I am on the verge of quitting

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kevind62

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First off, I'm no expert by any means. Don't get discouraged. The biggest failure most people have when trying to learn a new physical activity is technique. Very important rule of thumb here. We are NOT all created equal!!! I'm an avid archer and have shot competetive for years and been an instructor. I also shoot hand guns. The first thing I teach is "don't try to shoot like me". My "style" might not fit your mechanics. You can start with my style and see if it works for you. If not, then lets just concentrate on what we are trying to accomplish in the technique. Give you an example: Many many moons ago when I was young I had a friend. We played baseball together. He was a pitcher. (I was the talented guy out in right field. You know the spot. Where no one ever hits the ball?). Anyway, this kid had an arm. He was tall and lanky and could smoke a fastball for someone his age. We had an "instructor" come in to help him. He had a pretty decent curve ball too. But back in those days, a "side arm" was WRONG. This guy tried and tried to teach him to throw an overhand curve. To no avail. He finally decided to just use the "technique" and fit it to his side arm style. In the end he was throwing curve balls that would make you run for your life and then look like a fool when it went over the plate for a strike.

In a nutshell, make some video footage of your cast when practicing. Figure out what you're trying to make the loop look like. Use the technique you learned and adapt it to your body mechanics. If you're unconfortable and it's painful to you now you're doing something wrong for your particular physical atributes.

I haven't read through all this thread so this next statement may have already been covered, but the puddling sounds like your acceleration is off. If you're escellerating to quick or not enough and not following through this will likely be the cause of this. That's why trying to video your casting is important. You can see for yourself what you're doing wrong. I did this with both my kids with golf. When you can see first hand your mistakes you can overcome them a lot quicker. Someone can explain it to you all day long and it may not click in your head for week, months, or longer. Until you "see" it it's hard to visualize it.

Good luck!


I been at this for about two years sorta. Last year I fished only about 3x due to family issues. This year I was hell bent on getting better so I took a private 3 hour casting lesson. We spent much of the time on the roll cast.
I have been practicing in my yard now for a week and yesterday I went out to the river.
It was a disaster. I just can't seem to cast worth a damn. In my yard roll casting seems challenging, but I kept working at it and it seems like I am starting to get it to unroll, though 90% of the time it still puddles in parts. The movements of my arm that he taught me to make seem unnatural and uncomfortable and my shoulder usually hurts about 30 mins later.
On the river things went downhill FAST. first I couldn't roll cast. It was like the water was an anchor that would not let go of the fly line. If I could get a roll off the fly itself would not straighten but instead would land off the the right.
My overhead casts were just as bad. I would pull the line out of the water only to have it snap back and tangle all over my pole.
When I finally slowed down enough to get the line to fly well and get a nice loop I would either hit it too hard so the fly would bounce at the end or too soft so the line wouldn't straighten.
I finally decided to try calmer water and I found that I could overhead cast okay, but I couldn't lift the fly out of the water with the roll cast. The line would roll out and then it was like the fly was anchored under the surface and it would just die there.

So I am pretty frustrated. I paid a lot for casting lessons and feel like I am doing no better. I am at the point I am wondering if this is something I can even do.

I could sure use some help.
 

hokiehunter07

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In a nutshell, make some video footage of your cast when practicing. Figure out what you're trying to make the loop look like. Use the technique you learned and adapt it to your body mechanics. If you're unconfortable and it's painful to you now you're doing something wrong for your particular physical atributes.
I know you didn't read through the whole thread but several posts ago he did post a video. He's got a great starting point for a newbie and a couple tweaks he'll be good to go. In my opinion his biggest problem is expecting super long accurate casts as a beginner.

Fly fishing is a crawl, walk, run type of thing. You've got to get some of the simple basics down and start catching a few fish. After a while you'll get to the point where you're more confident and can perform more technical casts and reach a little longer with your fly. Finally if you really want to challenge yourself you try for super long casts, fishing saltwater, new techniques (spey, etc.). A beginner should worry about getting the fly about 30-40 feet out with his cast.

The much more important thing he seems to need to work on is controlling his fly and line on the water. A 30' cast will put your fly in front of the fish. proper line control and presentation techniques are much more important to catching fish than casting distance.

