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The Fly Cast Discuss fly casting with the expert, ask for help, learn to cast farther, increase your accuracy, troubleshoot your cast.

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Old 12-10-2013, 10:04 AM
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Default Re: How far "should" I cast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjim5589 View Post
Todd, I've been fly fishing for about 48 years, and I'm not a great long distance caster. I can get a fly out 85-90 ft sometimes, even without double hauling, but those casts are few & far between.

IMO, for 99% of freshwater fly fishing, accuracy & line control are far more important than distance. Most freshwater fishing will be within 50 ft, and much will be in the 30-40ft range or less. There will be situations where longer casts are needed, but usually those can be minimized by finding a better casting position.

Again, this all comes down to accuracy & line control. If you're primarily fishing in waters with current, both of these become even more important. On stillwaters not as critical.

If you can accurately cast in the 60 to 75ft range, then IMO that's a good distance range with any weight rod. If you get into salt or some of the big freshwater situations, then certainly being able to cast beyond 75 ft would be advantageous for those few situations where it becomes necessary.

Learn the double haul, and practice it. But again, learn to be accurate with it, and understand that no extra distance will overcome a lack of line control.

By line control, I mean both while casting & while on the water. If you lose control of the line, you lose control of the fly, so a 75 ft cast that you have no control over the fly is nothing more than casting practice!
Bigjim,

The line control point is a good one. I understand what you mean. Some places I intend to fish include... The Delaware River is someplace I plan to fish with a guide and from a boat. I'm told that this will take some good long distance casting with a dry fly. It's big water without some of the extreme current changes you would find in say tailwater below a dam. Another first time adventure for me will be a shad run on the Potomac with my new 8wt from the shore. Unless I decide to rent a boat, punching a shad dart out there a long way will be important.

I was expecting the answers to be (accurately) 65-75 feet for the 5wt and perhaps a good 80 ft for the 8wt. Since I can't "currently" do these these things and don't really know the answers, I thought I would put it out there to the group. I'm excited to read the balance of the answers. There are also a few specific folks I'm hoping will add their thoughts to the discussion.

Todd


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---------- Post added at 11:04 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:02 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaevans View Post
Interesting answers above, with witch I agree (50' for a 1hander). Much beyond that point (moving water) you may have to do a lot of mending in the early part of the cast.

Actually accurate (distance casting) is fairly easy with a 2hander. Once you've got the line stripped off it becomes a question of aiming where you want the fly to land. A lot of that has to do with anchor placement .... practice, practice, practice!
Thanks Fred! I would like to keep it to a one hander for now. If I can get my casting skills better developed, I would consider a two hander. That would be down the road though.


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Old 12-10-2013, 10:10 AM
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Default Re: How far "should" I cast?

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Originally Posted by ts47 View Post
I was expecting the answers to be (accurately) 65-75 feet for the 5wt and perhaps a good 80 ft for the 8wt.
Well..... actually that's just about right

Distance isn't always needed but the better you can cast, the better off you be whether you're fishing in close or not.
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:17 AM
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Default Re: How far "should" I cast?

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Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
Well..... actually that's just about right

Distance isn't always needed but the better you can cast, the better off you be whether you're fishing in close or not.
Hi Rip,

Thanks for responding!

I'm starting to fish a variety of water. I've got the 30-50ft range down pretty well. I'm probably not as accurate at 50 as I'd like to be. I've also learned to mend somewhat proficiently. There are other times, depending on what kind of water I'm fishing, where it would be nice to really punch something out there - calmer waters, bigger waters or if I'm prospecting with a streamer and not able to put myself in that ideal casting position.


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Old 12-10-2013, 10:20 AM
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Default Re: How far "should" I cast?

Whenever I am out on the water and decide to cast really far, I find the trees behind me are much closer than I thought they were. Then when I finally do get a nice long cast out there the current puts a giant belly in my line and yanks my fly up off the bottom. I don't catch many fish this way. It is nice to have a lot of line out to strip a streamer upstream or in still water. I'm still usually relatively close to where the fish actually are. They can be feeding really close if I am stealthy. I'm not so stealthy trying to cast 90 feet.

I've never measured how far I can cast. I have cast all my fly line out on my 9wt. That was in great conditions in my yard. I usually cast plenty far enough to catch fish though.

I have one tip for ya'...never ever expect a single definitive answer to a question on this forum!
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:31 AM
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Default Re: How far "should" I cast?

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Originally Posted by mridenour View Post
I have one tip for ya'...never ever expect a single definitive answer to a question on this forum!
Agreed! . I've tried a time or two to keep responses on point. With this said... Sometimes when you're still somewhat new like I am, you don't always know all the right questions to ask. Having all that extra information can be a really good thing!

Todd
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: How far "should" I cast?

Interesting discussion and lots of good response thus far as I'd have expected. My thoughts on this are much like many of the previous responders. Cast to where the fish are within reasonable accuracy and then it's all about presentation. Where and how we're fishing will mandate how far exactly that is. What I mean by this is some of the small spring creeks I fish I don't need to cast much more than 10 feet to catch fish on nymphs. On bigger water, that may or mat not cut it, but more than likely I'd need to get more line out there to get my dry fly or streamer out where it needs to be. So I'm of the opinion that the mechanics of casting depends on the technique being used to try and seduce the fish into taking your fly. I guess I don't get hung up on how far I can cast as much as am I employing the right techniques at the location I'm fishing given the type of fishing I'm doing. Much like mridenour, I too have found that trees, branches and grass are much closer than where I've thought they were. Even when I look over the area to find my casting lanes, I somehow find an obstacle that likes my fly better than a fish. Don't get me wrong, I have been frustrated at times trying to get line out, which lead me to casting lessons.

I am far from being a great caster but I've significantly improved the past couple of seasons largely in part due to taking lessons and practicing. Learning the mechanics and having a casting instructor watch me and provide feedback as to what's right and wrong has helped immensely. Have you taken casting lessons? If not, I'd highly recommend it. There's good reason why PGA Tour pros have swing coaches, casting lessons aren't much different.
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: How far "should" I cast?

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.
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:16 AM
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Default Re: How far "should" I cast?

Cast out to your maximum comfortable, controllable distance. Work up from there. Do NOT lose control of your cast.

The distance and accuracy should always improve through your life of casting.

Do not put a finite number on it, always work to do better from your last point of most perfect control.

If distance was the only factor in successfully casting to and hooking of fish then it would be quite easy. Line Control is the biggest factor in distance casting and fishing. Be able to control the line, the cast should become second nature as you concentrate on your line control.
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Last edited by cochise; 12-11-2013 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:27 AM
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Default Re: How far "should" I cast?

Buy this book ! It will be the best buck you ever spent in your life. The book will explain everything you need to know, even more distance. There are practice drills you can do in the back yard to improve.

Fly Fishing Strategy by Doug Swisher: Crown Publishers, Inc. 9780517523711 Hardcover - Slategray Ventures
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Old 12-10-2013, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: How far "should" I cast?

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Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
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.
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