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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 03-19-2009, 12:37 PM
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Default Re: Too much attention to distance?

Hi MikeG,

Before moving away from the Valley Forge, PA area, I used to flyfish for
smallmouth on the Schuylkill River. The stretch I fished was inaccesible on
the good side, and required wading in fast moving water from the very shallow
side. It was accessible by canoe or jet boat, but would have required running
two sets of rapids I was not comfortable with...at all. Anyway, the shallow
side of the river went from 1-2 feet deep, right up to the top of my chestwaders, and then to my ankles. It was in the ankle deep water that
I could finally cast at least 45'-50' and catch smallmouth.

One day, I saw a guy show up with an 8wt outfit, and he only had to wade
up to his waist, using a double haul to just reach the bass. Hmmm....where's
the lightbulb smilie ? I went to the local shop, and bought a 9' 6wt (had
been using a 8'6" 5wt), and learned to double haul. I used that outfit for
the next few years, and never had to wade up to my nipples again. Hits could
be vague, so every vague bump was treated like I was setting the hook. I
caught fish, while others didn't (most were bait or spin fishermen though).

Here's a funny wading story from my pre-double-haul days. I was out on the
Schuylkill River (same spot), and said to my wife, "I'm reaching that other
side, no mater what!" Well, I knew where the channels and sandbars were,
and it hadn't rained for a while, so I picked my way across to with 75 feet of
the far bank. I never looked back, and hooked a couple of smallmouth. It
was getting dark (the smallmouth ate dinner at around 7:20pm in the summer)
and then I finally turned around to look at the shallow side of the river.
It was like a scene from a Hitchcock movie ! Everything seemed to move further away, and the bread crumb trail I left had washed away. I went
deeper than on the trip over, and held my vest up like a bride's gown. After
reaching the the halfway point, I was certain as to where the sandbars were,
but then the spool detached from my reel! I was chest deep, and had to
retrieve the spool by pulling off all the fly line and backing, until it finally
lifted off the bottom. With this mess in hand, I navigated the rest of trip
without incident...well...my wife was wondering why I decided to strip everything off the spool .

Do whatever it takes !
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: Too much attention to distance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
I originally got into fly fishing because I know you have the potential to cast further fly fishing than you have conventional fishing.
No way. Steve Rajeff might be able to pull out his 1" thick 15' two handed launcher and throw farther than I can fling an unweighted fluke, but give me a spoon or a plug and I can throw twice the distance of any of y'all.
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: Too much attention to distance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCliff View Post
No way. Steve Rajeff might be able to pull out his 1" thick 15' two handed launcher and throw farther than I can fling an unweighted fluke, but give me a spoon or a plug and I can throw twice the distance of any of y'all.
What's the furthest you ever cast a 10 oz lure? or a 16oz lure?
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: Too much attention to distance?

Boy I don't know Mike, Cliff has a point. With a full spool of six lb line on a ten foot Zebco Noodle rod I could toss a lip hooked shiner 100' with no added weight.

The problem with going for extreme distance with your fly rod is that nasty business of the backcast! Trying to keep it off the water or out of the stream side cobble stone is hard enough but finding a spot where you actually have 90' of backcast room is a trick in itself.

Now for the issue of wading out there then trying to {'comfortably'} muster a 90' cast, unless you are wading in 2" of water every step you take you are getting shorter because you are getting in deeper. There is a point where it doesn't matter how well you can cast the conditions may make it less than relaxing to try a long one.

I'm 6'5" and my arms give me an effective 8'6" reach, add to that a 9' fly rod and you have a 17' 6" casting platform. I can launch some line given my strength and coordination level but it is not any fun once I pass the 70 - 80' range. If I'm standing in 4' of water that cuts at least ten foot off my terminal range.

None of these factors, backcast, height, or depth of water that I'm standing in would have any great effect on how far I could fling a one ounce lure on that spinning rig I used to use for bass. I figure lures fly farther than fly lines usually.

Ard
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: Too much attention to distance?

I fished over 15 years before learning to double haul. I did get a lot more distance but had to sacrifice some accuracy. For the type of fishing I do, 60 feet is a long way off. I would rather take more time to get close to my quarry, get into a good casting position and get a good presentation in as few casts as possible. Everytime I push my cast to the limit, I screw up

Marc.
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: Too much attention to distance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by glassroddr View Post
Everytime I push my cast to the limit, I screw up

Marc.
I feel safe in saying that happens to each and every one of us. That's why it's called a limit!

That limit keeps edging further and further away the more you practice. You hit a virtual wall that won't let you eek out that extra 5', you keep working on it and then one day the stars align and it all clicks in and you're consistently over that barrier... only to have another pop up right behind it!
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:10 AM
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Default Re: Too much attention to distance?

Well said Jackster.

Now, I am not preaching accuracy over distance to hide my casting shortcomings. (I can probably go 80' on a good day and wind at my back) I would rather show a newcomer proper casting techniques and accuracy and let him/her develop from there.

I learned fly casting from books and magazines back in the late 70's with no instruction whatsoever (Boy I must have looked stupid!) I surely developped bad habits that have hindered my casting. But I am satisfied with the skills I have acquired.

Marc
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:00 AM
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Default Re: Too much attention to distance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
What's the furthest you ever cast a 10 oz lure? or a 16oz lure?
I've never cast one, because that's a ridiculous weight for a lure unless you're needing to get to the bottom of the Columbia or 300' down to a reef. Besides that, you'd need to be catching 80lb fish for them to put much bend in the rod that would cast those lures well.
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:13 AM
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Default Re: Too much attention to distance?

At the end of the day, I kinda look at it like I do hunting. Shooting-wise, I'm a lefty, and have been deer hunting with a right-handed rifle all my life. For so long, in fact, that if I were blindfolded and you handed me a series of rifles, I'd know which on it was just by feel alone.

My point is this, although it is different in casting, I see it as having to make the one shot count. As I teach my son, it is better to be accurate up close and learn control then move out in distance and maintain that control. You could use that analogy in almost anything: golf, baseball (pitching), whatever.

Give me accuracy over distance any day. I can throw a pretty good piece with a spinning outfit. How far? Don't know, but I can put it where I want it most of the time and, to me, that's what counts.

Jus sayin'....
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:20 AM
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Default Re: Too much attention to distance?

Hmmmm..... I practice casting accurately at all distance up to 60 feet (the
limits of my backyard on back cast and forward cast ). I wouldn't recommend that a beginner start at 60', but would suggest that as they
become more proficient, they work their way out. Distance and and accuracy
are not mutually exclusive. In my backyard casting, I do have targets set up,
but will often chose one just as I lift the rod. Kinda a quick draw thing .

As I said in an earlier post, my wife almost quite FF'ing because she couldn't
cast 40' of line. I had to spend a LOT of time convincing her that most fish
are caught at much closer distances than that (at least for us), and that
if she could accurately present a fly 25 feet, she was good to go. I really
have to say that when we bought a Sage ZXL 9' 6wt, her distance and
accuracy improved immediately, and she can consistently cast 40 feet of
line now. There's something about that rod!
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