Tennis elbow??

Old Man

Just an Old Man
What do I know---I'm just an old man

Has anyone ever had that problem of too much fly fishing. Well I've been out 4 days in a row now and my right arm is killing me. That muscle just below your elbow on the top side of your arm is very sore and I can hardly cast any more. Would that be from too much casting. Is that what they call tennis elbow. Well it's not going to stop me. I was just wondering about it.

That is soooo funny that you mentioned that, cause I went Steelhead fishing with my 10' 7wt GLX on Sat. and for the first time in a Looong time I got a similar "tennis elbow" from casting/fishing too much. The next few days I had severe sore pains in and around my right elbow. Haven't had that feeling since playing hard tennis few years back. After fishing, I could hardly move,bend,massage my arm at all for a few days. I knew it was fishing. I applied Sport Cream/Tiger Balm on it every day/night. Now the pain is gone, and back to Fishing on Saturday! I'm sure if it wasn't for my double-hauling, my arm would be in worse condition.

PS; It starting hurting towards the end of the fishing day. I took an hour rest; sit,eat, even laid down on the rocks for a while and back to fishing the afternoon out.

"Follow Me and I will make you fishers of Men"
Matthew 4:19


Idiot Savant
not from casting...

That muscle just below your elbow on the top side of your arm is very sore and I can hardly cast any more.
Actually it's from gripping the rod too hard. Try changing your grip from time to time. The 3 point grip works well to combat your condition. To see if this is it, clench your fist and see if that hits the muscle you mentioned.


Active Member
I have actually had the same problem before. This may sound kind of strange but I have started casting with my left hand atleast for a little bit on each outing. I have found that in some instances a left hand cast can get in where your right handed cast couldnt?? Granted I feel like a short yellow bus student during these attempts, but I think in the long run it will pay off. Maybe I could star in the sequel to River Runs through it :THUMBSUP


Scott Salzer

previously micro brew
Old Man:

Quit fishin! No more four days in a row! Sorry I don't sound too sympathetic, I find it hard when I wish I could fish four days in a row whenever. Obviously, the rib is okay.
Don't know if it will help, but you can get one of those bands that goes below the elbow. I used one when I blew out my arm in racket ball. It helped, but not enough so that I could play again.
I picked up some 222's Monday in Vancouver, that's what I use for my shoulder/hips after the third day plying the water in the pontoon.

Are you catchin anything or just casting?


Piscatorial predilection
Hey Jim,
I think Roper is right, it's really from gripping the rod handle so tightly. If it was from too much casting, it would be your shoulder and upper back that was hurtin' For me it's the wrist that starts to hurt after a prolonged session on the river. That's a small price to pay though.

There are really only three ways to combat this situation though, 1. start excercising, which I know you won't do! 2. Just keep at it till your arm get's stronger, or as already suggested change your grip.

Anyway my friend, I hope you got enough hook-ups to make it worth-while.

I'm headin' for the NF Stilly tomorrow, anyone up that way sees my blue MVP van (has a dented hood)or an old guy smokin' a cigar and flingin' fly's, that's me!


Ignored Member
I would get the same pains in the same place when I fished heavy sink tips with a single hander. First solution or cure was one of those bands that wrap around your forearm just below the elbow. That helped. The best solution or cure was the purcahse of my first 2 hander. Since then I have had no problem with pain in my arm or elbow.
Old Man,

Its called Lateral Epicondylitis and yes, that's also called Tennis Elbow. Keith Robert Berend, MD recently wrote an article titled "Prevalence of Orthopaedic Maladies in People Who Flyfish" and published it in the Journal of the Southern Orthopaedic Association.

His conclusions were:

"Elbow pain is another frequent problem encountered in the athletic population. Multitudes of studies have investigated the role of technique, conditioning, and equipment in the etiology and therapy for elbow pain in the athlete. More than 50% of athletes who use overhead arm motions are said to have lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow. Technique of the racquet stroke has been repeatedly emphasized as a causative or curative factor in lateral epicondylitis. The same may be true of flyfishing. As with shoulder pain, there was a higher rate of elbow pain in the anglers who primarily saltwater flyfish (30%), more than twice that of warmwater fishermen (12%), and almost twice the rate seen in freshwater anglers (16%). Again, heavier, stiffer equipment and longer casts requiring the "double-haul" may be to blame. Proper grip size and rod action combined with conditioning, stretching, and strengthening may reduce the occurrence of elbow pain in those who enjoy flyfishing."

Bottom line: you may trying to do too much and overpowering your stroke. Additional considerations: Grip, rod action.

If I can be so bold as to add to his findings, daily practice as a physical therapy option on the proper casting stroke may also help. In the meantime, an anti-inflammatory such as indomethacin (indocin) or ibuprofin (motrin) will certainly help along with immobilization with something like an ace bandage around the affected area. Healing from lateral epicondylitis takes awhile. When you get back to some semblance of normal, don't forget to "warm up" before you start casting for real. :pROFESSOR


Old Man

Just an Old Man
not from casting...

What do I know---I'm just an old man

You are right. I did it and it hurts. From now on I will try to not grip it so hard. My ribs still give me a little trouble at night. I still can't sleep on my left side. Too uncomfortable(sp). And no my problems for fishing have not gotten any better. I guess catching a few smolts is better than no fish. And no I don't target them they just happen to be in the same water that I fish for sea runs in. And I also lay down on the rocks from time to time just to rest the old back. I'm not a spring chicken any more. More like a old crow.

I hope that I tried to cover all of these questions.

I had similar pains this summer. I fished extra hard for a couple of weeks in August and my hand was cramping up pretty bad. My back was also sore between my shoulder blades. I guess it's the price we pay.
Had that problem too a while back. Trying to drag too much of a sinking line out of the water. It put me out of commission for a while. I use the forearm strap and take lots of Advil when it starts bugging me.

Old Man

Just an Old Man
What do I know---I'm just an old man

Well I'm retired and I had to tend kids all summer so now I try to get out as much as I can. Now with the kids having no school on friday I will be stuck with them for three more days. Come on Monday.

It would be nice if they got along, but wishing doesn't seem to work.