I'll admit to practicing a lot. When I can't fish a little practice is much like hitting a bucket of balls, It hones the skills and, hopefully, helps keep the edge.
No one stated they only cast long or short and don't assume those who cast long haven't put their licks in at other distances. Practice for me is what I feel a well-rounded session starting with very short, accurate casts to warm up then lengthening the casts and tossing in various stuff like curve casts, off-hand casting and a little single-handed spey work. Sure I stretch it out later in the session but always cool off with short accuracy work.
As for rods and lines, I have my favorites and no they aren't cheap but that doesn't mean we didn't have a blast today and other days playing with rods that cost all of $8.00!
Lines, I just can't go cheap. The better lines are just so true, slick, worry-free and important in the entire rig that I won't compromise!
I'll make no apologies for buying the best I can, as most of it really is better.
I'll make no apologies for casting far enough to catch fish. It's often necessary when fishing without a boat, and I use a rod with enough spine
to set a well-sharpened hook.
I do like fishing small streams, but I also enjoy fishing the Delaware River
for smallmouth. I like the moderate action of my Sage ZXL, but also enjoy
the punch of my Z-Axis. The Z-Axis is quite capable of delivering a fly
I love to read John Gierach's stories of bamboo rods with soft action. I've
been looking at the fine selection of new and used bamboo at the local
I own and use WF and DT lines: it all depends on the rod.
Bottom Line...Have Fun Doing What You Enjoy Doing !
You wrote a very nice article.Casting will always be and art.Some of us are better then others.Depending on what type of fishing you do dictates all.In ways im happy that not all flyfishers can cast well,it leaves more fish for me..lol
Perhaps a little clarification is in line here. (no pun intended) My thread is / was aimed at those persons who are just beginning in fly casting not at the more seasoned anglers. Although there's nothing like a lively exchange of views, I knew that was in store when I hit the submit thread button.
If I could accomplish just one thing in advising new fly casters it would be to build a solid foundation of knowledge and skills as they progress and not to become too caught up in reaching the quest for recognition as a distance caster.
I did not mean to infer that people should not seek the best tackle that was within their budgets or that they would be wrong to try to be the best caster they can be. Conversely, just because your new rod will cast 100' with a tournament champ on the cork don't buy into the idea that you should be able to cast like the guy in the movie 'A River Runs Through It' in your first season.
You are exactly right! The best thing a newbys can do for themselves is to get good instruction to instill a good, solid foundation to work with.
The gear, distance and all that razzmatazz can come later. Those who start with a solid base to build on usually end up light years ahead of those who try to improve through trial and error.
One thing I try to do when helping out a serious newby after going over the basics is to show them the corrections to the major flaws in their casts. It is gratifying when they fall back on a bad habit, glance over at you and tell you exactly how they blew it then fix the problem themselves in the next cast! That's cool.
The others are right too... it ain't always the gear! I can't count how many hands an old Cortland kit has been in and how many people it helped hook on the sport.
For the record, I've had exactly one casting class. The guy got me to where I had the basic fundamentals. Then, I practiced. I know when I've made a good cast and when I'm botching it up. I usually botch it up when I try to force it rather than let the rod do the work and ease up. It takes a deep breath sometimes....
I purchased a Quarrow 9' 5wt a few weeks ago. I want to cast it next to my older St. Croix Imperial to see if it feels any different. I did notice that it has a few more snake guides on it and there is another round guide above the stripper guide. (LIke a stripper needs a guide...sheesh).
I can equate the distance casting and quality of equipment to canoing. We do a lot of paddling with a lot of different people who always seem to slam others who are out in a lower quality boat. My standard remark now is that I would rather see people out enjoying our sport, regardless of their skill level or quality of gear. I think the same applies to fly fishing. If new fly fishers feel that their equipment or skills are being snickered about, then our sport becomes a sport of classes, and will eventually die. Why can't we just be glad that new people are willing to try it out, and do what we can to make sure that they enjoy the experience. Quality equipment and skill levels will look after themselves.
That all sounds kind of preacher like, but I'm tired of the BS. I fly fish because I like the entire sport, I really don't care if someone can cast farther than me or has better gear
The snobbishness I see works both ways. There are the good 'ol 'my stuff is better than your stuff' snobs, then there are the 'my stuff is cheaper than your stuff but I catch just as many fish' snobs.
I won't even get into the bass boat and bamboo snobs!
What anyone else is using shouldn't be anyone elses concern. The exception I take to that is is a newby lets say has the bug but is trying to work with an old, slow level line or mismatched gear. You're doing them no favors by not offering proper equipment for the job. It can and will make their time on the water that much more enjoyable.
I believe this is a good topic one that can be argued from many different angles. I originally got into fly fishing because I know you have the potential to cast further fly fishing than you have conventional fishing. Where I fish in Canada there is a bay called muskie bay. At the start of the muskie season the bay is 1-1.5 feet deep. Too shallow to get a boat into and too far away to hit it in a boat that is not powered. Our boat, a ranger 619 with a 200 HP merc on it going 50-60 miles per hour on the water it takes us an hour to get to this bay. The reason why this bay is the best, the bottom is unique and muskie come here to come into the sun and spawn also. Two years ago in August a man caught a 50" muskie from a kayak that he towed in his boat. I believe that I can have similar success using a fly rod casting 80-90' in deep enough water where my boat won't bottom out. For me casting long distance is a must. To a salt water fisherman that is the same. For a trout fisherman distance is not important.
I can double haul pretty well but my mending and roll casting are awful. I could not mend if my life depended on it. But I never fish where I need to mend.