How to Correct 5 Common Casting Mistakes

Orvis have a nice video up on correcting the five most common fly-rod casting mistakes. Very quick and clear explanation of the problem and equally quick and clear demonstration of the solution.

My recurring casting ‘sin’ is tailing loops. The fix is clear and simple – now all I have to do is remember to do it!

Highly recommended.

Dealing with the Wind

Here in New Zealand we get a lot of wind, the price we pay for being a couple of small islands in a very big ocean. It is very easy to get discouraged by trying to cast effectively in a half-gale but you could really cut down your fishing time if you let the wind get in the way. Help is at hand.

Chris Dore a leading NZ South Island guide has a very good and thorough article on casting in strong winds.

And when Chris talks about strong winds…

windcast

Notice the wind on the water and on the landing net. (Photo copyright Chris Dore)

Fly casting can often be improved by slowing down and casting easier

Very good article on casting technique on Gink & Gasoline site:

Read the title of this post and try to live by it. It’s my attempt in “one sentence”, to help fly anglers quickly improve their fly casting, and it’s made me twice fly caster and fisherman I am today. There’s lots more to fly casting than slowing down and casting easier, but if anglers focus on doing both together, they often will find that it can greatly improve their overall technique and control. Ask any professional sports athlete how they maximize their performance and potential, and almost all will reply with excellent technique. It’s no different in fly casting. If you want your fly casting to reach its full potential, you have to first build a strong foundation of fly casting mechanics and principles that you can consistently live by on the water. I’ve found personally that when I take the time to slow down and cast the fly rod with less power, it’s much easier for me to focus on the most important element of my fly casting, my technique… [read full article] (Link fixed)

Fly-rod ‘actions’ – what do they mean?

I guess one of the more confusing elements of fly-fishing is the hotchpotch of terms used to describe the “actions” of fly-rods. Hopefully I can dispel some of this confusion and help making a decision on what fly-rod to buy easier.How rods bend

Pared right down to basics, the term ‘action’ describes the way a rod bends. But don’t all rods bend the same way I hear you mutter? Well no, they don’t. It would all be very easy if rods bent in one constant arc from butt to tip (parabolic), but most don’t.

They don’t bend in a constant arc because a rod is tapered from butt to tip – the thin section of the rod near the tip bends much more than the thicker mid-section of the rod, which bends more than the butt section. Rod makers are able to control the ‘action’ of a rod, the way it bends and flexes, by making adjustments to the way the building material is laid-up.

A fly-rod has to perform two main functions, cast a fly-line and help land a fish once it is hooked. The casting action of the rod is the prime function, and should be seen as being way more important in freshwater trout fishing than its ability to help land fish… See the full article here

Do 10 foot light line-weight fly-rods make you a better angler?

As an ex-tackle-store owner I guess I got to handle and trial way more fly-fishing rods than most. That included all that was touted to be the latest and greatest. Fact was that handling so many rods lead to the perhaps jaded view that all new rods were merely slight advances on a rod building theme, and big advances in the persuasive power of the rod-makers advertising and marketing people.

Maybe this jaded outlook was the reason for the fact that the rod I used most was a 9′ Sage RPL+ 6 weight that I bought around 20 years ago.

So when I was offered a chance to trial a new 10 foot single-handed 6 weight rod, I accepted, but my marketing hype and BS detection systems were on high alert.

Here is what happened.

Joan Wulff: Advanced Casting Techniques

Midcurrent has the next video from Joan Wulff video casting series up on their site.

joanwulff

In this next chapter from "Joan Wulff’s Dynamics of Fly Casting" DVD, Joan demonstrates several casting techniques for dealing with the challenges of positioning and presentation on a trout stream.

These "advanced" lessons — including changing direction, curve casts, and casts for weighted nymphs — are easily absorbed by even novice fly casters, but they’re a great refresher for experts.

If you don’t learn anything from Joan you must be watching with your eyes closed 🙂

Fly Casting: Start Slow, Finish Fast, Stop Dead

You would think that after 50 years flicking a fly rod I would be able to cast properly, every time – unfortunately it is not so.

Sure, despite the fact that I am self-taught, I can get my fly out pretty near where I want it most times, but too often when I really need to get it to where it needs to land I duff it up and watch the fish I was aiming to catch dart off where ever fish go when spooked.

I can most times get enough distance, but when the situation calls for an extra 3 or 4 metres I can almost guarantee the line wraps around my head, or collapses in a series of rings in front of me.

Then I got a bit of inspiration from Tiger Woods, when I read that this truly gifted golfer has spent much of the previous year re-building his swing. Good enough for Tiger I thought, good enough for me – so I grabbed a mate who is a very good caster, and club instructor, and we settled in to some rebuilding of my casting stroke.

My friend hit on my problem almost immediately when I fired off a demo cast. “Too fast, too slow”, he observed.

What was he on about? Find out in my new article.

No Casting, is it Fly-fishing?

I was talking with a friend about a small river we regularly fish, but not together. We were swapping lies we had found, that is lies as in where trout lie, not the lies we tell after a fishing trip. In the course of the conversation I revealed that in one section of the river I did not cast. Using a wet line I would let the line out, and then by swinging the rod, swing the fly into likely fish holding spots, while slowly moving down the river – a very successful technique it is too.

Now this little river is not easy to fish, there is undergrowth up to the waters edge, and overhanging vegetation problems too, mainly dreaded blackberry bushes. The bottom of the river is a veritable minefield of fallen trees and branches, and nearly all the best lies are under the overgrowth, and in behind the bottom fixtures.

Despite all the problems of casting and manipulating the line to go where it should go, my friend was horrified at my ‘confession,’ “That is not fly-fishing,” he squawked.

“Damn right it is,” I replied.

“But you are not casting,” he retorted.

“What are you on about, I am definitely fly-fishing, and also definitely not fly-casting. If you want to indulge in fly-casting go to somewhere where there are no fish, and cast away happy in the knowledge you will not be interrupted by a fish,” I replied, a tad miffed.

You see my view is that fly-fishing is about presenting a fly to a fish that is in the right place and looks edible, the fly that is. If casting on a stretch of water is an exercise in frustration because of the encircling vegetation, and even if you can get a cast away then trying to manoeuvre the fly in front of the fish is nigh on impossible, it is time to be acutely aware of the difference between fly-casting and fly-fishing.

To me, wasting valuable fishing time swearing and cursing each time a hook-up is achieved on a tree, bush or Triffid, just to cast a fly is pointless.

Unbendable rule about fly-fishing, the longer your fly is in the water the greater your chances of catching fish – the more often your fly is in water likely to hold fish the chances of catching fish sky-rocket. Another unbendable rule, no trout has ever been caught while a fly is in the air being cast. So I will persist with quietly moving downstream, leading the fly into dark shadows, and places no cast will ever place a fly, and regularly being interrupted by some trout who lets it guard down for just a moment to munch my fly.