all people all the same, so what may be the best method for Al may not be the best method for Turbine or me or Guest #1.

Steve Rajeff outweighs me by probably 100 pounds and most of it fast twitch muscle. I am down myself 40 lbs from the prime weight of my youth and that was all muscle. There is no way I can cast the way he does and even remotely approach the distance I get or the endurance I have with my own styles and techniques of casting.

Much saltwater fly fishing is more closely related to distance casting than to freshwater fly fishing. Since I fish primarily the salt now, I have more in common with the above picture of Joan's closing cast than any of the other pictures in the video it came from.

So I tend to take some of the dogma I hear and read concerning casting with a grain or two of salt. As the old saying goes, different strokes for different folks. I would encourage others to play with their casting, and not to subscribe exclusively to any one style or technique that you may have seen, been taught or otherwise acquired.

So, Turbine, lets see a video of your casting style.
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Last edited by wjc; 12-19-2013 at 10:45 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:21 PM
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Default Re: Joan Wulff Fly Casting Video by Winston

Quote:
Originally Posted by wjc View Post
Silver,

Yes, I believe the terminology, descriptions and some of the generalizations drawn are confusing. Take this sentence:



How would you describe the position of Steve's elbow at the start of his forward cast here - taken from the video you posted? "Up and to the side" or " Forward"?

Click the image to open in full size.

How would you describe the position of Joan Wulff’s elbow here? "Up and to the side" or "forward?

Click the image to open in full size.



It looks to me that, most casters would say that if Joan were not to move her elbow forward, she would have to complete her forward cast with her elbow behind her head.

Neither looks anything like these 2 illustrations or the time lapse below to me.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

There is no question that for accuracy competitions, the “elbow forward” method as illustrated above is by far the best method of casting to use for that purpose.

For sit down fishing from kayaks, canoes or float tubes, for surf casting, and casting long distances, it may not be the best to use, as Al said about float tubing. And, indeed, people like Joan Wulff, Tim and Steve Rajeff do not use that style either in all fishing situations.

However, Al Kyte also prefaces his discussion of “elbow forward style” with this:



He is talking about starting beginning classes.

His description of the “elbow out the to side” starts with this

But few things in dynamic motions such as casting exist in simplest form. I use that "out to the side" style or an in close pull , but my upper arm is certainly going somewhere - on long casts, it's going back as far as it will go as fast as it will go there without yanking itself out of its socket. Is that something I would teach ? No. Has it ever once hurt my arm in the last 55 years of doing it? No. Have I ever had any injury whatsoever due to flycasting? No. Am I a wild, crazy man? Yes .

Not all people all the same, so what may be the best method for Al may not be the best method for Turbine or me or Guest #1.

Steve Rajeff outweighs me by probably 100 pounds and most of it fast twitch muscle. I am down myself 40 lbs from the prime weight of my youth and that was all muscle. There is no way I can cast the way he does and even remotely approach the distance I get or the endurance I have with my own styles and techniques of casting.

Much saltwater fly fishing is more closely related to distance casting than to freshwater fly fishing. Since I fish primarily the salt now, I have more in common with the above picture of Joan's closing cast than any of the other pictures in the video it came from.

So I tend to take some of the dogma I hear and read concerning casting with a grain or two of salt. As the old saying goes, different strokes for different folks. I would encourage others to play with their casting, and not to subscribe exclusively to any one style or technique that you may have seen, been taught or otherwise acquired.

So, Turbine, lets see a video of your casting style.
I'll try to get one up -- that's all I've been doing is casting here for the holidays at the inlaw's house.

Looking at Mel's cast, I believe that it's possible that what I'm doing somewhat of a "hybrid" between the 2 styles under discussion here. Actually, I can't see how you can NOT cast without using the rotation of the shoulder. It's just that I'm casting with my elbow more or less on the side of my ribcage. I view some of these front-elbom casters as actually having the elbow locked in the front of the rib cage, and I find that this is horribly unnatural for my own casting. On longer casts, I pivot to my rear foot and use a very hard stop and then pivot forward again -- which is often what I see with tournament casting videos.