Based on the video he can put his fly in position. Now he just needs to do better at presentation once the fly is on the water.

Hokie.
 

zarick

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Thanks for the advice. I will work on raising my tip on the backcast and I will try to work on my wrist. That has been a bit of a tough one for me for some reason.
I went to scout camp this week and fished off a dock their. Things went really well. I used a bead head nymph and the trout loved it. My roll cast worked really well. I caught quite a few large trout. It was exhilarating.
 

mirabelasunshine

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Things went really well. I used a bead head nymph and the trout loved it. My roll cast worked really well. I caught quite a few large trout. It was exhilarating.
^^ That there is the post I've been waiting for. Wonderful news!

Excelsior --
 

jacm0

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I am pretty new to fly fishing, so probably not the best to give advice. But for myself, roll casting was frustrating and hard until I started looking into spey. I have not actually tried spey yet, but watching videos on how spey casting works and reading about it significantly improved my roll casting. At least after that I went to the river and tried roll casting again, and was smoothly casting pretty far.
 
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Ard

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I am pretty new to fly fishing, so probably not the best to give advice. But for myself, roll casting was frustrating and hard until I started looking into spey. I have not actually tried spey yet, but watching videos on how spey casting works and reading about it significantly improved my roll casting. At least after that I went to the river and tried roll casting again, and was smoothly casting pretty far.
Very good point you make here! Spey casts are essentially giant roll casts made with a long rod, specialized line and a sequence of moves governed by timing. In short a roll cast.
 

spameggsandrice

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I been at this for about two years sorta. Last year I fished only about 3x due to family issues. This year I was hell bent on getting better so I took a private 3 hour casting lesson. We spent much of the time on the roll cast.
I have been practicing in my yard now for a week and yesterday I went out to the river.
It was a disaster. I just can't seem to cast worth a damn. In my yard roll casting seems challenging, but I kept working at it and it seems like I am starting to get it to unroll, though 90% of the time it still puddles in parts. The movements of my arm that he taught me to make seem unnatural and uncomfortable and my shoulder usually hurts about 30 mins later.
On the river things went downhill FAST. first I couldn't roll cast. It was like the water was an anchor that would not let go of the fly line. If I could get a roll off the fly itself would not straighten but instead would land off the the right.
My overhead casts were just as bad. I would pull the line out of the water only to have it snap back and tangle all over my pole.
When I finally slowed down enough to get the line to fly well and get a nice loop I would either hit it too hard so the fly would bounce at the end or too soft so the line wouldn't straighten.
I finally decided to try calmer water and I found that I could overhead cast okay, but I couldn't lift the fly out of the water with the roll cast. The line would roll out and then it was like the fly was anchored under the surface and it would just die there.

So I am pretty frustrated. I paid a lot for casting lessons and feel like I am doing no better. I am at the point I am wondering if this is something I can even do.

I could sure use some help.
I was in the same boat as you when I first started. I was fortunate to have an Orvis store open up in my city and took advantage of ALL the free classes that they had to offer. I even took some of the classes twice. Coming from conventional fishing it was very hard to learn the casting technique. It's very similar to golf. No matter how hard you swing, it do not help with distance. It's a very technical and finesse style of fishing. Doing that helped me a lot. I also thumb through some of the youtube.com video from Red's Fly Shop which also helped a lot. Use all of your resources forums, youtube.com, local shops. I didn't have to pay for any lessons by doing it this way. Good luck and don't give up. Once you get the hang of it, you'll probably be like me and have a rod, reel, and flies in the car at all time.
 

ny yankee

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It's been my experience that when I up and quit something, later on I find myself wishing I had kept at it. There is always a reason why we aren't able to do something, we just need help in finding it. A computer forum wont help you much. You need to find someone who will. I'm not fond of paying for lessons but it can be difficult to find people who are willing to spend hours teaching someone on their own time. Most who are good at what they do don't mind showing someone else some tricks though. I had a lot of difficulty casting until I spoke to a man giving a demo at a sports show. He straightened me out in 5 minutes and Ive been good since. Good luck to you and DON"T QUIT!!
 

shadowwalker

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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. :)
Congratulations you've figured out far more than you may even be aware of.
 

bigspencer

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Hi Z, care for one very-late Moronic Peanut Gallery(MPG) opinion..y/n?:wavetowel...

