Up one line? Two?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Jake L, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. Philster New Member

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    I only strip in the running line. I'd rather get more 75' swims of the fly in than fish those last 25 or 30 feet in. And by leaving the entire 27' foot head (that's what I use) out and casting with one roll, one back, one forward I get alot more casts in then someone who does what Stonefish or Richard does. No offense to them, I used to do that. But when folks are "generally" getting half the head up on the roll, that means they "generally" do a good job of getting the whole head out on the next forward, and "generally" make their cast in the "one roll, one back, one lay down, one water hauled back, one forward". It's more complicated, and harder to pull off as the day wears on. I always get my head up on one (unless a sculpin hits as I'm rolling, or I catch some salad, etc.), and if I "blow" a sequence, it means I have a 65 foot cast on my hands I have to fish out before my next cast. I catch plenty of fish on my "blown casts".

    As to giving up those fish that "follow all the way in" I addressed my impression on that in an earlier post in this thread "Yup. I usually stop my retrieve before getting the head in the tip, or with versitip lines before the loop comes in the tip. With poppers I 'll always tease a little before pulling in all of the running line. The "they hit right at the tip top" thing is kind of a myth. They actually hit where you stopped your normal retrieve and went into your pickup routine. If you retrieved all the way to your leader, that's where it happened. if you stopped retrieving 37 feet out, that's where it happened. There's no magic in the tip top... We fishers are a superstitious bunch who don't engage in much deep thought... I do tease before I start my pickup. I just start doing it with 10 feet of running line out of the tip, instead of when the fly is in sight.

    this is all just the way I've decided to fish. It works really well. Richard, Stonefish and anyone else who regularly catches fish have developed their own systems that also work EXTREMELY well. As an example I think Les has some ideas in fly selection that are way too complicated. I'd argue with him on that to the end. Would I EVER bet against him catching at least as many if not MORE fish than me if we were standing side by side? Nope! His attention to fly design might just be what makes the difference THAT DAY. Richard and Stonefish stripping in that last 30 feet may just be the difference THAT DAY. Any my fly spending more time in the water may be the difference THAT DAY. We've all come to the conclusions we have come to based on the payoff we get. We're all gambling that of all the things that MIGHT work on a particular day, our standard approach is the one that's going to pay off.
  2. Stonefish Triploid and Humpy Hater

    Posts: 3,772
    Pipers Creek
    Ratings: +1,169 / 1
    I agree with Philster, there really isn't a right or wrong way to fish theses lines. Everyone has a different style or technique that works for them.
    For me personally, I think I'd catch a lot less fish by not stripping in the last 30'. Doing so also helps me set up my roll cast. As the end of the head gets near the rod tip, I like to swing the fly hard and fast to my right and toward the beach. This fishes the fly all the way to the beach and puts the rod in great position for the roll cast.
  3. Graham Young Member

    Posts: 101
    Bainbridge Island, WA
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    Phil, do you find that you end up accumulating twists in the line at the end of a day of Belgian casts? Based on one of your recommendations last year, I've found the Belgian cast to be a great fallback to get back in the rhythm when it's one of those (frequent...) days when I'm casting even crappier than usual, but I seem to get more running line problems in the basket - could be my imagination but I guess it makes sense that the elliptical arc would tend to twist the line. Any quick fixes?

    This has been a great thread for making me realize what this novice still needs to be paying attention to - thanks all.
  4. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,268
    Kitsap Peninsula
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    Philster, you've mentioned the Belgian cast a few times. I'm going to seek it out. Being self taught I don't know names of casts and techniques that I often employ. I do have a method of casting in a more circular fashion that I find helps me in some different situations. If you have any suggested resources on this casting style, let me know. Thanks. (I will likely be getting some formal casting instruction too).
  5. Philster New Member

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    I don't know. Just because your loop is "tilted" sideways, I dont' think it should be that big a deal, especially since your forward cast is only at most 45 degrees off the plane of that backcast. I'm sure someone with better mechanical reasoning could prove me wrong though:p Two immediate fixes come to mind.

    #1 minimize false casting. Which is what were all working towards.

    #2 Don't be a hero. Uncast line results in really bad twisting. If you consistently have line laying in your basket, reel some back up. When 80 percent of your casts pull tight to your reel, pull out 2 feet. cast 5 times and if you still pull tight, repeat until you start leaving uncast line in the basket. When you are leaving uncast line consistently, reel in that basket slack and start over.

    You can always shake the extra line out of your rod tip periocally and strip it back in, but it's not the same fix as just having what you can cast consistently in your basket.
  6. Philster New Member

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    I think the best "name" teacher in the business is Joan Wulff. Check some of her stuff out. If I recall correctly she teaches it in a couple books and probably a video or two. This is again one of those Barnes and Nobel moments. 2 minutes looking at an illustration will give you all the info you need.
  7. Denny Active Member

    Posts: 4,020
    Seattle, WA, USA.
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    Dude, you need to first preface some of these observations with "This applies to folks whose average beach casts are 80'-100' ". :thumb:

    Not everyone can bust the big ones like you or some of the other better casters. Most folks would be ecstatic to have their regular casts be equivalent to your 'blown' casts of 65'. With what I've seen of the typical beach fly fisher, their fly wouldn't get a lot time in the water if after they cast they were picking up and casting after retrieving to within 35' of the end of their rod (say 5' of tippet, your 27' head, and a few feet of running line) like you do; their might get 20-25' of time in the water, at most. That's how my math works, anyway.