I'll get a video up -- maybe you'll see what I'm doing and it's possible that I'm not really a full-on side-elbow caster afterall. All I know is that it works for me and nothing else feels like a way I'd want to cast a fly rod. I'm definitely not using any kind of wispy, anemic "swishing" of the fly rod back and forth. My stops and movements are very much shoulder rotastion and not arm extension or anything.

I'm 6'0" and have very long arms for my height, so maybe that has some impact...but who knows.

I've messed around with the front-elbow casting style (at least my *thinking about what this means) and I can't see how you can not throw the fly line direcly downward to the ground in front of you. It's just weird to me. I will admit though, that line speed is quite good for the energy input on the cast.

I'm not knocking the style -- that would be ignorant. I know MOST distance casters use some variation of a front-elbow cast, and obviously it works great for a lot of people. I almost wish I could do it to get the extra knowledge and understanding of fly casting.

---------- Post added at 09:16 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:11 PM ----------

[QUOTE=silver creek;622280]That is a very strange thing for Lefty to say since natives don't throw a spear sidearm but overhand keeping the elbow forward with the forearm above the elbow and not to the side. Compare the elbow forward illustration below with the video that follows,

Click the image to open in full size.


Silver -- I watched the video and this looks like a side-elbow cast to me (the spear guy). To me, this looks nothing like Joan Wulff casting a short length of line with her elbow jammed in front of her ribs.

I think this is just a confusion of the style and of terms.....my casting looks very similar to this guy throwing the spear, but I never would have called that "front elbow" at all.

---------- Post added at 09:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:16 PM ----------

Watch the double haul video by this front-elbow guy down on the bottom right of the page:

Double Haul

If you threw a spear with his forward casting motion, it would appear to follow a downward path and stick straight into the ground in front of him instead of in a useful direction.

His back cast isn't too much different than mine (his rod angle is a bit more than mine), but his forward cast is noticeably more straight-down vs. mine, which is more out and down.
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Old 12-22-2013, 12:26 AM
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Default Re: Joan Wulff Fly Casting Video by Winston

When you lengthen a forward elbow cast, you take the rod back further, and the motion is very much like the spear chucker. In fact, if you read Kyte's description, he says it is a throwing motion like a baseball pitcher.

http://www.fedflyfishers.org/Portals...l%20Styles.pdf

"I start a beginning class with what I call the “ebow-forward” style. At the start of the forward cast, your elbow is directly below your hand, which is at ear level and slightly forward of your casting shoulder (Figure 1).

It is part of an overhand baseball throw, which is called a “kinetic whip” because each body part moves in a whip-like sequence, adding to the overall force."


Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

I think you are confusing the beginner's elbow forward cast with an advanced elbow forward cast. In the longer casts as in the images above, the elbow is taken back but it is not taken back sidearm like Lefty Kreh's Style. The casting hand is still ABOVE and not below the shoulder. The arm is extended backward in order to increase the stroke length that is needed for a longer cast. See the stop motion photos of Steve and Joan. Is the hand above or below the shoulder?

The direction of the stroke also changes so it is not angled down but forward so the stroke is forward and not down. These are all adaptations of the elbow forward style of casting for longer casts.


Notice that the spear chucker has his hand ABOVE the shoulder and the spear is ABOVE his shoulder. The motion of the spear checker is a elbow forward motion with a longer stoke because he is throwing the spear as far as he can.

His spear is NOT along his side with the elbow low and the throwing hand BELOW the shoulder as it would be with the low elbow style of Lefty Kreh.

See a slow motion of Lefty casting. Is Lefty's hand above or BELOW his shoulder?


The casting motion of Lefty's low elbow style is the exact opposite of the elbow forward style. Al Kyte had both casting motions analyzed byCraig Johnson, a fly caster and professor of biomechanics. Here is how the casting motions differ.

