Hello all, new here with a question on casting. I recently got into fly fishing a little by picking up a cheap outfit at Bass Pro Shops. I have done alright so far, and can cast alright but very inconsistent.
My question is for someone to actually explain to me the steps involved in making the cast. I have read books and they are very vague.
What I do: I strip line off the reel then false cast until all my stripped line is being casted, then I lay it down onto the water.
I have read that it is best to make your cast with as few false casts as possibe. Obviously this is most efficient and least tiring on the angler, leaves less chance of snagging trees, spooking fish, etc.
So in order to make a long cast with the least number of false casts, does one make a cast and then release the stripped line on the backcast then throw it down onto the water, or release the line on the forward cast?
It seems whenever I try either, I loose any energy there is, and the line lands bundles up on the water not very far from me.
Some books I have read say to keep the wrist locked and use forearm motion to cast, and some say to use the snap of your wrist to make the cast.
Can someone explain the real way to cast to me? I have never watched someone else fly fish and I don't know anyone else who does. Total noob here!
Rather than try talking you through it I would recommend you google "utube fly casting". There are some excellent videos on fly casting on the web. I'd recommend one in particular by Tim Landwehr from Tight Lines Fly shop, he has a three part series which is excellent.
Your very best approach is to take some lessons. You don't have your location in your profile so I don't know if you are in a fly fishing area.
Look for a FFF or Trout Unlimited clubs in your area. Check with your Parks and Recreation people. If you live in a fly fishing area they will have casting and fly tying lessons for very little money. Some Colleges have lessons. Check with a local fly shop. They almost aways give lessons or at least tips. The next time you are on the water and see a good caster walk up and ask for help. You are a young guy and just about any fly fisher will be glad to help you with some tips. If all else fails, save some money and hire a fly fishing guide. If you tell him you want to catch some fish but learning is high on your list you will get a bunch of info.
Explaining how to cast in a post is hard to do. If you can't learn from a book I suggest you get a DVD. Or study the videos on Utube. What we can do in a post is give you tips and suggestions if we know what kind of problem you are having.
I actually just found and watched those videos on youtube from Tighlines Fly Shop. What a huge help! I realize my many mistakes now, including not shooting line, using my wrist, improper stance, etc. But they did not mention hauling. What is it? What does a double haul mean?
BTW, I am in Amherst, MA (going to school at UMass) right near the Connecticut River, Deerfield River, Swift River, Mill River, Quabbin Reservoir, and I'm sure there are more trout location I did not mention.
double hauling is where you are accelerating the line on the backcast by pulling down hard with your line hand just as the backcast starts, this will accelerate the line speed, then on the forward cast you repeat. This is for increasing your casting distance, definately not something I would recommend to a beginner. Double hauling is more for fishing salt or really big water. You should concentrate on learning the basic cast and how to correctly mend the line once it is on the water surface to achieve a drag free drift. Then I would recommend learning the roll cast.
watching the line on your backcast as well as forward cast is the easiest way to make sure you're changing direction at the right moment.
This might sound like a dumb idea, but i used this "technique" that i made up to help identify parts of my cast that needed to be worked on.
I used to find something like a frog popper that's a big large for my 5 Wt. rod.
- If i began my forward cast too soon then i could feel the popper flick real hard from whipping around as the line pulls it.
- If i began my forward cast too late then the same pulling sensation can be felt in the rod and it kinda lets me know that i waited too long to begin my forward cast.
I hope this helped, its just a little solution i thought might work.
If it doesnt help, or if that wasnt what you were asking, then sorry you had to read this whole post
Yes, you want to make as few false casts as possible, which means shooting line. For most people it's easier to shoot line on your forward false casts. If you shoot too much you'll add slack to the line and your cast will die. How much to shoot, then? Experiment, but remember that when you shoot line you'll have to speed up your casting stroke. (To know how much line I'm shooting, I count to myself, one, two, three. If I get to three I shot about ten feet of line, for me the maximum I want to shoot.)
I don't break my wrist during my back cast. I break my wrist halfway during my forward cast, as if I'm hammering a nail.
When I was learning long-distance casting I watched every video I could, and read book after book. A lot of the questions to my casting defects, however, were not answered; so to a large extent I had to go it alone, experimenting by myself.
I even spent time with a champion caster, but my casting got worse, not better.
Every caster is different, and there are different casting styles; so in the end, if you want to cast long, long distances, I believe you too will have to experiment.
(My article on long-distance casting, is really a journal of all my trials and tribulations.)
Thanks for all the help so far guys. I've getting it down a little better now especially after those videos on youtube. I'm getting pretty good at rollcasting too, which is more or less a requirement to fish some of the smaller streams around here, because of the heavy vegetation surrounding them. I went to the Swift River recently and caught a decent rainbow trout, ~1.5 lbs. on my boga grip. Although I go to school in Amherst, I live on Cape Cod so I spend alot of time during the spring, summer, and early fall fishing saltwater, and obviously the conditions can be less than ideal out there for casting alot of the time, but hopefully I can hone my skills and be ready to take on the stripers, blues, false albacore, and bonito this summer. I've taken all on spinning tackle, but never on fly.
Congrats, you've got some great opportunities for FF there around Amherst and on the Cape.
We have a few members from your area here on the board that might be willing to show you a few pointers and you should be able to find some folks at UMass that fly fish. Do a google search on Umass fly fishing, or check out the group that does student activities to see if there is already a club. There are some folks in the extension service in Natural Resources that FF and also do stuff like stream restoration work, and there a few grad students that are into it, and could probably give you a few tips.
You can also go to Home | Trout Unlimited - Conserving coldwater fisheries to find a local chapter of Trout Unlimited (there is one on the Cape too). You'll learn a ton from paling around with the folks. Most have formal or informal casting lessons, beginning tying classes, and informative monthly programs on techniques, where to go etc. It'll take years off your learning curve, and help get you ready for the spring run of stripers.
Keep posting here as questions come up. There will be tons. Lot's of helpful folks here will weigh in with advise.