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Old 04-05-2013, 03:17 PM
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Default Now what am I doing wrong?!

It was a very nice day today, albeit somewhat windy, so I figured I would go to one of those little ponds I found during lunch to at least see what it was like and to practice.

I see there is algae all over the place in the pond. It seems like a healthy pond but, MAN! My fly got chockful of algae a lot of times. Is there a trick to keep the fly "clean" or is this just something you need to put up with?

That was the easy thing to answer. Now for the real stuff....

1. This is a smallish pond, so I do not have to do "real" casting. But I tried anyways. It is about 30-40 feet wide, probably depending on the time of year. And it is about, oh, 60-70 feet long. I figured I would try to do some real casting but I STUNK. Two things kept happening:
a. The line kept hitting my rod and rolled down to my hand.
b. As I did a false cast, the line seemed to have a downward arc on the forward stroke and hit the water in a lump.

I do not really know what is happening in (a) but with (b), I think it means I am bringing my arm down too far OR snapping my wrist OR both, right?


2. I quit that and started to roll cast. It seemed that if I had about ten feet of fly line (plus the leader and tippet), I was able to consistently make "okay" roll casts for the most part, but it I even tried to go out to fifteen feet, I couldn't get anything to work. it was like the energy stopped 5-8 feet back from the fly. So this is certainly something that has to do with acceleration and/or not coming to an abrupt enough stop and/or completing my cast AGAIN either too low or snapping my wrist.

I can say this: my wrist was getting tired, so I think I must be snapping it or I am trying too hard.

Also, how far do you tilt the rod away from you when you roll cast? I am thinking I may have had it too straight because I had times AGAIN where I would have the line sort of hit my rod and then everything fell in a lump.


3. It was somewhat windy today. I can see where that will be more of a case when you are on a pond or, especially, a lake. What do you do in that situation? Move around the edge of the pond until you get the wind in a favorable spot? That can't be right...


4. Finally, how the heck to you fish a pond?! I know I have asked that before but that was theoretical--today was for real. When I finally got my little streamer out there (that was the only fly I had in the car since I forgot my box), how do you retrieve it? I pulled and jerked it in and sort of dropped the fly line on my left side as I retrieved the line with my left hand.

But how do you make the next cast, especially if you are roll casting?? I have all this line outside the reel, on the ground, but it is not through the rod. Do I simply bring the fly to where I want it and then try to wiggle all that line piled next to me back into the water and try to roll cast again?



Sorry for all the basic questions. I am trying. Honestly, I am.



Thanks,
ray
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: Now what am I doing wrong?!

Hi Ray,

There will be replies I'm sure but I will give some very brief answers to you.

There is no effective way that I know to keep algae or slime from accumulating on a fly. There are weed guards that help to avoid snags while fishing in weedy waters, you can easily search weed guards to see what they entail.

The line hitting the rod tip is most usually caused by the caster following the exact path on both forward & back strokes with the rod. You should alter the plane of the rods travel between fore & aft casts. This is most easily done with a slight tilt of the wrist or forearm as you change direction during the casting strokes.

Roll casts are a matter of a quick and authoritative amount of energy being applied at the right moment as you execute the cast. Only continued practice will iron out the difficulties there.

Wind can always be an issue and you're correct that with ponds or lakes it can sometimes be much worse than when fishing a creek or river that is somewhat protected by foliage and embankments. When wind is present we should expect lessoned ability to cast at ranges possible without wind turbulence. Going back to the words "quick and authoritative amount of energy being applied at the right moment as you execute the cast" when facing wind we must also adjust the speed of the casting stroke - the length of stroke, along with the power. These are all contributing factors in the size or thickness of the loop in the line as cast. Perhaps thickness is not a good word there, think wide loop vs. tight loop. The tight loop or wind cutting cast is achieved by using the speed / power etc. in the cast that I mentioned. Once more, practice is the only way to master the various loops and casts that become part of your repertoire when casting and fishing.

I do not fish still water ponds enough to offer advise on this.

I wish there were a simple solution to give you. I spent a long time working on my casting abilities long ago and in that realm of fly fishing some things don't change. If you've never ran across this, it may help to ease your frustrations.

