Casting help

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by R00k, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. Peyton00 Active Member

    Posts: 710
    Puyallup, Wa.
    Ratings: +290 / 0
    I thought u were just on here for post counts. When i read your comments in threads, i think, yep , just adding to his post count. ;)
  2. Krusty Active Member

    Posts: 908
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +600 / 0
    I've been casting a fly for over five decades, and I still occasionally develop 'wind knots' when I'm pushing to cast to a more distant target...precisely for the reasons noted above. Of course, it always happens when I'm just out of comfortable casting range of a big trout slurping bugs at his feeding station.

    Flycasting is a bit like golf; you will eventually become pretty proficient if you work at it, have somebody knowledgeable enough to watch you, and critique your technique....but like golf, you'll sometimes manage a 'Tiger Woods' cast, and wonder how the hell you managed to pull that one off.
    R00k and Old Man like this.
  3. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,602
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,653 / 0
    This is the only way I can talk to people. I live in a house with only women. I go nuts talking to myself.

    I almost went fishing yesterday, But the wind was blowing so damn hard I was afraid I was going to end up with a bunch of wind knots.
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  4. Jim Paget Member

    Posts: 97
    Ratings: +37 / 0
    I am a big believer in having someone watch/coach me when I am having a problem with any coordination-type activity. Last summer I had a less than sterling day casting on the Yakima. The next morning a casting instructor who was in our group took a couple of us out on the lawn and straightened out problems that each of us were having.

    It is really easy to think that one is doing something right just because it feels comfortable.
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  5. jasmillo Member

    Posts: 424
    Ratings: +7 / 0
    As many above have stated; practice, practice, practice. Having never had a lesson, I cannot tell you if they are helpful or not. That being said, I think enough people have posted here that they are, so if you have the means, go for it. I am sure it speeds up the learning curve a bit. If not, get on the water and just start flinging. It will be messy at first, you will get knots, you will get tangles, you will get files caught on limbs and grass and rocks and etc, etc, etc. However, eventually it will just start to happen and you will develop a feel and that is what you need. A rhythm and touch that happens and feels natural. Like riding a bike; you had to learn at some point but as an adult, it feels as natural as walking for most of us. I myself am learning Spey casting. After many years flyfishing, a month ago I moved back to the Seattle area after living on the east coast, MT, ID, and most recently CO. I had lived here for a short time from 2007-2009 but did not really chase steelhead. Anyway, now I am back and catching a steelhead on a swung fly is priority número uno. To date, I have been out to the Hoh river 3 times in search of my first steelhead. Even though the water was low and reports were horrible, I went not necessarily to catch a fish but to learn how to spey cast the switch rod I bought. First time out horrible (but hooked up!), second time pretty horrible (nothing!)), third time pretty horrible (nothing again!) but signs of progress. Point being, I am a very good single handed caster from and accuracy and distance standpoint and a terrible Spey caster to date. I will fix that by getting on the water whenever I have time and practicing and getting a feel for my rod (sore elbow be damned!). At some point, it will just click and feel natural. Get out on the water and start casting. You will likely be the worst caster in sight the first few times out but don't be embarrassed. We all were at some point. Plus, more than likely you'll get free tips from fly guys around you. I struck up a conversation with a guy on the Hoh who gave me a number of great tips after I told him I was new to Spey casting. We are a helpful bunch for the most part! So, cast, cast, cast! Eventually, it will all fall in place. Good luck!
  6. martyg Active Member

    Posts: 981
    The world at large
    Ratings: +74 / 0
    Practice won't help you become better at anything. Perfect practice will. Seek out a certified instructor. Chances are they can make some minor tweaks and cause radical improvement.