    I'm not going to put out any numbers, but I get a fair swim distance out of my fly, and for whatever reason the highest percentage of my hookups seem to be after the fly has swam some distance and is 50% of the cast distance or closer in. I've observed the same with my more experienced beach fishing compadres. When I'm out on the beach I'm usually not being selective on samonids or searuns (I'm still waiting for Hooker to share with us how that's done), and searuns particularly seem to hit more frequently in the shallower water (for me). If I weren't retrieving in further than what you do, I would be missing some fishy water.

    I know this is anecdotal evidence, but the last couple of trips out in the salt, all of the coho that got the wood shampoo to go home on the BBQ were hooked probably within 30' of the fly fishers. These guys all cast further than the 30', and I believe many of these fish often follow some distance before taking the fly.

    Just a different perspective than yours. :thumb:
  8. Philster New Member

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    I hear you and we've completely left out the "where" in the conversation which is a HUGE factor. I do tend to favor flats (cuz that's what's close, and "safe" parking for me), where long is where it's at, but fishing a steep sloping beach will frequently present an "ambush" opportunity at the first significant break where it drops off more than a foot which is going to be close to the fisher's feet. I still do fish that break, and within 2 feet of shore with long casts. At someplace like the narrows, if you cast 80 feet straight out, you'll never even get within 50 feet of the fly before the swing has placed your fly 5 feet from the beach:thumb:
  9. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,268
    Kitsap Peninsula
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    :rofl:I held my breath waiting for that information until I passed out...twice. Alas, I don't think we are getting that selective species tutorial any time soon. Not calling anyone out, but I'm in a bad mood after pondering a relocation to NH next year. I'm taking the rest of the day off, call it pondering depression.
  10. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,268
    Kitsap Peninsula
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    Thanks Philster, B&N moment seeking out Joan Wulff it is.
  11. Graham Young Member

    Posts: 101
    Bainbridge Island, WA
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    Phil, thanks, I think you've got me on both #1 and #2.....
  12. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
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    That's what I do too. With my polarized glasses, I watch as I swing the fly past me toward the shore and try to notice any chasers. It seems to me a lot of strikes come near the bank as the fish realizes that it has to strike now, or lose the bait in the shallows. I strip in as little as possible, sometimes just a few feet into the rod tip, and swing the rest around toward the shore, then roll cast out so my line is ready for the water load and then shot back out.
  13. jcnewbie Member

    Posts: 855
    Kent, Washington
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    Oh man 'o man!! I obviously need to change my diet to something waaay more bland as I'm having great difficulty "digesting" all the "food-for-thought here!" I guess "overwhelmed" would suffice as an understatement!bawling:bawling:

    I scares the hell out of me when I occasionally have those moments of extreme lucidity and can comprehend just how far I have yet to go with my fishing and especially, casting skills. :eek::eek:

    After my last reported foray onto the grass at the park after which I was supremly confident of my "World Class Status in Fly Casting" (that's a joke by the way:rofl:) and put it to the final test on the water, butt deep with my stripping tub bobbing around in the waves, at the Narrows with a 5-10 mph breeze coming from my right (strong side)....

    ...I think I already reported this earlier so won't go into the sordid details all over again (deja'vue all over again.....:beer1:)

    I will only say this.....I tried it again yesterday, Wednesday, and it was NO better AND with NO wind until 6 hours later -- no excuses, no rationalizations -- just plain-crappy-casting!:(:(:(

    To say the least, I'm somewhat discouraged at the moment.....sighhhhh!bawling:

    I even went trout fishing later in the day with my little 3 wt to assuage my hurt feelings and prove to myself that I could still cast something...caught 21 little guys in 1 1/2 hours on a Copper John beadhead - three on the first four casts out of the same run. Even after the tube hatch began in earnest and after an encounter with an underwater branch then an overhead branch in which persistence paid off - got my fly back - but in the process weakened the tippet and popped the nymph off about 2 cast later.

    This ratio of success should have made me feel betterbut it didn't....so back to the grass tonight for more ego-pumping practice, ha!:hmmm:

    JC:beathead::beathead::beathead:
  14. Philster New Member

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    try it sitting on your ass... Seriously...
  15. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
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    Just relax on the beach. When I start really thinking hard about it and trying to focus on distance, and putting some extra muscle into it, that's when I tighten up and start screwing up. With more time and just relaxing, you'll start to better feel the rod loading and your timing and stroke should be easier to fine tune. That said, each time I hit the beach, I start out just fishing and relaxing, but at some point, when I'm tired of focusing on the fishing, I just start trying to bomb out some distance casts just to see how far I can get. That's when I hit myself in the head, or get a wind knot. But each time I get a little better, and then when I go back to relaxing and fishing, my casting is just a tiny bit improved.
  16. Denny Active Member

    Posts: 4,020
    Seattle, WA, USA.
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    Another perspective . . . sometimes it just ain't happening. I don't know about the rest of you, but I certainly have some days that are better than others.
  17. Philster New Member

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    Let the rod tell you how far you're going to cast any given day, and don't argue with it. You won't win.
  18. traditionalist New Member

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    Europe
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    Deleted by author
  19. Flyborg Active Member

    Posts: 2,284
    Kalama, WA
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    Check out This Tutorial by Mac Lord.
  20. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,268
    Kitsap Peninsula
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    Thanks Flyborg, I think that I had stumbled upon a similar practice on my own. This will allow me to refine what I have been doing for sure. Self taught casters sometimes figure out well established casting techniques...but maybe through a lot more trial and error. Anyway, thankg again!