"To understand this (low elbow) style better, I recently spent time with professor Craig Johnson, who teaches both biomechanics and fly casting at Saint Mary’s College, in Moraga [California]. We discovered that this shoulder movement, though occurring in a diagonal, rather than vertical plane, is opposite to that used by elbow-forward casters. In the elbow-forward style, you start with shoulder flexion (lifting the elbow in front) on the back cast, then shoulder extension (lowering the elbow) on the forward cast. This order is reversed in the low-elbow style, where you sort with shoulder extension (moving the “low” elbow back) on the back cast, then shoulder flexion; (moving the elbow forward) on the forward cast. We were fascinated to learn that the same body part can be moved in the opposite direction, using directly opposing muscle groups, yet produce the identical effect an overhead cast."
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:59 AM
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Default Re: Joan Wulff Fly Casting Video by Winston

Moved to blog.

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Old 12-24-2013, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: Joan Wulff Fly Casting Video by Winston

I think the terminology is confusing because what the casters actually really DO when executing long casts falls into a completely different category of casting (as defined by Al Kyte) from the definitions he ascribes to them.

Here is the first sentence verbatim what Al said about the "elbow out to the side" style:

Quote:
In the “elbow-up-to-the-side” style, the forward
cast starts with your elbow positioned directly
out to your side at about shoulder level with your
casting hand directly above your elbow (Figure
2).
Here, once again, is the picture of Steve Rajeff at the start of his forward cast.

Click the image to open in full size.

Here is another from a different cast and from a different angle.

Click the image to open in full size.

Both seem to me to meet, not your illustrations of the "elbow forward" style, nor Al's own definition of the start of the "elbow forward" style. They do, however, seem to meet exactly Al's definition of the start of the "elbow out to the side style".

So, when the start of a cast meets EXACTLY the start of the definition of one style, yet is considered a separate and different style which starts with a completely different elbow and upper arm placement: then there is room for confusion.

Rather than labeling Steve's style as a modified "elbow forward" style, I think that at least half of the population in general would consider it a modified "elbow to the side" style.

My point is that, while it may be nice esoterically to break down fly casting into three separate and distinct categories, something as dynamic as fly casting cannot be pigeonholed that way, and each person will develop his own multiple styles for different situations encountered while fishing - so long as he knows that there is no "one right way".

Also, everyone will hopefully develop multiple different "styles" of casting during their lifetimes and will be able to use all of them during a single day's fishing.

When it comes to teaching, I think there is a difference initially between group instruction and one on one. With groups, you have to start somewhere and I think it's pretty much universally accepted that the illustrated version of "elbow forward" is the best way to start beginning classes.

For someone like Turbine and many of the people in here, it may well not be such a great idea.

Cochise's casting in his second video, for example, would not be a good one to demonstrate for a beginner. They would see an uninterupted backcast to about the 2:45 position when in fact the backcast was completed somewhere around the 1:30 to 1:45 position. But he knows how and when to unload the rod to get the trajectory he wants and a nice tight loop. It is a very relaxed, easy, and open "style" of casting. (But that first video looks like you might have a a bit of "creep" creeping into the forward cast, when going for more distance, Cochise )

As for other observations on changing styles, I've seen a marked change in the casting style of distance caster Paul Arden over the last 4 years if he is using the style in competition as that demonstrated during his Malaysian tour that can be watched on youtube if you do a search.

He has changed from "casting-side foot forward" to "casting-side foot back, and has changed his grip from thumb on top to palm forward. He also evades a question regarding the "stop" in his second video of those two I watched taken in Malaysia. I don't know what style he uses now in competitions, but I'll bet "Fluffchucker" does.

So, in short, styles are not set in stone and can be combinations of more than one. A front and back rocking overhead stroke from the bow of a Maverick skiff can set up a rocking motion so bad that the guide may need dramamine before going out. That style is not conducive to catching fish either. Conversely, a Lefty tortional style will not raise a ripple.

Just as "there is no disadvantage to being able to cast far", neither is there any disadvantage to being able to cast with a number of different "styles" or combinations of "styles"

PS: Until that second to the last paragraph (above) I have not mentioned Lefty's style. It is the elbow "out" and the elbow "forward" semantic cluster that raises confusion.
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Last edited by wjc; 12-24-2013 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: Joan Wulff Fly Casting Video by Winston

To be honest I'm glad I've spent my whole life *not* watching videos like these. I started fly fishing when I was a kid and I've always just done what felt natural and what worked the best for me. No video can substitute for practice in my opinion.

I'm sure they're very very helpful to many folks. Again, just my opinion.
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