I have also found that when I am trying to help a new caster out, that if you workon one step at a time things work out better. Normally start with a backcast and then turn around and make just another backcast. Keep doing it over and over until you are happy with your backcast and have about 40 ft of line out. The rest will come easy after that. hope this helps a little.
You might try a slow start to a quick acceleration. The closer that acceleration to the end of the stroke, the better. The sudden stop makes the line go.
If you find 'wind knots' in your line or leader, you may have accelerated too early in the cast and caused a concave tip path.
at least I think that's how it goes!
Hi .I did my practicing at the Ohio River this morning. The wind wasn't blowing hard but was blowing enough to give me an indication of the trouble it can cause. I tied a wooly bugger on [thought I might get lucky] and started false casting. At home I practice in a 20x40 pool cover and can consistently get it to the other end. At the river I struggled to get 30-35 ft. Also I lost two flies and don't have a clue where they went. I also practiced my roll cast that is a thing of beauty when the line lays out straight, which didn't happen but twice .You can go a lot of different directions with the roll cast. One other thing before I go. The fly that I didn't loose looked like a black lump of string instead of fluffy fly it started out being. Is this common or was the fly supposed to be coated with something
So many questions - so little time
try tying your flies on using a improved clinch. don't wanna lose a fly if a fish is biting on it. wind can be a real pain. try using a double haul cast to cut some wind. sometimes it is just way to windy out tho. what fly turned to a black lump? practice makes perfect. just keep at it.
how many times were you false casting with a wooly bugger? i mean, how many false casts before allowing the fly to go into the water?
do you hear snapping of the line behind you while "false casting"?
if you're excessively false casting you will be interrupting your timing as a beginner, which introduces the chance of the line not unfurling behind you and it'll snap and you can lose flies. or lose flies by having your backcast hit rocks, trees, grass, etc. the less false casting the better. the historical reason to false cast is to dry the fly. or impress the opposite sex. these days it's generally not necessary to false cast that much with modern fly floatant...
BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY a wooly bugger does not need to be dried since it's a subsurface fly. so false casting is not really needed.
this could be a problem with terminology here.
and don't get too hung up on perceived measured distances.
lob the fly out into the current,upstream from where you think fish may be, let the current drag it out, bring it in, cast once upstream, repeat.
i would not try to introduce the concept of the double haul to a beginner having problems with the basic cast.
Eric- When I'm trying to present the fly to the water I useally false cast 2-3-4 times maybe. I also hear a cracking of the whip sound sometimes but not often. I kinda guessed that this is where I was loosing the flies.I also thought that the false backcast was for gaining distance and not for drying the fly..I told you I was a newbie......thanks for the info
So many questions - so little time
correct me if i'm wrong everyone but the cracking of the line indicates your timing is off and does lead to lost flies.
when i'm trout fishing in streams and small rivers with nymphs or streamers (rarely but that may be changing soon if i can get on some water) i'm fishing in close. and often with a beadhead fly. so 1-2 false casts are the most i do and they are more roll casts than false casting. it helps minimize the chance of the beadhead hitting the rod by wind or my sloppiness. knicking a rod is bad and should be avoided if possible.
with a wooly bugger, it's also often with a beadhead on the fly and the cast is an open loop lob of sorts. it's not dry fly style casting.
and yeah you're right, false casting is also a way to feed line out but you're also introducing miniature shooting/single hauling of line in that case. standard false casting is working with the same length of line. i'm trying too hard to put this into words, sorry. i'm probably failing. or just plain wrong lol others are more knowledgeable and perhaps can explain better.
i still highly recommend going out with someone and watching them or have them teach you directly if at all possible.
I think I'm really an outlier and close to being on the lunatic fringe when it comes to false casting. I do it a lot; perhaps 5-10 casting strokes on the average at the stream; more like 20-30 strokes when I'm practicing on grass. I simply like that part of fishing. A lot of my fishing buddies ask me why I do it and I usually simply grin back and say "because I like to". I haven't noticed any of my buddies taking up my lead on this point; so I think they simply shake their heads, inside, and tolerate my penchant for false casting.
More to the point, I agree with the advice that you've gotten so far; as a rule keep your false casting to a minimum; there are better ways to get line out of the rod tip (shooting line / single haul with shoot / double haul with shoot / roll cast with shoot / etc.); they've all been mentioned on this post.
However, if you're going to be false casting either a little or a lot, then the point about letting the rod load on both the back cast and on the front cast is, in my opinion, absolutely key; otherwise with each false cast you'll introduce elements into your cast that can lead to problems. For me, the loading is almost totally dependent on stopping my rod motion crisply; again, on both the front cast and the back cast. When I first started casting, I used to let my arm drift back on the back cast and forward on the front cast. What I was doing by doing that is preventing the rod from loading. A moving rod tip can't load; it's drifting with the fly line, not providing the resistance that's necessary to load the rod.
I you need convincing on this point, then ask a friend to hold your rod vertically and hold it firm. Take about 20 ft. of line out of the rod tip and walk behind them, straighten out the line and let it go. It won't go anywhere but down in front of your feet. Now, have them hold it again, firmly, take the same length of line, walk back behind them and this time stretch the rod until you can feel some real tension (the person holding the rod is apt to tell you that they're close to not being able to hold the rod vertically any more). Tell them to hold on. Now, release the line and this time it should shoot forward past the person holding the rod - with no movement of the rod by the person holding it. That's what you get when you load the rod. It's also what's behind the saying that most good casters and professional casters will say: "let the rod do the work".
Somewhat peripheral, but related to this point, when someone tells me that they can't feel the rod load on the back cast, it's almost always because they're not stopping the rod crisply; they're letting it drift back with either their arm motion or their wrist motion. One poster mentioned the "start slowly / finish quickly" casting motion. I've found that this is the best way to cast; but it's not necessarily the most intuitive. You're "whistling fly" signals that you probably have the sequence reversed; you're whipping the front end of the cast and slowing down at the back end. You won't load the rod properly that way. Perhaps it's just me, but it took me a while to master this casting stroke; and I still struggle with it. But it, combined with a quick stop and shooting line will really get the groceries out there to the fish in a hurry.
Although it's now way too late to make a long story short, if I were you, I'd focus on stopping your rod motion crisply; both on the back cast and the front cast. If you do that and let the rod load, then I think it's likely that you'll see a real improvement in your casting.