I couldn't find the thread so I link to my blog here: http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/fo...overnight.html

It is a 2 part story because of text length, this is part 2: http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/fo...-part-two.html

You can choose 'previous' at the bottom of part one and it will go to part 2 for you instead of using the second link if you wish. The blog pages run in a reverse order I can't help that.

Ard
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: Now what am I doing wrong?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by busbus View Post
1. I figured I would try to do some real casting but I STUNK. Two things kept happening:

a. The line kept hitting my rod and rolled down to my hand.
b. As I did a false cast, the line seemed to have a downward arc on the forward stroke and hit the water in a lump.

I do not really know what is happening in (a) but with (b), I think it means I am bringing my arm down too far OR snapping my wrist OR both, right?
a. This is a tailing loop. Likely causes are sudden acceleration too early in forward the casting stroke, and failure to tip the rod just a bit at the stop to get the rod tip out of the way of the following fly line.

b. The fly line will go in the direction the rod tip is going at the stop. So this is probably due to too low a stop. Try directing the cast forward rather than down so much.

Imagine standing in front of a wall and flipping paint off of a paint brush at the level of of your forehead.


Quote:
Originally Posted by busbus View Post

2. I quit that and started to roll cast. It seemed that if I had about ten feet of fly line (plus the leader and tippet), I was able to consistently make "okay" roll casts for the most part, but it I even tried to go out to fifteen feet, I couldn't get anything to work. it was like the energy stopped 5-8 feet back from the fly.

Also, how far do you tilt the rod away from you when you roll cast? I am thinking I may have had it too straight because I had times AGAIN where I would have the line sort of hit my rod and then everything fell in a lump.
I need to ask several questions first. You said you could cast 10 feet but not 15 feet, so the question is where is that extra 5 feet of line? Did you try to add 5 feet by shooting 5 feet of line with 10 feet out of the rod, OR did you have the 15 feet already out of the rod and try to roll cast it?

The point is that the end of the leader must begin to move before a cast can be made. If the line is NOT tight, some of the energy of the cast goes to straightening the fly line rather than casting the line. I suspect that all the slack was not out of the line and leader when you began the forward casting stroke.

You can tile the rod all the way parallel to the water and still roll cast. Just tilt it a bit to start, say about 15 degrees. Again you got a tailing loop. The tilt of the rod and a tailing loop are not directly related.


Quote:
Originally Posted by busbus View Post

3. It was somewhat windy today. I can see where that will be more of a case when you are on a pond or, especially, a lake. What do you do in that situation? Move around the edge of the pond until you get the wind in a favorable spot? That can't be right...
Whether you move or not depends on how good your casting technique is.

You are asking about how to cast into the wind which has been covered many times and is a long subject on it's own. So use the search function for the answer. In brief, you can use an oval cast constant tension cast, the double haul, go up in fly line weight, etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by busbus View Post

4. Finally, how the heck to you fish a pond?! I know I have asked that before but that was theoretical--today was for real. When I finally got my little streamer out there (that was the only fly I had in the car since I forgot my box), how do you retrieve it? I pulled and jerked it in and sort of dropped the fly line on my left side as I retrieved the line with my left hand.
When fishing from the back, I generally cast streamers parallel to the bank.

This presents the fly in profile to the fish that are further out are looking toward the bank for small fish cruising the back. Also cast parallel to structure like aquatic weeds and lily pads. Casting streamers out from the bank and retrieving them back in is not how small fish act.

For dry flies, I cast to structure and twitch them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by busbus View Post

But how do you make the next cast, especially if you are roll casting?? I have all this line outside the reel, on the ground, but it is not through the rod. Do I simply bring the fly to where I want it and then try to wiggle all that line piled next to me back into the water and try to roll cast again?

Thanks,
ray
Yup. If you have to roll cast, that is how it is done. You can do a snake roll first to aerialize some of that loose line.

Here is how an expert does it

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Last edited by silver creek; 04-05-2013 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: Now what am I doing wrong?!

The casting thing.... just went through it and am not out of the woods yet. I read and reread the link below; practiced in the yard and repeated several times; then I hit youtube for a while. Just spent 3 hours flailing the Blackstone river. Last half hour were some decent casts.

Double Haul.... Won't.....

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: Now what am I doing wrong?!