Your wrist action looks fine, although a little more distinct STOP action(at both end of backcast and forward cast) will help....HOWEVER there are a couple of pretty glowing mini faults in your casts, that'll immediately improve them. Much has been previously mentioned....at times.
Your backcast could use a SLIGHT elevation in slope...seems like your wrist is getting cramped thru the initial stages of your forward casts...raising your elbow slightly(vary with your preferred length of line thrown) will use slightly more forearm, making it easier on your wrist.
The ~¾ delivery is quite susceptible to gravity and to air resistance.....it doesn't let the line flow straight back, behind your elbow....and makes you throw the forward cast 1) at the same angle...and 2) it produces a slightly "curveball"....across the body path of the rod = of the line(adding air resistance), with the loop opening up, robbing it of momentum and accuracy.
*Concentrate on throwing the forward cast more overhead, rather than at the ¾ angle. It'll help to start getting you to throw straight ahead of your
elbow...and now across your body.
When throwing the forward cast straight ahead of your elbow....and NOT across your body..the rod will travel in a narrower path, creating a much more straight back & forward path. When one forms a curveball sort of path with the rod..the rod only loads from the mid-section, robbing the cast of the power from loading the butt. You'll notice much more of a straight, narrow loop with momentum lasting out to the end. Hence it's much easier to throw cleaner loops with either overhead or side-arm casts. *Once you get a little bit of length of line out ...that slightly up-sloped backcast..once stopped, you need to concentrate on maintaining that height with your hand(rod)
thru the initial second of forward cast initiation...that keeps the line on top(thru the loop) from collapsing on the lower..ie creating the windknot, but I think you know that.
Once you get things working, in order to throw short(ie lower), practice incorporating some "tilt" with dropping the elbow after you've stopped(ie end of backcast) and
tilting the loop....just takes a little practice...but when you need a low backcast...the sidearm delivery helps.

Think everything will be much more efficient and easier....really just some small, but important, changes and your're good to go...
 

jfh245

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Hi Zarick,
A severe spinal cord problem led me to 7 major surgeries to get me walking and use of my arms. Fortunately, I can walk and talk but my right arm is rather useless. Rather than give up a sport I love, I switched to left hand casting and basically had to learn the cast all over. There is a great amount of good advice here, but the most important to me was to start with a shorter cast and progress longer as you develop technique and confidence. I learned that my hand and arm position was very important to creating a consistent result and really concentrated on my mechanics.
It's easy to get frustrated, but shorter casts with consistent form will produce positive results..................Never give up !!
 

silver creek

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Never heard of a bug Siene. Now I have to go make one.
You could build a sampling net to catch flying insects an drifting insects. I use two different sampling nets.


I explain how on to make a collapsing net in this Wisconsin TU newspaper article. The collapsing handle is a magnet from Harbor Freight. The article is on pg 8. There is also a second article I wrote on how to make a New Zealand strike indicator.

http://wicouncil.tu.org/sites/default/files/2017 January.pdf



You can see that the handle is only partially lengthen below. It goes up to 3 feet.

[I



Here's how to use a paint strainer to sample the drift for hatching insects. I carry this in my vest also.

Paint strainer sampling net
 
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myt1

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Or, you could just fish with Parachute Adams flies if you are dry fly fishing, and fish with beadhead flashback Pheasant Tail flies if you are nymphing.

Done.
 

silver creek

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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.
http://youtu.be/KqAnydmleSQ


You are a right handed caster BUT your right foot is slightly ahead of your left foot. This is the opposite of what it should be if you have to rotate to the right during your cast as you do. As others have noted, you can can stand with your feet at the same level or with your right foot back, but not with your left foot back. This is one reason you are turning your body to the right as you cast. With your stance, you limit your rod stroke to your right side and this forces you to turn your body to the right to get the stroke length you need for the distance you are casting.

