Casting Distances: Every Caveman Needs a Chance to Beat His Chest

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Jake L, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. Snake

    Snake tryin' not to get too comfortable

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    Distance? I'm lucky if I can hit 30 feet accurately, in optimal conditions. Oh, well. :mad:

    That's why I fish small streams/rivers, and troll if I'm on a lake.

    To hook up, you don't need distance or accuracy.

    It's stealth and deception. :ray1:

    And I can't cast for $#it with my left hand. Times I wish I could, though.
     
  2. creekx

    creekx spent spinner

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    I think his challenge only applied to Rory, otherwise he'd lose every rod in his quiver in short order...
     
  3. Richard E

    Richard E Active Member

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    Well said. I think it's Echo or Airflo (a Rajeff product, anyway) that says something to the extent, 'Distance isn't important, until it is'.

    I have found that learning to cast for distance makes a fly fisher learn important aspects of the cast. Single haul, double haul (and the timing of each), casting stroke, controlling the loop, maintaining casting planes, firm stops, controlling the backcast and the delivery cast, etc.

    Being aware of and becoming proficient in the various nuances of the cast transfer over to accuracy, as well. Some folks are better at one aspect (distance) than another (accuracy), but that's just about being people.

    I find those folks who say 'gee, I don't need to cast further than 30 feet', or 'most fish are caught within 50 feet' can't cast further than 30 or 50 feet. In saltwater, lake fishing, many different venues being able to cast for distance will up how many fish you catch. How many times have those fish been juuuuust outside the limits of your cast?

    It's all getting the fly to the fish and presenting it properly, and being able to control your cast and be the best caster you can be increases your odds of catching fish.
     
  4. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    WORD!

    Nothing like stealth period.

    I have hooked many-a-hog while fishing streams that I was told had smaller fish just by crawling up to a fishy looking pool.


    Forget this distance casting nonsense............but than again......I know that I can cast a 3wt 70' no problem (without wind).........
     
  5. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    I don't know how far I can actually cast and I really don't care.

    I guess, according to Richard and others, that means I don't cast very far. That's fine.

    Distance casting just really isn't a big deal to many fly fishermen. It really isn't. Especially those who fish small streams for trout, beaver pond, lakes, most of our rivers for salmon and steelhead, salt for cutties and salmon, etc etc.

    It's like those who are addicted to swinging for steelhead always say - focus on the good swinging water, and fish it well. Does that limit you to where you can fish and does that mean you pass up the chance to target many fish holding in non-swinging water? Sure. But a good swinger will know where the good swinging water is and work it just right and enjoy his time doing it and enjoy the fish it yields him – and not feel that he is missing some sort of essential aspect of what fly fishing is all about….

    If I know I can't cast 100 feet (probably can’t, but don’t know or care), I'm not going to waste my time fishing water where that is a requirement. There are just too many smarter options for me where I can focus my energy for better and more efficient results.

    Now if I have a trip planned for tarpon or bones or something, and know that 100+ feet will make or break the trip, I'll surely start practicing and may even look to somebody for advice, lessons, tips, etc to get my game up in time. Buck luckily for me (and many many other fly fisherman), I'm quite happy with the many local options I have, and I can't recall the last time I thought, "dang, if I could only cast 10 more feet!" Well, in the salt, there are always going to be days where the salmon are laughing at you from 50 yards beyond your best cast. I don't care who you are. That's just fishing sometimes :)

    That said, time spent improving your casting skills won’t be time wasted. And a great way to work on your casting is to spend some time at the local beaches and just pushing yourself for the heck of it.

    One tip though – whether you are making 50 or 100 foot casts, practice reaching that distance with some pressure (real or imaginary). Many of us will be working the water and suddenly spot a pod of fish moving just within reach of our cast. We panic and tense up, feel that heart start pounding, and try to put a little extra into the cast to get it there father and faster…. Only to end up with a nasty wind knot, or snagging that rock or limb behind you, or otherwise just messing up your only sure thing of the day. But if you take a nice deep breath and relax and deliver a nice graceful cast like you have been practicing, without forcing it, you have a much better chance of hooking up. Easier said than done at times :)
     
  6. Gary Thompson

    Gary Thompson dirty dog

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    I only cast as far as I can see (my fly).
    In the football field I can do 20 yds easy
    On the water 35 ft, if I'm lucky.
     
  7. Richard E

    Richard E Active Member

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    I've seen that, too, and it is sick and just not right.
     
  8. Richard E

    Richard E Active Member

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    Sorry if I wrote something that made you think that. I have no clue what you can or can't do in casting for distance, and being able to cast 'far' means different things to different folks.