4-5 years ago I was at a casting clinic with Bob Clouser and at one point he was talking about casting in the wind.
How to cast with the wind in your face, with the wind at your back and with the wind at your "off" shoulder.
Someone asked him, What do you do when the wind is at your rod shoulder ?"
He stared him down and said, "You move of course"
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Now what am I doing wrong?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
4-5 years ago I was at a casting clinic with Bob Clouser and at one point he was talking about casting in the wind.
How to cast with the wind in your face, with the wind at your back and with the wind at your "off" shoulder.
Someone asked him, What do you do when the wind is at your rod shoulder ?"
He stared him down and said, "You move of course"
Practice casting with your other arm. It's not as hard as you may think....especially since you seem to be a newbie at fly fishing even though your legend describes you as a senior member because when you start out, it's easier to develop special skills. The adage "it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks" . You can also slightly tip the end of your rod over your left shoulder (if you are right handed) just enough so that the line flying through the air is over your left shoulder. Another technique is to turn your back to the water and let your back cast land on the water. I never do this except when I'm fishing where there are trees behind me. I can poke my forward casts to the openings and then direct my backcast to where I want it to land.

For the roll cast....with only 15 of fly line out the end of your rod tip, you simply do not have enough weight to do a decent roll cast. In situations where your casts will be short, I suggest using a heavier fly line. Your rod must load up more. It probably does when you have a good 30 feet of fly line out past the rod tip but certainly not when there is only 15 feet of fly line.

Those old worn fly lines....do not throw them away. Usually just the forward part of the line is damaged (cracked, dried out, scraped). You can just chop off some of that forward part and you have a nice heavy "level" line for fishing tiny creeks and ponds. Use a good homemade tapered line that starts out heavy (30 lb to 35 lb test mono leader material) and quickly taper it to the desired tippet size.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:58 AM
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Default Re: Now what am I doing wrong?!

I know there are alot of folks on this forum who are much better casters than I am. The one simple bit of casting advice I can give you, pay attention to your back cast. It's very difficult to make a good forward cast when the back cast goes wrong. Conversely, it's pretty tough to totally mess up the forward cast if you've made a good back cast.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:27 AM
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Default Re: Now what am I doing wrong?!

Tons of great advice given. I'm not going to attempt to try and identify your casting but I'd offer these suggestions.

Go take a casting lesson. For $35 and one hour of your time, you can learn one on one from someone who can teach you the right technique. I have been at this for 10 years and finally bit the bullet last year to up my casting game. That lesson and subsequent practice casting in a park or yard have really helped me. I too am one that watches my back cast. I was self taught for the most part and when I got into the game of fly fishing, I learned techniques that allowed me to get on the water, tie flies, etc but didn't put a ton of time into casting. Roll casting was pretty much all I needed and I got good with it, but quickly learned that I needed to know how to cast. Really cast.

Old fly line becomes practice line. Get a cheap reel, spool it up with old line and have at it. Old leader with a piece of yarn tied to the end and you're set.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:07 PM
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Default Re: Now what am I doing wrong?!

I guess I was lucky to have learned fly casting back when glass was king and boo was mostly for the well heeled. Rods were slow and loaded well with several line weights. I only watch my back cast when I am trying to miss a tree or other obsticle. It is quite difficult to hit a target when you are looking backwards. For me, feeling the rod load is paramount to casting a decent line. This is IMO the problem with these fast graphites. Timing is so much more critical than with the old glass rods. They were a good learning tool.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:38 PM
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Default Re: Now what am I doing wrong?!

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I guess I was lucky to have learned fly casting back when glass was king and boo was mostly for the well heeled. Rods were slow and loaded well with several line weights. I only watch my back cast when I am trying to miss a tree or other obsticle. It is quite difficult to hit a target when you are looking backwards. For me, feeling the rod load is paramount to casting a decent line. This is IMO the problem with these fast graphites. Timing is so much more critical than with the old glass rods. They were a good learning tool.
It's a trade off.

The slower rods do have a longer delay BUT they also are more sensitive to the application of acceleration. They bend more than stiffer fly rods to identical rates of acceleration => greater bending => increased tendency for tailing loops. Slower rod require not only a different pace of casting but a different stroke and rate of acceleration.

There is no free lunch.
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