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blueduds 08-15-2011 02:29 PM

Am I doing something WRONG?
I went fishing yesterday and noticed some things that I was wondering if someone could help me.

1) when I was casting about maybe 30 feet or so out, the end of my line would sometimes whip so hard that the water that was on it would come off and look like a small cloud. I was just wondering if this is okay? It did look really cool though.

2) Another thing that bothered me was that i lost some flies. So i was casting and behind me were some rocks but they were smooth rocks. Anyways I think that when I was doing the backwards portion, the fly would hit the rock and would break the hook or line. This was shocking to me because the fly is so light and I thought that the weight or pressure wouldn't be enough to break it.

thank you

okuma 08-15-2011 02:43 PM

Re: Am I doing something WRONG?
Are you using your entire arm to cast? You exerting too much force. Tuck your elblow into your side. Only use your forearm and watch where your thumb is. If it isn't pointing up on the back cast, you're breaking your wrist

s fontinalis 08-15-2011 03:04 PM

Re: Am I doing something WRONG?
One reason the flies could be lost is because the line is in constant motion, therefore there is a whip like action when it turns to come forward on the forward cast...if the flies catch any piece of the rock by the point of the hook, no matter how smooth they are, that causes loss of motion, and the whip becomes more intensified, perhaps causing the line to snap....Just try to keep your wrist from breaking as mentioned before.
Wrist break causes the tip of the rod to drop lower than the shoulder and the trajectory of the flies becomes downward, with the potential for them to hit rocks etc behind.

blueduds 08-15-2011 03:46 PM

Re: Am I doing something WRONG?
thank you for the answers. however, those rocks behind me were going up hill so it wasn't neccessarily from my wrist breaking. But this is good advice, so thank you.

Anyways have any ideas if I was not casting right from the first questions?


kglissmeyer1 08-15-2011 04:29 PM

Re: Am I doing something WRONG?
It appears to me to be the old "Buggy Whip" cast. I'm not sure how long you've been fly fishing, but this is a common occurrence with relative beginners due to no being quite patient enough yet to allow the backcast to stretch out before proceeding with the forward cast. And, yes, breaking of the wrists does come into play, either that or using too much arm and dropping the cast front and back. Both of these will cause the line to essentially act like a buggy whip, especially when the caster speeds up the stroke in order to compensate for the line drooping and dropping; finally the fly hits the end of the leader and a sharp "crack" or "Pop" will sound which results in spray over the water on the forward cast and snapping the fly off of the tippet during the backcast, without hitting any object, simple physics.

Take some time to practice casting over the water with a fly attached with the hook point removed, or dry cast over grass. Power the front and forward casts as needed to keep the fly in the air, but tuck in your elbow to keep from allowing too much arm, and/or try a three-point grip with your forefinger on top of the cork in order to keep from allowing too much break from your wrists. Also, concentrate on stopping your casting stroke closer to 11 and 1 on the casting clock, allowing the line to stretch out before continuing the stroke. Keep power in your strokes, just don't take them down so far, this is fairly easy if you can remember to keep your hand traveling on a level plane with the ground during the stroke rather than down-up-down. The key is allowing the line to straighten before continuing with the next stroke. Even turn your head and watch your backcast in order to time it and allow it to straighten. Use a small amount of line at first and then lengthen the cast by feeding line into it. Soon you'll be laying out those long velvety casts that will be the envy of all who see you.

Hope this helps. Now, if you can just help figure out the right fly for those super smart browns on my favorite spring creek, we'll be even. :D


peregrines 08-15-2011 04:32 PM

Re: Am I doing something WRONG?
Blueduds first-- welcome to the forum, glad you found us.

You got good answers from the guys-- the longer the cast the longer the arm motion often needs to be to be to carry line in the air-- at 30 feet though, you should be able to slow down a bit and take a little off your cast as Okuma suggests-- using just your forearm with elbow at your side, hard stops at 10 and 2 o'clock, and relying on an easy, smooth stroke and the flex of the rod rather than trying to muscle it too much. Kelly also gave you excellent casting advice.

If your fly dings a rock on your backcast it's very easy to break off the point of the hook-- it happens a lot in some of the areas I fish-- and it's been the cause of a few lost fish-- it's a good practice to check your hook points every so often if you fish around rocks for a broken hook or a rolled point (usually caused by retrieving your hook through rock areas) especially if you feel like you're getting hits but not hooking up..

Remember the fly is traveling very fast-- that whip crack sound you might hear if you start your forward cast too soon ( without waiting for the fly line to straighten out on your backcast) is actually a sonic boom caused as the end of the fly line whips around and changes direction, so it's very easy to break a point even though the fly is so light in weight.