Others have noted that if you examine where your line falls on the delivery, you will find that your line CURVES to the left. This is happening because the body turn makes the rod top go in an arc. The rod tip a viewed from above is NOT going in a straight line. It is tracing an arc convex to the right so at the stop, the rod tip is going from right to left and the curve will hook to the left. I call this a swinging cast because the rod swings out to the right side at the mid point of the rod stroke.

Essentially the way you stand is BLOCKING your arm motion. IF you had a standard elbow forward foundation cast, you would not bing your arm very far back. That is one reason why you have your arm canted to the right causing a swinging cast.

Tim Rajeff explains this on this video. Start watching at 7 min 30 sec in this video.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMm2xBurbX0


Your roll cast also is NOT a standard roll cast. A standard roll cast is performed with the rod brought back upright, the line comes back and stops vertically, which forms the D loop. Then the forward cast is made with the the D loop stopped and anchored on the water/grass. You bring the rod to the side and extend the rod BEHIND you looping the line around without a stop. The rod NEVER stops. Since line is sliding back when you go forward, and so you are loading the rod both against the rearward momentum of the line and the larger D loop.

This cast would NEVER work if your back was agains an obstruction which is the purpose of a roll cast. If you have any doubt, go back to that ladder lying against the fence and try roll casting with your back to that fence, and cast toward the camera.

You are also casting tailing loops both on your regular casts and on your “roll casts”. The section of the fly line that connects the rod tip to the casting loop is called the rod leg of the cast. The section of the fly line that connects the fly to the casting loop is called the rod leg of the cast. A tailing loop is when the rod leg and rod leg cross each other.

The fly loop is BELOW the rod leg and the fly loop crosses the rod leg both on your regular casts and on your roll casts. The tailing loops are really severe on your roll casts. You really “punch the rod early in your roll casts. Notice the level of your rod tip at the stop and where the leader passes by the rod tip. The leader and fly line end is BELOW the rod tip, therefore, if the rod tip and fly line were in the same plane, the fly line would hit the rod tip. They do not hit because you have the rod canted and fly line and rod are in different casting planes. I think this is another reason why you are canting the rod on your casting motion.

You have a wide loop size. It is difficult to get a tailing loop with a wide loop since the rod leg and fly leg are widely separated at the loop. However, in your case, I think that is one reason you have a tailing loop. The wide loop is inefficient and you are shocking the rod early in the cast to in an attempt to get more line velocity to overcome the wild loop. You would not need that amount of rod acceleration or rod stoke if you were able to cast a narrow loop.

It is hard to see the timing or your casts because the video does not include the entire fly line. I suspect there is forward rod creep on your forward cast but I cannot be certain.

I would first change your stance. I suggest you put the right foot back. This will allow you lengthen the rod stroke with no or less body turn during the casting stroke.

I strongly suggest you cast with with less line out and concentrate on practicing a sound overhead casting stroke. It will be more accurate. Instead of distance, concentrate on loop control and try to make tight loops. As your loops get tighter, you can use a less power, smoother acceleration, and a shorter rod stroke. ONLY when you can make good tight loops wihout tailing loops should you work for longer casts.

Your attempts to cast longer without first having sound casting fundamentals is really compounding your casting errors. If I were you, I would learn the basic foundation cast, but that would mean learning a new casting stroke.

Jason Borger (The Shadow Caster Standin for Brad Pitt n the River Runs Through It) illustrates the stops points in the Basic Foundation Cast:





Jason Borger Video Basic Foundation Cast:

http://vimeo.com/132726013

The illustration below demonstrates the “stroke path” of the Basic Foundation Cast. It is about a 45 degree line connecting the vertical to the horizontal. The stop point for the backcast is at “A” and the for the forward cast is at “B”. You can place the diagram on a wall with your casting hand along the diagram to practice the stop points. Note that as your casting hand travels along the stroke point, your elbow goes up and down like an old fashioned water pump hand. as the elbow joint flexes and extends.




As proof a proper elbow forward compact rod stroke can cast as long as you need check this slow motion basic foundation cast by Chris Korich. Chris Korich is renowned as a National & World Casting Champion, the 2010 Orvis National Casting Champion (Men's Tournament Division), a runner-up in "Fly Fishing Masters" team competition, and the only man to beat Steve Rajeff for the ACA National Grand All Around Champion crown in 40 years. He is also considered by many to be one of the best casting analysts, coaches and instructors in North America.

