I am on the verge of quitting

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looper34

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With all the trees, grass, rocks, etc, etc, that are on the river bank, learning the roll cast is a necessity in my book. I once snagged on my lunch bag that was 40' behind me, no joke.
For the original poster, it takes some practice to get comfortable at it but it's doable. Relax, enjoy the sights and keep at it and it'll come.
 

old timer

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Certified instructor or not. You have some bad habits the instructor should have corrected. I'd look around for another instructor that will give you a lesson on the water.

You could possibly get some help from the members here if you'd give your location.
 

goby

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Interesting take. I personally rarely do anything but roll cast when trout fishing. The only time I do a full cast is to dry my fly.
I don't know that I've ever roll cast while trout fishing, unless there is something behind me.

When dry fly fishing I'm almost always doing a reach cast or curve cast or serpentine cast or slack line pile cast. The reach cast is definitely my favorite. I don't think, at least for me, that a roll cast is as accurate, and since I'm close to the fish, I need to get the perfect cast, without drag and without spooking the fish, and within 2-3 inches of my target. Not sure how to do that with a roll cast. I would think there would be drag immediately. And if I have a nymph, I find a tuck cast gets my nymph done deep faster.
 

bigspencer

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Hi Zarick...
Hey I'm joining in late and I haven't read pages 2-4 so pardon my lack of info.
Once you have some spending $$ and get some short-to-medium length casts happenning, grab another rod and put the Cortland on the selling block. SOME inexpensive rods really do fail in performance. The extremes(both stiffest and the spaghetti noodles) are often not very forgiving.
Don't know where you are but in getting your technique under control, as well as slack line on the water under control, start with a short line out beyond the rodtip(~3') and slowly lengthen to ~15'...and you want to concentrate on getting the rod to work for you, so stick with those lengths. Slow down your motions(to analyze), keep your wrist kinda firm and aligned with your forearm = don't BREAK your wrist, but don't concentrate on making it as stiff as in tightening the ligaments in it..... and make the butt and mid sections(lower 50% of the rod's length) do all the work...the upper half of the rod simply helps with accuracy.
Yeah, roll casts can be left for later and are impossible to do on grass.
Get a reel that's as close to your rod's weight, in ounces...so that it doesn't overload the road's balance. A heavy reel will turn a light rod into a speghetti noodle = what often happens with the "outfits" that are sold.
Trout aren't impressed by how far you can cast, just by how natural the float of the fly is...

Rambling done...
 

Frank Whiton

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Hi zarick,

I am glad to see you are feeling better about casting with all this good help.

In regards to the roll cast. I used it a lot. When fishing with a wet tip line I use to use an abbreviated roll cast to pick up the line for a cast. I would get the line moving back to me and then roll cast the line into the air, then one back cast and deliver. Quick and a good way to pick up a sunken line and fly. You just can't pick up a long line that way.

For you I suggest you use a shorter leader and a fairly fast action rod. If you look at the Carl McNeil video you will see he is not using a parabolic rod. It is all in the tip. Practice with a shot line out until you get the feel of the cast. Maybe 20 feet or so. Just experiment until you find a length that you can control and get results. Practice on water till you have the mechanics down. It will be easier to learn. You can practice the roll cast pickup cast I was describing on the grass. Remember that you have to have the fly moving before you form your D loop or the roll cast will collapse on its self. You need to develop the D loop behind your casting shoulder.

Frank
 

slowdown

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Zarick

First, I read through all the replies and your posts - interesting to get everyone's perspective.

I haven't seen you cast nor do I know the type of water you are fishing so it is very hard to understand the reasons the instructor told you to do the different things he did.

As you are learning, Less is more. Don't get crazy about huge casts and big loops. Worry instead about casting a comfortable distance and really learning the water. If your real mission is to catch a bunch of fish then learning to read the water, find fish, and present well is the main game. I've seen some pretty ugly casts catch some dang fine fish!

Frankly after 40 years of this I still have a dang painful backloop. But I make up with it with a short memory and puritan ethic of giving it another shot.

Good luck!
 

zarick

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Hi guys.
Back again.
So I have gotten myself out on the water several times a week. I live close to the clackamas river in Oregon.
First off roll casting is getting easier, though still a tad messy.
I have found that one my fly lines sinks way to quick and that makes it hard to roll so I have to pull it most of the way out of the water, then lay it back on the water to roll it out. The second is that if I stay around 30 to 40' or less I can roll out okay.
Yesterday I stood on some rocks with trees and bushes less than 5' behind me and I rolled out about 25' no issue.
I also found that if my fly is too heavy I can pull the whole line out but the fly will hang under. So sometimes my roll cast becomes 3 rolls until that fly comes out of the water.
I have not however had even a single nibble. I have no idea what fly to use. I have used a thingamabobber for an indicator, but never seen it even sorta move.
I have also found regardless of casting puttting my line straight out seems to be a challenge. As soon as it hits the water it seems like I have lots of bonus line out. So I am default slack lining. :)

My biggest frustration is still tangles. Yesterday my line went crazy around my thingamabobber and it took my 5 minutes to untangle. I swear fly lines defy physics.
I am trying really hard to just relax. Just proper hand motions and only go out about 30'. The shorter line really helps. I can overhead that without much thought.
wind knots still get me from time to time. UG.
Oh.. and regardless of how clean the area looks my fly line will always find the one twig or blade of grass that is somehow made of iron.
 