Again welcome to the forum-- keep asking questions if you have them-- there are a lot of great folks on the forum that can help get you started.

blueduds 08-15-2011 06:31 PM

Re: Am I doing something WRONG?
wow thanks for all of the great information, you guys are great.

I quess i just need to keep practicing and maybe get with someone who can watch me in person.

peregrines 08-16-2011 04:18 PM

Re: Am I doing something WRONG?
Blueduds where abouts are you?

If you're blessed to be in an area that still has a local fly shop, it can be a great resource-- many will have free fly fishing seminars, casting demos or offer casting lessons for a few bucks-- and some might be willing to take you out back for a few pointers on casting for free.

And another great source of info and a big help to get off to a good start is to consider joining a local fly fishing club affiliated with the Federation of Fly Fishers or a local Trout Unlimited Chapter. A lot of these groups have programs to teach casting, fly tying classes, fishing skills, group outings to local waters and other activities in addition to informative monthly meetings-- and it's a great way to meet some new fishing buddies. It's a great way to accelerate the learning curve.

You can do a search for FFF affiliated clubs to see if any are near you:
Locate a Club

and for TU chapters: Council/Chapter Contacts | Trout Unlimited - Conserving coldwater fisheries

There are also some decent youtube videos out thereon fly casting-- here's one from Lefty Kreh that might help with some tips:

blueduds 08-17-2011 02:54 PM

Re: Am I doing something WRONG?
Wow thanks, I didn't know about the elbow thing until now. Maybe that is why my shoulder was hurting as well. Anyways thanks everyone for helping me out, you guys are great.:D

---------- Post added at 02:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:48 PM ----------

I was also going to ask about a couple other things that I noticed.

When I was fishing and tying on different flies, my leader line right before the fly would become curvy, or not straight and clean. This looked bad in the water and may of spooked some browns. My question is is this bad? And if so what could be the cause of this?

I was also wondering when should you start adding tippet to your leader? Should it be before the teethered part is gone or before?


kglissmeyer1 08-17-2011 03:53 PM

Re: Am I doing something WRONG?
Great questions! This is how we learn and I commend you for pursuing the answers to questions you have.

A couple of questions with fairly simple answers.

Quote: "When I was fishing and tying on different flies, my leader line right before the fly would become curvy, or not straight and clean. This looked bad in the water and may of spooked some browns. My question is is this bad? And if so what could be the cause of this?"

Short answer, yes, it is bad. The "curly cues" are caused usually by tightening down your tippet knot too fast without proper lubrication. As the knot constricts it generates a tremendous amount of heat which in turn causes damage to the material and weakens the knot. If you remember how you lost flies while casting? If your tippet knots were tied as you just described then the "buggy whip" didn't require much force to pop those flies off. Also, when hooking and playing a fish, with the tippet damaged you have greatly reduced the tensile breaking point of the line and most fish hooked under those circumstances will usually break off, taking the fly with them.

Whenever I tie a knot to attach my fly I will always take the knot to my mouth to add a little saliva as lubrication. If you're concerned with water-borne bugs, then wet your fingers and slather the knot with the water or just dip the fly and knot in the water just prior to cinching it down tight. Don't do it too fast, just make a fluid motion to cinch it up.

Quote: "I was also wondering when should you start adding tippet to your leader?"

This is almost sacred ground for some, but here is a quick and easy solution that I use. When buying your new tapered leaders, buy ones designed for the type of fishing you are doing, trout fishing in your case. Then make sure to buy leaders that end in 2x or 3x. Tie a Perfection Loop in the end of the tippet (Orvis_Knots) . Then, take an 8 to 12-inch piece of tippet material in either 4x or 5x and tie another Perfection Loop in this material, then attach the tippet to the leader using the two loops in a loop-to-loop connection. If dry fly fishing start with 4x and add another piece of 5x to the 4x for a finer tippet for smaller flies. For nymphing, and, if using split shot to get your nymphs down, then you can attach those above the loop-to-loop connection (learn how to remove them or use removable split shot to start with). When you have fished enough and changed flies several times to where the tippet section is around 6-inches or shorter, just remove that section and discard (make sure you save the discarded material for later disposal and not drop it in the river) now you can re-tie a new section as described above. In most cases you then should be able to use a regular nylon tapered leader for a minimum of a half-season if not for the entire season without the need to keep adding tippet to a diminishing leader butt.

That's how I've done it and it seems to work, yet I know there are many opinions on this one, so pay attention and choose the one that makes the most sense to you.


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