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Fish Recycler
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I hit the beach today, and a sight the likes of which my eyes had never seen unfolded before me.

As I was rigging up, one - then two - then a veritable school of silver bullets began breaching completely out of the water in front of me! Some of these were 10 - 14 inch bullets, but some were much, much bigger. SRC's? Springers? Couldn't say.

I approached the water cautiously, and made some preliminary casts along the shore to check for fish. None there. Stepped to the edge, and quickly probed the waters around. The fish were still jumping straight out from me.

I cast toward them, and my line landed anything but gracefully about halfway to them.

Over the following two hours, I TERRIFIED anything between me and the still-erupting fish, but I never got close to those fish - and they never left.

Unfortunately, they were one entire length of my line in front of me, and I learned today that I cannot, with any elegance or proficiency, cast more than half my line.

This has not been a problem in the past, as I've fished small waters, but these bigger waters, including the salt, are going to force me to improve my casting.

What's the best way? Any recommended reading? Can one improve his skills for free, with reading or a video? Or is a "coach" the way to go? Can you suggest a particularly good instructor? How much is fair to pay for an instructor?

Ah, but I've gone on too long. Whatever you can offer will be appreciated.

Teeg.
 

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Embarrassment, Frustration...and a "casting call"

Its great you proved for all of us that there are still fish out there. If they were jumping constantly and a big distance from shore I would bet that they were resident silvers. This is a good time to find some fish in the 14-18 inch range schooling around in the sound. Do you see what they were feeding on? We have hit them this time of year on euphasids but there usually isnt much bait around the areas I fish right now.
As far as casting... what weight rod are you using? and what type? A stiff/fast rod will help you propel your line out and is (IMHO) better suited for the salt than a softer rod. what kind of line as well?
If you want to go have someone just look at your casting and dont mind going to Poulsbo then I would highly suggest the operator of NW angler. He is a FFF certifed casting instructor and has helped a lot of people with their casting. I know he usually does it for free and is very helpful to most everyone.
Otherwise go to your local flyshop and they should have someone there that can help you with your casting.
One of the best things I ever did for my fishing was become friends with the owner of a flyshop and it has led to a lot of fishing opportunites and work opportunities.
Other than that..... PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE
 

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Embarrassment, Frustration...and a "casting call"

If you have a float tube or pontoon boat that would be best, especially for mobility when the fish are moving a lot. Aside from this, try to practice the double haul cast. It's the best way to "shoot" the line which is what will yeild more distance. I don't know how long you've been casting, but an instructor may be helpful. Usually it's a one time class that may cost about $50. I learned everything on my own, and although I consider myself to be an average caster, I have rarely been in a situation where the distance of my casts limited my success.
 

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Trevor Hutton
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Embarrassment, Frustration...and a "casting ca...

Casting, the one aspect of fishing I do well at. But that is only because I spent probably upwards of 60 hours just practicing casting on my yard before I even hooked up with any fish. that much practice- just learning to control loops and length/speed of the cast. I agree the double haul is so worth learning/perfecting. once this is done, you should be able to cast a lot farther... and with a lot of control.
hope this helps - Trevor
 

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A collector never stops collecting!
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Embarrassment, Frustration...and a "casting ca...

Besides the double haul, which I am close to getting down and have plenty of material on how too, what other casting exercises do people work on. I've heard of using targets at specific distances is another good exercise.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks!
Bill:smokin
 

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Embarrassment, Frustration...and a "casting ca...

>Besides the double haul, which I am close to getting
>down and have plenty of material on how too, what other
>casting exercises do people work on. I've heard of
>using targets at specific distances is another good
>exercise. Any other suggestions?

Practicing without structure or direction might only serve to reinforce bad habits and could result in very minimal gains ultimately causing more frustration. Double hauling might help get you a few extra feet of distance by increasing line speed, but its not the panacea for increasing distance many claim it to be.

Perfecting your basic casting stroke will get you the largest distance gains in saltwater fly casting. You accomplish that by learning to fully load and unload the rod, consistently form tight loops on both the backcast and forward cast and by lengthening your casting stroke when going for distance. All of these things require applyication of some basic principles and techniques.

George V. Roberts (author of A Fly-Fishers Guide To Saltwater Naturals And Their Imitation)has an absolutely outstanding video flycasting program titled "Saltwater Flycasting: 10 Steps to Distance and Power." Its not something you just pop in the VCR and watch a few times and expect miracles from...its a step-by-step teaching program that requires you to start at the beginning (jumping ahead is counter-productive)and to practice the techniques outlined daily to reinforce muscle memory. It takes 6-weeks to complete if you follow the entire program to completion. The results will be dramatic - they were in my case.