    Free advice is often as valuable as it is low in cost. A few will have the technical ability, critical eye and means to break down tasks and assign drills to take you to the next level - most will not.
    R00k likes this.
  7. Peyton00 Active Member

    Posts: 710
    Puyallup, Wa.
    Ratings: +290 / 0
    Its like a golf swing, better to practice a good swing then to develop bad habits of a bad swing. Both get the ball into play, one usually ends up around par and the other with triple bogeys.
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  8. jasmillo Member

    Posts: 424
    Ratings: +7 / 0
    I disagree that practice is only useful when done after learning from a certified casting instructor. I have never had a lesson and I would put my casting abilities up against any everyday fly fisherman. Guides who fish everyday and professional casters, no. Any others, absolutely. Telling new folks that they have to get instruction from certified casting instructors in order to be successful just keeps new folks out of the sport. I am 100% self taught and a very productive fly fisherman. I cannot remember the last time I was skunked fishing for trout (steelhead are mother matter:)). All that being said, as I mentioned above, if you have the means get instruction. It will speed up your learning curve for sure. If not, just get out the water and practice. Experiment with what feels right and practice that. At the end of the day, the purpose of this sport is to catch fish. Without a casting lesson, you will eventually get there if you work on it enough. Either with instruction or not.
    Krusty and Mark Kraniger like this.
  9. martyg Active Member

    Posts: 981
    The world at large
    Ratings: +74 / 0
    I have no idea what your ability is or your experience. My statements come from decades as a ski instructor and a WW kayak instructor trainer educator. I started to go down the path of FFF certification, but don't agree with their teaching methodology.

    Basically, if you have never had instruction or been exposed to high level coaching and competition "You don't know what you don't know". Obtaining that level of knowledge doesn't necessarily have to be from someone with certification, but could also be from a competitive casting coach or a guide who knows how to teach - and being able to cast, being able to accurately assess what is going on with someone's movements, and being able to communicate and correct those movements with appropriate drills are all very different skills. In my direct experience if the person in question booked a couple of casting lessons and then moved on to perfect practice they would progress more in one year than three on their own. In boating and skiing - since those motions are so counter initiative the self-taught rarely reach beyond a low level intermediate ability.

    In my mind the goal is not to catch fish. If that is your goal then you have probably been fly fishing multiple years, and not multiple decades. In my mind the goal is to enjoy the environment and all that goes with it - including the rhythmical motion of casting and the satisfaction of how a loaded rod makes casting effortless. Given that I think that saving years trying to figure it out for one's self with a relatively modest investment in instruction is money well spent.
  10. jasmillo Member

    Posts: 424
    Ratings: +7 / 0
    I will say it one more time; getting instruction will certainly speed up the learning curve. Learn more in 1 year with instruction versus 3 on your own is a broad statement to make. It is all dependent on natural ability (yes, that comes into casting) and time spent casting. All things being equal, someone who receives instruction will pick it up quicker, agree 100%. However, instruction is not a requirement in order to become a good or even above average caster. Dou you get instruction on every hobby you pick up? Outside of the competititive sports I have played in my life, I have never gotten instruction in any of mine and I have a very a active lifestyle. To me, a big part of any hobby is figuring out how to do it.

    Regarding my flyfishing history- you are right, not multiple decades, coming up on two though. I have been fishing for multiple decades though (I am in my mid thirties). I too love the beauty of casting, getting in a rhythm and being in beautiful places. However, those things are not what gets me out of bed at 3 am on a Saturday morning. It is also not what drove me to fish all winter long in well below freezing temperature at altitude, every weekend, all winter in CO and even MT. The shot at catching good fish made me do those things. There are some beautiful sterile alpine lakes where you can get all the things you listed with no shot at catching fish. However, my guess is you would not venture out there just for the feeling of casting and solitude. In the end we are fishing, right.