Bigfly

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Sounds normal so far........
This is the learning curve.
You will come up with a fix for each of those problems, and then begin to have fun.
One thing most guys that start fishing dries have to unlearn, is throwing tight loops.
With a dry we tend to aim at the water....raise your aim point...and things will go better.
Secondly, there are no wind knots....just soft/low backcasts.
Sharp stops on the cast is required.
Keep your elbow down, and don't extend your arm out.
If you do both these together, and drop your rod tip, you get about half the energy stored in the rod. Guys try to muscle it.....use the force instead.
These are the usual problems we all have to work out.....
Your solution for the sinking line is correct, roll-up casts are very useful...
Forget the overhand cast, make it a memory of the time you had no choice......
Since I know there is a shop near the Clack, there is someone around there who can hand hold through this sticking point.
If you don't get help, you will spend time unlearning later. Or quit......
Might as well get it right the first time.
And the line obviously can't defy physics.....if we don't put anything funny into the cast....nothing funny comes out.
I have little patience for guys that just go flail (self teach) for a few years .......
I know this is a guy thing, but just say no to flailing.......
Become a player......get some help. And make a bug seine so you KNOW what bugs are there! This isn't about guessing...or luck.
If you don't give up, and you get help, I think you will continue to fish.....
DGU.......don't give up.
Of course.....you can always take up croquet......

Jim
 
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zarick

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Never heard of a bug Siene. Now I have to go make one.
I did get some help. I took a class for 3 hours. Hence my frustrations come from not being able to quite do what he taught.

I got the elbow thing down as one of my friends who fly fishes taught me early on to put my wallet between my elbow and body and try not to drop it.

Why forget the overhand?
I have raised my cast to not bang the water most of the time.
I have tried to cast out and let the fly sorta land on the water. I am not always successful. This is part of why I have so much slack line.

One thing I really struggle with is not putting too much power right out. The smooth acceleration to a crisp stop for some reason feels like a super challenge.

I have been trying to feel the rod.. if that makes sense. feel what it is doing and using it's movement to throw the line. But sometimes when I am on the water.. I lose all skill and just start lobbing. :)
 

Bigfly

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The overhand is mostly for throwing dries up close......I rarely use it anymore...even on a short stick.
I have come to believe, the rollcast is a more accurate cast if you only use one hand. Get rid of that "dry fly hand" and lock off on the corks.
A fixed amount of line means you can throw darts under that bush.........repeatedly, without putting the fly IN the bush.
We traditionally Snap-T, Rollcast, or Waterload with a switch/spey.
Not that you can't do overhand......we just don't, because these other casts work better. Like when there is a high bank or bushes behind you. Which is mostly the case.
Why just lose flies in a bush, farther from the water with an overhand?
A bug seine is a 2ft swatch of olive mosquito netting duct taped to a couple of sticks.
This a a $2.00 investment. that's worth a fortune..........some guys just turn over rocks, but this isn't enough info for me.
I check the bubble lines for hatching/emerging bugs.
That would be the "special", then do a disturbed seine and you get the rest of the aquatic menu. Keep an eye out for terrestrials too.
Then go buy a specimen vial to put the bugs in after you catch them. 90% rubbing alc. will keep them, till you can swing by the shop to buy some flies that come close.
That's it.......
Next you have to get a drift......that will take the longest time to master....and is more important than the cast....to actually catching fish.
I'd rather have a great drift and an OK cast.

As far as the cast.....
I tell folks to imagine a hitching rail in front of you.....
just below shoulder level, and stop the rod before you hit it.......wouldn't want to bruise our knuckles...
Just remember, the harder you try, the harder it is.
Relax.......
Feeling the rod is good.
I have my students hold the rod, then I hold my hand on theirs and cast with them along for the ride, with their eyes closed to get it deep in their muscles/brain.
Figure out what kind of learner you are; a watcher, a doer, a listener, or whatever....
Then get that instruction. If you video tape the cast some of us might be able to help.....
For what it's worth......I can say frustration isn't conducive to learning......so always end on a good note when possible..
I'd rather stop early on a good cast/drift, than fail till the dark sets in.

Jim
 
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Ard

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You seem determined and if you are you'll end up being a long time fly fisher. This wasn't easy for me either but I stayed in it until I got it. The experiences I've had because of this hobby are too numerous to detail. Traveling, photography, people, animals, bugs, it has been my life for going on 50 years now.
 

cab

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My biggest frustration is still tangles. Yesterday my line went crazy around my thingamabobber and it took my 5 minutes to untangle. I swear fly lines defy physics.
Ah, yes, get used to these. You never really outgrow them. I disagree with Bigfly, there are such things as wind knots, IMO. It can't be me! It would be a worthwhile government study to find out how inna heck some of that happens, IMO. Take a good look at the snarl, it can be faster to just clip and re-tie. A buncha kinks in your leader and tippet can make things worse, as well. Pays to freshen up once in a while.

