How far should I be casting?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by PatrickH, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. if you figure that "the fish" is around the "other side of the river" then figure if you're on that side of the river all is reversed... it's in presentation more so than the distance... you only need to put the fly where the fish is... no further.
  2. That's right. You can cast as far as you are Abel to but you only need to cast we're the fish are. It's fun to yank all the line off the reel and see what you can do. I wouldn't worry to much about it, I would work on accuracy and presentation.
  3. Has anyone suggested learning to double haul? If not, well, learn that technique.

    As to long casts, I find that 100 foot or longer casts are ok if you are swinging a streamer, but at that distance I have a hard time hooking up with fish rising to a dry fly or nibbling on a nymph. 30 to 60 feet is in the sweet spot.
  4. double haul is a little tough for most beginners... "the agony of defeat"
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  5. In golf there is the old adage "Drive for show... putt for dough". For most of the western trout rivers, being able to accurately cast and mend manage 40-50 feet of line is all one needs. I'd spend more time refining and fussing the business end of the line than worrying about casting distance.
  6. I think one thing that may be being lost a bit in all of this is the following; learning to distance cast well, and learning to cast accurately, are not mutually exclusive of one another. Generally speaking, anglers who are particularly good at one aspect are likely good at the other as well. Additionally, while there are a handful of good casters who concentrate soley on the casting aspect and don't care as much about fishing in and of itself, by far and away, good casters tend to be good anglers/catchers of fish.

    I fully agree, most fishing in trout rivers is done effectively within, say 50-60', with much of that being considerably closer. Any good angler knows to pay attention, work water closest to oneself prior to exploring further seams and reaches. Casting and proper reading of water are two separate issues, but again, chances are if you're a superior caster, it's an indication of having taken the time and energy to become so, and it's likely you've done the same with the rest of your craft.

    I believe that one should work on distance casting, and also work on casting accurately, and reading water well, and knowing ones environs and all of the myriad of things that makes fly fishing so enjoyable (to me at least...) But to reiterate, there are absolutely situations where casting considerable distances pays dividends, and the ability to cast far is never a disadvantage, even if it's not needed all of the time. Certainly one should never cast far all of the time just for the sake of doing so, unless, of course, that's your gig and all you want to do to the exclusion of all else, and then, hey, who am I to argue?

    But again, why limit oneself by never learning to cast further (and do so well, with a minimum of effort...)? I am not by any means a great caster, which is why I work on it when time allows. I do realize that for some, casting simply isn't of particular interest, which is fine of course. I just like to gain any edge I can when on the water, and doing as much beach fishing as I do, casting longer distances consistently pays dividends, and I have a loooonnnnggg way to go at that.

    Anyway, good thread, lots of good opinions and advice, it's why I enjoy and appreciate this site.

    Dan Knickerbocker

    EDIT: One thing I'd like to clarify... My responses were predicated upon the OP's query, and my own personal take on fishing and what I enjoy. If all that matters to you is getting out on the water, enjoying time with friends or by oneself, then by all means enjoy. As a perosnal anecdote, my father, whom I owe so much and who got me on the water at a young age and inspired me to fly fish, well, he never put any effort into his casting. We had fabulous times and memories together while fishing, and driving in his truck talking about anything and everything. Anyway, he was a competent caster ( and that's being generous) and there is no doubt that had he become a better one, including learning to cast further, well, he certainly would have caught more fish. But it didn't matter to him, it certainly didn't matter to me, and there is no fault whatsoever in that attitude or approach to angling.

  7. It ain't how far you can cast, it's how far you cast well.
    Jim Ficklin and Steve Unwin like this.
  8. I recall the anecdotal story I used in my "beginner's" class. (ever male wanted to cast further than far enough)...
    We all know the story of Hercules (actually, no one really knew), Hercules did not just "become strong"... he would lift a calf each day. Each day the calf gained weight & Hercules would get stronger.
    When you can cast 30' accurately you then cast 35'. You get that distance down then shoot for 37' then 40' then 43' ad infinitum...
    Distance & accuracy are not mutually exclusive but distance with out accuracy is useless to anybody but the fish.
  9. 70 feet
    later_Peter likes this.
  10. Exactly. I haven't read the whole thread but you will eventually read in various books and articles that 90% of the trout are caught within 25' to 45'. (That's not true for small streams of course.) Get some help if you need to but once you can reach 50' and control the landing, you're in the money. Distance and proficiency come with practice. Learn to enjoy practice. It'll come. Part of what we like about ffing is that it isn't easy. It's a game to play.
  11. Bingo! I've been doing this for 58 years. I can throw a lot of line; I prefer to not do so. 58 years of practice have allowed me to do the first; the same 58 years have resulted in my preference for the second. Accuracy & presentation are far more important. My personal love of fly fishing is in using the rod, not in mending long lines. Practice, do your best, then perfect it.
    later_Peter likes this.

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