The Fly Casting Forum has reviews on casting videos by Lefty Kreh, Mel Kreiger, Joan Wolff and George Roberts at http://home.att.net/~slowsnap/reviews7x6.htm. Read the reviews and decide if one of them is the way to go. If you opt for the Roberts video, you can find it at http://www.whitemouseflyfishing.com/ (While checking the validity of this link, I noticed Preston did a review on this video for Fly Fishing & Tying Journal, an exerpt of which is included in the What They're Saying section.)

Little Stone (moderator of this Forum) is an FFF Certified Casting Instructor if you're looking for some one-on-one instruction. Maybe a day beach fishing with him could provide valuable returns on the investment.

Greg
 

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Embarrassment, Frustration...and a "casting call"

What is your arsenal......rod weight, line, etc.

It might be you are under equipped for the task or maybe you simply need to refine your technique...need more info.

I would think you would want a med-fast to fast 6-8 weight with a good line. (nothing wrong with a bigger rod 10 weight). If you are able to cast 90 feet right now than these fish just might be out of reach......Someone might add a few feet to your cast but if your tossing 90 plus with accuracy you are doing things right.
 

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Embarrassment, Frustration...and a "casting call"

a 10wt for cutts and resident cohos????:eek :eek :eek

teeg- one more thing... I dont know where you were but i would assume it was one of those places we talked about the other day via e-mail. If this is a pod of resident cohos feeding on euphasids they can be very spooky.
The float tube is a good idea but doing this kind of fishing out of a float tube can be very dangerous and frustrating as the fish seem to spook with a lot of movement.
Let me know if you have any more questions or need any help/ideas. Go get 'em.
David
 

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Embarrassment, Frustration...and a "casting call"

lawn casting is all good and well, but I suggest that your time is better spent practicing in real life situations - a beach behind you with hungry logs, kids running up and down the beach, weeds in your line, fast current, fishing jumping in front of you - these obstacles can frustrate you just as much as poor casting - an no amount of grass casting will overcome. As has been said, it equates to hours on the water, and a friend or two who can point some areas that may be causing you headaches.

As Greg points out, learning how to load your rod efficiently and smoothly is the goal. Get the fundamentals down before you introduce any hauls other than a water haul to load the rod for the initial back cast/pick up.

Right of the bat try to limit the number of false casts - build that into your practice no matter how painful. The longer you have the line in the air, the farther your backcast creeps up the beach, the more trouble you will have with timing and snags. If you can get 60 feet with no hauls, without straining body parts or falling in the water, and only 2 backcasts, you're doing OK. Take is slow, walk away for a few minutes if necessary. Don't clench up.

Also, start with small or non-weighted flies. Clousers are a tough fly to practice casting with since they can they can be easily over accelerated and snap slack into your casts.

Jim W
 

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Hi Teeg, Just a few thoughts. This is one of those turning points in your fishing career; you will either work and improve, or just keep "schlepping" along.

You can gain valuable insight into your casting work by reading and watching videos. A good coach can save you a ton of time and trouble.The Federation of Flyfishers at:
www.fedflyfishers.org
has a listing of certified casting instructors for each state.You can check that out, some have direct links and emails.Prices vary from free to as much as $100 per hour.
If I could do it all over again from the beginning, I would have some good coaching rith up front. That would have saved me a lot of difficulty.

One of my favorite coaches is Joan Wulff. I highly recommend her "Dynamics of Fly Casting" Video and her books.Her video is comprehensive and really helpful to casters of any skill level. I was struggling along with a sore arm on the saltwater back on the Northeast Atlantic Beaches, really having a hard time casting an entire flyline. I went to a show and saw Lefty Kreh demonstrating how he could shoot the whole darned line with a smoothe and semingly effortless cast. He used a fraction of the energy I was using. It really got my attention. He was coaching people at the show for free, for the fun of it.And he's one of the true greats of fly fishing. He really helped me to simplify my casting.Look at His videos if you can,and his "Modern Fly Casting Method".

Another great coach is Mel Kreiger, some good videos and books.He has a very different teaching style.Ed Jarowoski is also very good, his "troubleshooting the cast" is a good book.And there are many others.

Part of what makes a coach, or any teacher, "click" with a student is personality and their style of presenting information. So you have to shop around. I have met some great teachers who were really just average casters. And I have seen some awful teachers who could cast like you would not believe- just astonishing. But they hated teaching.

If you are struggling in your casting then it is time to lighten up and get a little help in one form or another. With some diligent but suprisingly simple effort, you can become a much better caster no matter how good you are.It amazes me to see how many really experienced,world traveling fly fishermen are not able to cast as well as they should. As a guide this is a continuing frustration, something I see often. It takes a lot of patience.If you do the work you will reap the reward.
 
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