Casting help

#31
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.
 

Krusty

Active Member
#33
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

Part time rookie
#34
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 nĂºmero 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!
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
 
#38
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.
 

Bob Rankin

Chasing fur and fish every second I get :)
#40
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
 
#41
I've taught a number of beginning fly fishing classes... the only book/video I found that helps a true beginner is Mel Kreiger's video... other than that I found that getting a personal critique of your technique can shorten the learning curve by YEARS... truth.
One can fish & catch fish with out any technique at all... but, to have a reasonable success rate (on purpose, some skills need to be involved.
 

Krusty

Active Member
#42
I've taught a number of beginning fly fishing classes... the only book/video I found that helps a true beginner is Mel Kreiger's video... other than that I found that getting a personal critique of your technique can shorten the learning curve by YEARS... truth.
One can fish & catch fish with out any technique at all... but, to have a reasonable success rate (on purpose, some skills need to be involved.
What constitutes a 'reasonable success rate'? On many a water the cast has far less to do with hooking up fish than presentation...and by 'presentation' I mean selection of fly, depth, retrieve, patience, and a recognition of probable productive habitat under different conditions.....all things that are learned by time on water. I've observed many a proficient flycaster not enjoying a 'reasonable success rate' mainly because their fly is spending most of the time being cast...and recast...rather than in or on the water.

There's nothing more entertaining than a proficient, but impatient, fly changing water flogger seeking the perfect cast and the perfect fly...while a more pedestrian flyfisher manages, somehow, to catch more fish.

Hell, I know many a novice flyfisher doesn't even detect a fair number of subtle takes, and can only see or feel the more overt surface attacks. That feel only comes with experience.

While there's nothing wrong with getting casting technique critiqued by a credible instructor, the implication is that the novice shouldn't even pick up a flyrod until coached, and that's just plain silly.
 
#43
I'm self taught and probably suck. I was only half-kidding about learning to cast in allies behind bars. That was usually the handiest place to lay out some casts while the old man was sucking down suds.
Now I've adopted some weird casting style derived of having little backcast room, and no two hander. I can accurately get sixty feet out with ten or less feet of backcasting room. It actually feels weird when I'm in a boat or otherwise have room to stretch out some line.
 
#44
[quote="Krusty, post: 901487, member: 19926"

While there's nothing wrong with getting casting technique critiqued by a credible instructor, the implication is that the novice shouldn't even pick up a flyrod until coached, and that's just plain silly.[/quote]
if that's the way it read, that's not what I meant. Practicing, no matter how, is going to bring benefits... however, if someone is asking for help (the reason for the post) or someone is offering help... should help be accepted or just go on doing what ever you think is moving in the right direction? Like Elaine dancing... she's having fun, after all.