    Anyway, my comments are not meant to be argumentative. My only point is get out and do it, as often as you can. If you can and want to pay for instruction, by all means do it! I am not against instruction at all. My only point is it can be learned on ones own if need be. Getting back to the point of this thread, you know how many wind knots I untangled when I first got started? Too many to count! Eventually I figured it out though. Did it take time, yeah. But to your point, all the time was spent in some o the most beautiful places in the country so it was well worth it!
    Parisalexander likes this.
  11. silvercreek Active Member

    Posts: 359
    Ratings: +207 / 0
    I tried to teach myself to fly cast and fly fish back in the 1970's. Admittedly, this was before the internet and the proliferation of YouTube videos and fly casting books. All I had available was a small pamphlet by Jim Green of Fenwick on how to fly cast and the best fly rod that Fenwick made and a matching scientific Angler reel and fly line.

    The short version is that I could not teach myself to cast from that pamplet. I put the fly rod and reel away and went back to spin fishing for trout.

    Fast forward 3 years to 1979 when I moved to Wausau, Wisconsin and signed myself and my wife up for a weekend Fenwick Fly Fishing Course about 150 miles away at Seven Pines Lodge. Seven Pines Lodge is where the TU film, The Way of a Trout was filmed. My instructor was Gary Borger.

    http://www.lrctu.org/movies/TheWayofaTrout/

    http://fishfliesandwater.com/2009/03/21/the-way-of-a-trout/

    What I didn't know was that Gary also lived in Wausau, where I had just moved to from Utah. Gary Borger at that time was not well known. It was before his videos, and before FFF casting certification which Gary helped set up.

    In that one weekend, which cost me more than the best Fenwick graphite HMG fly rod, I learned to cast and fly fish. It was worth every penny. I was fly casting in 30 minutes.

    Since then Gary and I have become best friends, and I have learned a lot more about fly casting.

    Not everyone gets a Gary Borger as an instructor, but I am convinced that everyone can benefit from PROPER instruction.
    R00k likes this.
  12. Mingo the Menehune stole my beer

    Posts: 2,628
    Happy Hour, WA
    Ratings: +373 / 1
    I thought you didn't like listening to drivel?
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  13. Krusty Active Member

    Posts: 908
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +600 / 0
    Jeez...it's supposed to be fun. Kinda reminds me of those poor souls who think their efforts on the golf course are really supposed to mean something. It's RECREATION, not rocket surgery. If I wanted to work at something....I'd be at WORK.

    Who am I to talk? Just an old fart with five decades of what I'm sure are bad casting habits..who still manages to catch a fish or two...enjoying many a day on the water, without the assistance, and scrutiny, of heavily acronymed and supercilious experts.
    R00k likes this.
  14. R00k Part time rookie

    Posts: 73
    Snohomish, Wa
    Ratings: +15 / 0
    Thank you!! I have had those same thoughts lately... That I just need to get on the water and "do it!"

    Ill get after it!

    Thanks guys!

    Mike
  15. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,719
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +659 / 5
    By chance, you wouldn't happen to be a veteran would you?
  16. R00k Part time rookie

    Posts: 73
    Snohomish, Wa
    Ratings: +15 / 0
    No, I'm not... Why do you ask?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  17. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,719
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +659 / 5
    I could've got you some free lessons with a certified casting instructor if you were.
  18. later_Peter Active Member

    Posts: 106
    Ratings: +26 / 0
    It is easier to learn correct methods than it is to UNlearn incorrect habits... spend time on a river, watch others, ask questions, find an instructor &/or join a Fly Fishing Club & ask, ask, practice & get feedback.
  19. Olive bugger Active Member

    Posts: 2,380
    Woodinville, WA
    Ratings: +408 / 0
    Never too old to learn, Jim.
    I had never heard of the "Grass Leader" before. I might try it out on the lawn when the spring comes around.
  20. Bob Rankin Active Member

    Posts: 439
    Yakima, WA
    Ratings: +167 / 1
    Practice, practice, practice. Try it on some water with fish in it! I still am not that great of a caster but I do catch fish once in awhile:) I refused to pay someone to teach me something when there are so many books and videos out there. Good luck!

    Bob