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Old 03-18-2009, 01:08 PM
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Default Too much attention to distance?

Every now and then I post something that causes a stir and this may be one of those threads.

I have seen people with many different interests or hobbies come full circle in their pursuit of those endeavors. Take for instance the archery buff who after coveting and finally acquiring the most sophisticated compound bow ever made finds himself crafting long bows and hand made arrows from native woods.

I could go on to extrapolate almost every recreational and sporting activity into this theory but I believe the archery analogy will do.

As I read threads here I feel like a dinosaur with my double taper lines and slow to medium action rods. Sharkskins & Ultra's combined with T3's, TLS's, Z Axis & Launch make me think of muscle cars and super bikes not rods and lines but then I'm getting to be an old fart.

I have been fishing a long time, but not as long as some of you but I have fished all over the map. I very seldom find myself having to cast 90' and when I do the immediate problems of line control, leader knots, and of course setting the hook with any authority are just some of the problems encountered.

I believe that way too much attention is given to distance in the cast just as we believe bigger has to be better in almost every aspect of our existence. I would not discourage those people who wish to enter distance casting tournaments from pursuing the most hi tech rods and lines for their needs but for those persons new to fly fishing I would advise that you concentrate on your short to medium game and try to catch the fish that may lie between you and the far shore with out getting snagged on the far shore.

If distance is your thing then by all means go for it, (I did) but if you are just getting your boots wet you may find it helpful to learn to wade before you try to walk on water.

This was written by a very tall guy who once tried to double haul his way through life.

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Old 03-18-2009, 01:17 PM
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Default Re: Too much attention to distance?

From one fan of DT lines and medium action rods to another...well said.
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Old 03-18-2009, 02:10 PM
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Default Re: Too much attention to distance?

As a beginner, with the little knowledge that I have, I have to agree. I try to put the fly where the fish are (or assume they are). Whether it's 10 feet or 45 feet.

If one can cast 100 feet, awesome. That, however, does not make the rest of us inept because we can't....perhaps we just don't feel the need to.

Man, did that come off as someone who sounds as if he's got some sort of complex?
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Old 03-18-2009, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: Too much attention to distance?

All I can say is that there is no downside whatsoever to casting well. Casting is such an integral part of fly fishing that it's silly to try and justify mediocrity in casting.
I will bet you that those who can cast good distance have already learned how to catch fish and excelled at the 20-30-40' range long ago.
When fishing for gulpers, or on a pond with rising brookies, I've had friends pray a trout would cruise close enough for them to get a shot and on the pond once we tagged the sippers at their max range it was game over as all they could do is watch. Again, there's no downside to casting well.
PS... though I have a few modern, fast rods I enjoy the heck out of fishing my old Scott G's and IM-6 rods as well as an occasional trip with cane (which I still don't 'get' by the way!)
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Old 03-18-2009, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: Too much attention to distance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
All I can say is that there is no downside whatsoever to casting well. Casting is such an integral part of fly fishing that it's silly to try and justify mediocrity in casting.
I will bet you that those who can cast good distance have already learned how to catch fish and excelled at the 20-30-40' range long ago.
When fishing for gulpers, or on a pond with rising brookies, I've had friends pray a trout would cruise close enough for them to get a shot and on the pond once we tagged the sippers at their max range it was game over as all they could do is watch. Again, there's no downside to casting well.
PS... though I have a few modern, fast rods I enjoy the heck out of fishing my old Scott G's and IM-6 rods as well as an occasional trip with cane (which I still don't 'get' by the way!)
I think you missed his point entirely. He's saying that casting far does not equal casting well.

I'll also throw myself in the club of folks who worked on casting far before casting well. This club will exist as long as testosterone does.

The initial post also brought up the oft neglected point about setting a hook well after a 90' presentation. Don't even try it with a rod sweep, and you better make a violent full arm swinging strip set to offset the stretch in your line and leader. The only sure way to do it is with the violent strip set and then a violent rod sweep, and God help ya if you miss the jaw, cuz yer fly will now be 40' away from the fish.

That said, of course I'll attempt some 60'+ hook-ups the next time I'm out.
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Old 03-18-2009, 03:39 PM
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Default Re: Too much attention to distance?

90 feet may be extreme, but 60' is not. I agree with Jackster, and would say that casting well means that you can cast accurately, with
delicacy, and far enough to reach the fish.

Choosing rods and lines based solely on their ability to throw tons of line is
not for me, and I agree with you 100% on that issue. My wife became
disillusioned with her flyfishing ability a couple years ago, because I was
making long distance casts that were WELL beyond her reach. It took
me several months to get the spinning rod back out of her hand, and convince
her that distance isn't everything. In fact, we've been fishing some very
narrow trout streams lately, where presentation at 20 feet is everything.
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Old 03-18-2009, 03:41 PM
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Default Re: Too much attention to distance?

You got it Cliff,

We all push the envelope when trying to reach fish especially if there are none evident close at hand. Although I preach against it I stretch one out there almost every trip. My excuse, leveling out the line as I wind it back in........................

Every now and then I get a hit out there too.
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: Too much attention to distance?

Nowadays people seem to equate better casting with expensive gear.
I have a real problem with that.
The 'quality' and the amount you paid for your gear has nothing to do with your skill level.
That's all about practice and 'time on the water'.
If someone wants to pay $100 for a line or $700 for a rod so that they can cast 10 or 15 feet more than I can with my $10 line and my $60 rod.... that's their business.
But they shouldn't be telling newbies that that's what they need to get the job done.

I fish saltwater most of the time, and I can't tell you how often I've heard people say that you need to be able to cast 'xx' amount of distance if you want to catch fish.
I stand on the beach all the time, shakin' my head, watching people cast waaay past where the fish are holding in the wash. When they strip the line in and a fish 'takes' right at their feet, they think that the fish followed their fly in and took at the last second.
You can't tell them that a cast of 10' followed by a dead drift would have done the job.... they never believe it

.....Jack, I don't 'get' bamboo either, big fan of (vintage) glass though
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: Too much attention to distance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCliff View Post
I'll also throw myself in the club of folks who worked on casting far before casting well. This club will exist as long as testosterone does.
Well put. I too, am in this club. Always looking to cast farther.
I know you all remember being 19 too, it is hard to admit you are in the wrong! haha.

I think that you are right Ard, I would agree with you about accuracy over extremely long distances. Thanks for posting this, because it really makes me think about what I have been learning in my 'adventure' in fly fishing.

It is fun to challenge Dad to a casting competiton every once in a while though...

HookEmHorns
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:30 PM
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Default Re: Too much attention to distance?

I worked on my dbl haul for distance casting, to get that fish just a little further out, you know, the one that is on the other side of the river that you'll drown trying to wade to. Then I found that I couldn't hook him when he did take the dry, or he short struck the streamer or The current put a belly in the line, or I was casting over seams & a good drift was impossible, or if I did hook him close I had to contend with 40' of line I had stripped in to get him on the reel.... Anyway most of my fishing is now done within 40' & I do manage to hook up most of the time. I do haul occasionally to punch into wind or just for the hell of it but I'm a believer in accuracy & presentation now. Hell. casting far wears you out. I can't do it consistently on a 1 week trip or my arm will fall off. I now notice that after a full day of fishing when I get tired I'll start getting tailing loops so that's when I go back to basics & really short casts..
I have quite a few rods, some high end & most I built myself on medium priced blanks. They all cast differently & if I change rods it might take a little time to get in the timing groove for that rod but it happens. I don't equate $ spent on a rod or line as as making a good fisherman..... We've all been outfished by the local kid with the Wal-mart setup at one time or another.
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