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Strikes and gutters, ups and downs
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just out of curiosity, what is the average distance you find yourself casting in a trout stream/river? I understand this is a bit broad, but you always hear of guys/gals who are trying to increase the distance of their cast. I’m just wondering whether or not this is necessary given the context (i.e. trout fishing). Let me know what you think!
 

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Joe Streamer
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4,156 Posts
I think the hype around needing to cast a whole fly line is a red herring. It just causes people to buy super fast fly rods instead of more versatile rods that are fishable at normal trout fishing distances and do things like roll cast, cast 10', protect tippets, etc.

Even wading a large river like the Yakima (not in a boat where you have mobility to get close to a target), I cast 20'-50' the vast majority of the time. However, nearly every time I fish the Yakima or similarly large rivers, I also need to cast 60'-70' occasionally to reach a distant spot. That's still doable with medium and medium-fast action rods if you're a halfway competent caster.

I rarely try to fish past 70'. Even though (in ideal conditions) I can usually throw a line 90' with a 9' 5wt or 6wt rod, my ability to be accurate, control a drift, or set a hook at that distance is poor, so I tend to not even try.
 

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I hope she likes whitefish
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1,724 Posts
In a boat = 10 feet
in the water = maybe 30 feet max

IMO, there's not a big need to cast a long way for trout for two reasons. 1. if you cast too far out, your mend's will be garbage therefore you're ineffectively fishing anyway and 2. you don't need to cast further, you just need to reposition yourself on the stream.

That's not to say I haven't cast into my backing before, but it's not necessary and usually only serves as an ego stroke.
 

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Tropical member
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2,318 Posts
get a switch rod and you will catch fish from the other bank...:clown:

seriously, in the windy day, you will appreciate you have learned how to make a good long cast... :thumb:
 

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Just an Old Man
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35,199 Posts
If I'm nymphing with a bobber. I don't like to cast to far out because you can't control it. If I'm fishing with a dry I try to reach the other side, because that's where Pan said the fish were. But most of my casts are not over 30' because where I fish the rivers aren't that wide.
 

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On average, I would say most of my casts are in the 12 - 30 ft range. Sometimes hitting a rising fish requires longer casts but most are in that range. Interestingly, I was in casting class last fall and the instructor asked the participants what they want to take away from the class and everyone answered they wanted to cast farther. I don't really think about distance but more on accuracy and spotting the fly for a good drift to the fish.

Dr Bob :beer1:
 

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Long Lost Member
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I'm a horrible caster. I try to cast further to have more time with the line in the air to work on better mechanics and distance. I have found that practice has made my casting to fish in the 20-40' range much better. I'm still a horrible caster. With a switch rod I can cast a little bit further.
 

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In a boat = 10 feet
in the water = maybe 30 feet max

IMO, there's not a big need to cast a long way for trout for two reasons. 1. if you cast too far out, your mend's will be garbage therefore you're ineffectively fishing anyway and 2. you don't need to cast further, you just need to reposition yourself on the stream.

That's not to say I haven't cast into my backing before, but it's not necessary and usually only serves as an ego stroke.
Since I row my drift boat for some beginning and intermediate casters, I have to say that in a boat you need 35-40'. If you are fishing front and back fishers, the front guy needs to cast it forward and to the bank-probably 40' to give the back angler open water at 90 degrees to the boat. I also like to keep the boat at least 20 feet from the bank to keep from spooking fish. Having good casters who can cast a fair distance and throw nice reach casts helps the rower A LOT! Rick
 

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Aint no nookie like chinookie
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994 Posts
I agree with Pan, cast as far as you can ,trying for the other side of the river ... Just be careful not to slip on the fish that will routinely be swimming between you legs in the first third of the river ... Gett'n the drift??:thumb:
 

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Strikes and gutters, ups and downs
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks everyone! I've been a member of the board for around 4 years and have never really used the forum. Now I'm leaving for the east coast for grad school in the fall. Probably should have been using the resources available to me a long time ago. Thanks again!
 

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It all depends on the river or stream you are fishing.

If you can read the water and cast to likely spots, then you probably don't need distant casts. I've fished the Deschutes in Oregon for many years and rarely cast further than 40 - 50 feet. Often times when you cast beyond, you are casting over different current speeds that kill a natural drift. If you have to cast to the other side to catch fish then you're on the wrong side of the river or you haven't done a proper read.

Hooking fish isn't a matter of long casts. It's a matter of knowing where to cast and how to determine where the fish are. Any good guide will tell you a shorter cast that is well placed and drifts the fly properly is far better than a distant cast that is ill-placed or wasted on an improper drift.
 

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If you can't cast far, it means you need to practice; not just for making long casts, but to improve your shorter casts as well. Let's say your best cast tops out at 60 feet. You think that's fine because you never have a need to fish more than 60' out anyway. Meanwhile, your buddy can comfortably cast 90 feet and you're fishing together in a situation where you need to make 50-60 foot casts. Your buddy is going to be casting all day without putting a whole lot of effort into it, while you're consistently working to throw your best cast over and over again, wearing yourself out, and probably getting pretty frustrated in the process.
Amen. When did increasing your abilities become a bad thing. Being able to cast 100' doesn't mean you have to.
Anil
 

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Still truckless now farther away
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I agree with STeve, also in fishing the Deschutes for trout the fish will usually be in the first 10 to 15 feet from the bank or even closer if they are under the bresh and trees. If you stay up above on the trail and watch the fish you will see most of them near the bank and they will disappear in deeper water if you get close or if they see you move. If you're fishing steelhead it's a different matter as they will be out behind the bigger rocks and boulders in the more normal places for them to be and then a good cast may require 100 or more feet, unless you happen to have some wading space which is not often. Being able to cast long range should be a good thing if it means your short casts are better.
 
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