The power for the cast comes from the powerful shoulder joint as it rotates and the elbow joint as it opens and closes. These two joints provide the power for the wrist controls the fine motion to control the casting loop size at the rod stop.

Note that even with this compact stroke, during the cast, the rod bends down to the handle which shows the power that can be generated by this simple compact rod stroke.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfKpOJQDu9I


Note that Chris' elbow goes up and down, and his shoulder rotation to power the cast. Note the wrist flick at the stop to control the loop size. Now go back and look closely at the two stop positions of Jason Borger's photos above. Note the change in wrist position at the forward stop. Jason has flicked the wrist forward to control loop formation.


You can check out these posts:

http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/f...ly-fishing-need-casing-advice.html#post772097

There are also many good threads on casting. Here are a few you can start with:

http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/forums/fly-rods/329474-casting-style-action-preference.html

http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/f...what-advantages-disadvantages.html#post601486

http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/f...d-thinking-about-giving-up-fly-fishing-3.html

http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/forums/fly-cast/299291-top-3-bettering-your-cast.html

http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/f...tical-casting-vs-non-vertical.html#post548833

http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/f...lff-fly-casting-video-winston.html#post622280
 

jonbo

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My advice is go out to a local river/lake and fish. You should ease the frustration just having an opportunity to catch fish. See if you can get by with only roll casts. Casting can be a little like golf, in that if you start to overanalyze you will go crazy (and probably perform worse). Maybe think about it a little less and try to enjoy yourself.
This reminds me of a kind of strange repeated experience I have. I'm basically a mediocre caster. I don't ever practice and cast just well enough to get by. I took a lesson once that didn't particularly sink in. Sometimes when I'm doing well with my streamer rod I can sling it about 50 feet for a little while. I'm usually not too accurate.

The times I'm actually ok casting (at least a lot better than usual) is when I'm really concentrating on the fish and not thinking about my casting at all. What's really odd is I pretty much suck at roll casting. I just have a rough technique. But in those occasional Zen moments when there's active fish and I really want my fly to spend time in the zone, I'll suddenly realize, "Hey! I just roll casted about 10 times perfectly well!" What's happened is I didn't want to take time for a backcast, so, in basically one motion I lifted the rod tip, dropped a loop behind me and rolled that loop right back out, more or less effortlessly and with decent precision. Then I'm like, "Hey I can roll cast! Hey I can roll cast!" Then, of course, I can't do it anymore, or at least not the way I was doing it before I noticed myself. Wierd. It's happened several times.
 

flytie09

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I suggest finding a local TU chapter, a buddy on here, or ask a random fly angler on the water to give you some tips. I can tell you there are guys out there more than willing to lend a hand to a struggling angler with the right attitude.

It's not an easy sport. I put in hours and hours and hours before I could consider myself a moderately skilled angler. Completely self taught. Not an easy way to learn and I've locked into some bad habits as a result I'm sure...

Stick with it... it's worth it.

ft09
 

JDR

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I have been trying to learn this sport for three years. I never fished anything until I retired. One of the things that struck me when I started reading NAFFF was the number of comments about fly fishing being a lifetime learning process. I have determined that statement to be correct. At times I felt overwhelmed, but I made a decision to not give up and to learn as much as I can, as long as I can. I can't tell you the last time I caught a fish that wasn't waiting for me at the grocery store. But, I love being on a trout stream, I am learning about a universe I was completely ignorant of, I am getting better with all of my skills, and, I made a promise to myself that I don't want to break. Looking back (not too hard) I think one of best decisions I stumbled into was joining TU. I have also learned a tremendous amount, and have been very generously helped by the members here at NAFFF. Like everyone else, what I am saying: work at learning fly fishing, practice on the water, get help wherever you can find it, commit yourself to the task, and things will get better.
 

lanyard

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Looking back (not too hard) I think one of best decisions I stumbled into was joining TU.
I will second that...being in about the same position, the mentoring I have sought and received has been invaluable. This is something you cannot do on your own.
 
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