Stick with it, bud. You're making memories and stories.

HTH,
CAB
 

zarick

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Disclaimer. My son did the taping. We have a camera and that is it so it doesn't come out very well and he didn't capture my line much at all. However you can see my form (not talking about the fat guy.. talking about the arm).
It sure looks wrong in the video. But doesn't feel like I am going back near as far.

Also.. is my wrist moving way too much? I dunno.
UG.

https://youtu.be/KqAnydmleSQ
 

fredaevans

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Lady who cleans my home: 'I see you fish, I like to fish, will you take me fishing?' 74, single for 14-15 years, she in her late 50's early 60's... THINK.

"Ok but the Motor home needs a good cleaning."

This could get 'complicated.' Actually a total delight; Yellow Lab approved Lady. High marks for that; Mz. Doggie-Dog knows these thing. :wiggle:

fae
 

hokiehunter07

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Disclaimer. My son did the taping. We have a camera and that is it so it doesn't come out very well and he didn't capture my line much at all. However you can see my form (not talking about the fat guy.. talking about the arm).
It sure looks wrong in the video. But doesn't feel like I am going back near as far.

Also.. is my wrist moving way too much? I dunno.
UG.

https://youtu.be/KqAnydmleSQ
You're breaking your wrist at the critical stop portion of your stroke. This kills the suddenness of the stop. Additionally it looks to me like you're going a little fast and with the more sidearm motion are moving your rod tip in an arc.

Sudden stops. Feel the loading. The goal is for the rod tip to move in a straight line. And side to side arc will sap energy from the cast.

I'd also open your stance a bit more especially while learning. Keep you're non casting foot ahead of your casting side foot and watch your back cast. See what your loop looks like when you feel the pull on the rod. If you have a loop still and begin your forward cast you're going to tangle and get "wind knots."

Lastly you've got a nice high stop on the back cast but while false casting you're allowing your stroke to end at 3 or 4 o'clock. You're in essence driving your line into the ground. Your stop should be the same front or back. When allowing the fly to land you stop higher and allow the line to unfurl down. Don't try to drive the line.
Sent from my LGUS992 using Tapatalk
 

Bigfly

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Cab...OK, if it's windy.....it is possible to get a wind knot.....
Although, it's windy here a lot, and I seem to have few....

Z, those aren't the worst casts I've seen.
When you watch the video, notice the fly end of the line passing below the loop.
That's where the knots come from.
Throw the fly to a point behind you but above level.
I'm saying to raise the point behind you, that you are backcasting too.
Can't have a good front cast without a good backcast.

Sharp stops at ten and two oclock.
The line should straighten out fully, before starting the next stroke.
You'll get it...
Go find some water......casting is for fish.....

Jim
 

tcorfey

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I would suggest that you want your feet shoulder width apart and the right foot slightly in front of the left foot.

I would recommend that stance so you raise your arm rather than pivoting your body and casting side arm. I have seen people make the pivot and sidearm cast work for them and I occasionally will make a sidearm cast myself but, I do not think it is the best choice for learning.

Think of the fly rod as a hammer hitting a nail. With a hammer if you are hitting a nail in to the wall in front of you then you would not pivot your body and swing the hammer off to the side. Instead your forearm comes up & elbow raises slightly at the end of the stroke then stops. After the stop you then accelerate straight back down and stop. With the fly rod remember to wait for the line after the stop before switching directions. Also to be efficient when hammering a nail you would not raise your elbow to high nor would you reach behind your head nor would you have a floppy wrist nor even break your wrist very much.

Try to think hammer time!
 

mirabelasunshine

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Sure, a tweak here and a tweak there, your casting can get better and whose can't? BUT -- there's still the thing about fishing, as in, you need to get on some bitey fish who will eat what you're selling. Your fly shop ought to be able to help you with that.

What you want is a pond full of stunted, overcrowded largemouth bass maybe, or a million bluegills, and maybe a black beadhead wooly bugger in a size 8 or 10. Seriously -- something to give you some real-life feedback that yes, you can in fact get your fly in front of fish, and yes, they will in fact eat it, and no, your technique doesn't have to be 110% perfect to make that happen. That way your confidence grows along with your skills in line management, strike detection, hook setting, and so on. And then, when whatever sort of wily trophy salmonid actually inhabits the Clackamas does take, you'll know what you need to do to deal with him.

The casting in that video, whatever its faults, is sufficient to get a fly in front of anything from bluegills to brook trout to salmon to stripers.
 

ia_trouter

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The casting in that video, whatever its faults, is sufficient to get a fly in front of anything from bluegills to brook trout to salmon to stripers.
I agree. My casting looked like that for about a year. I caught 100 fish while I was figuring it out. The soft stops are what's killing him and that's a pretty easy fix. The stroke needs shortened but some of those details can be refined as he proceeds on this journey. The brush congested water most of us fish cause modifications anyway. Get that rod to apply some line speed and he can work through the rest as he goes. He was wise to post some video. Few of us here have the courage to do that.
 
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