    Being able to cast for distance and being a good fisherperson are mutually exclusive; however, the skills that a person picks up in learning to cast for distance should help all aspects of their casting, which will help in many ways to more effectively and efficiently deliver the fly to the fish.

    Heck, even Tiger Woods practices and even Tiger Woods has a swing coach. If a person wants to improve their casting skills, and more competently deliver the fly to their quarry, IMHO the person should practice and from time to time maybe pick up a casting lesson or two. Again, that's assuming a person wants to improve their casting skills.

    We all have different perspectives on which components of fly fishing are important, if we're content or not content with our skills and knowledge, etc. Improving one's casting skills helps not just in the actual physical aspect, but physchologically, too, as it makes a person more confident with their abilities.

    100' or 85' or 70', those are all great casts with a trout rod.
     
  9. Go Fish

    Go Fish Language, its a virus

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    100' or 85' or 70', those are all great casts with a trout rod.

    As I get older I'm just happy to be able to see those distances.....
    Casting that far for me, not a chance. But I do catch fish.
    David
     
  10. Tim Lockhart

    Tim Lockhart Active Member

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    Not that I'm E.F. Hutton, but...I'd say the long bomb is maybe 5%, at best, of the tools you should have. Kinda like football...you may not use it that often but it can be a huge asset when you need it. Things like how to move about and position yourself w/o spooking fish will serve you much better but that's fodder for a different thread.

    Like many, I won't be winning any distance contests soon but there are ways to 'cheat.' One favorite...no doubt you have an abundance of water at your fingertips. Use it. In stillwater if your target is just beyond reach, "walk" toward it with a series of 3 or 4 casts, each time letting it land and using the water as extra load on the front. So it's like 3 or 4 false casts but you're using the water each time for steroids. Works. Same idea with current in a stream...only now you get even more steroids. Anyhow I think the real value in a drill like this, beyond putting your fly on fish, is getting a better feel for line load (and if you're not careful you'll develop a longer cast).

    Dunno much but seems he who's arm does the work will cast like me :hmmm:...he who's rod does the work will get pretty good at it...and he who's line does the work will inherit the world beyond 80'.
     
  11. Rory McMahon

    Rory McMahon Active Member

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    to me it seems like a lot of people are saying there isn't a lot importance in being able to cast far, at least there they're saying it is perfectly ok if you can't. On a river this may be true, rarely will you need to cast very far. On a lake however, you commonly need a 70-80 foot cast, there are ways around this like just trolling, but to fish the shallows effectively you need a long cast. Think of this scenario, you see a bunch of fish rising in about 2 feet of water on a big shoal. You can only cast 40 feet so you get your boat or float tube 40 feet from the fish and make a cast to them. You will probably get a fish, but i almost guarantee you it is only like 7 inches. You might even be able to catch multiple fish from the spot. The problem is out of the group of fish you were after, all the bigger ones got spooked, leaving only small ones for you to catch. So in my opinion, a long cast is important, but only if you regularly fish stillwater.
     
  12. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    It all depends on how far away the fish are. If they're at 80' I tend to cast about 75'. 60' away I'll normally screw something up and cast about 50'. If they're 100' out I either reposition my boat or wade tits deep and hook my dog on the backcast.:thumb:

    That's how you limit your impact on the resource.
     
  13. reamse

    reamse New Member

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    I grew up with 4 foot wide streams.

    With over growth and high riparian veg I was lucky with 20'.

    But with the 4wt i'll hammer it 40'

    Not how long you cast, but how it hits the water :)
     
  14. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    I just did my "self-test" for kicks. I can cast 50' quite easily every cast with minimal effort. I could consistently cast 60' with 3 false-casts starting with 25' of line out the rod tip. With effort and generally a single haul, I could hit 70', and with effort and double haul 80' or so (not with 3 false casts tho). I was using my trusty old SAGE RPL 9'....5wt. Most fish are caught under 50' anyway. The long casts are great for sea-runs and salmon tho.
     
  15. Crump

    Crump Member

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    I am with you and g_smolt on this one as well. Recently I started practicing my casting, trying to break down every part of it to become more efficient, and a more accurate and longer caster. It seems when you can put a long cast out there, you have to keep a number of things in line...so when you are in a fishing situation and faced with less than ideal conditions (big indicators and split shot, heavy streamers, wind...) you can still get your flies to the fish, or get your flies to fish that other people can't reach, which is important to me. Think of how nice it would be to throw that indicator rig or lead eyed streamer 70 feet? Maybe it really doesn't matter as much in the trout world, but if you are a bank bound steelhead angler, distance can open up a new world of possibilities.