Understanding Casting

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LukeNZ

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Are we not in effect, honing our casting skills every time we go fishing...?
Yes to some degree; simply because it is the river and environmental conditions that determine how we can best approach our target areas. And that narrows our choice, if we want to fish efficiently.

As in, we dont get to use a single-spey off our our preferred shoulder in every circumstance.

For me, that is part of the fun, wheras, some will cross to the otherside, or station themselves in a less than ideal spot - as they don't want to spend their day getting tangled, or ducking from the fly, or being unable to cover the fishable distance - simply because their casting ability is limited to one basic cast.

I know I have said it a million times, practice, practice, practice.

To those who think practice is a waste of time, I say poppy-cock! 😃

Another reality is, that some folks will never become highly skilled, no matter how much they try. Its a simple fact, and there is no fix; not even reading an understanding thread...🤣🤣


🙃
 
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Bobfly2

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"It can only be by practice of the basics then getting out frequently and fishing in the widest range of circumstances."
The above is what I said earlier and it is not saying that practice is a waste of time. You are trying to learn two things surely ... casting and angling. Some people hardly ever go angling at all but would go out casting every week !
Learning to cast is the the basic bit, the fine tuning is on the water every time you go out. I go out a few times every season to the park to try line and rod combinations and have a wee practice. Likewise for any new rod or replacement (!). Those rod/reel/line combos are then tried on the water. For any new rod I would usually be trying four or five "expected to match" lines to see what I think is best.

Today I had spell out in the tube. When I arrived I was told by 2 anglers it was blowing a hoolie and I would be blown all over the loch and I would never make it up to the top. They were on the dam trying to cast into the wind. I finned up the loch and caught 3 decent 15 inch browns in a slight ripple beside some big willows. They left an hour or so after I arrived and I had popped out to try out a new to me rod bought from someone on here. It replaced a rod broken up north a couple of months ago so I have set up the best match for that rod and it is now written into my rods and lines listings. On Wednesday it will all be used by my wife since she broke the other rod out in a boat in Caithness.
So, the testing and practice
 

Bobfly2

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(That posted itself! Must have brushed the telphone mini screen.)
The testing and trialling needs to be practical. I want to see the trout put a bend in the rod. I want to see the line landing in the wind. You cannot test a midgetip line or an intermediate on a patch of grass it must be in the water so you might as well be fishing !!!!
 

ohanzee

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So who were the instructors at the time Alan?

Alberto Laidlaw was the only qualified instructor when he started it, myself and Alex were working toward Sgaic and helped out, and we had a few visiting instructors, Brian came down a couple of times, Andrew Toft and few others, after a year Alex and I qualified and Craig and Scott were working toward and the quality of the whole thing started ramping up, the salmon/double hander guys added a Sunday session.
 

ohanzee

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"It can only be by practice of the basics then getting out frequently and fishing in the widest range of circumstances."
The above is what I said earlier and it is not saying that practice is a waste of time. You are trying to learn two things surely ... casting and angling. Some people hardly ever go angling at all but would go out casting every week..

I spent a year or more doing exactly that, fishing just 4 or 5 trips, casting a couple of times a week, I never wanted to be an expert in fishing, that part was my hobby and I enjoyed the self learning part so much I did fishing that put me in the position where I was out of my depth and didn't know where to start, working it out was the bit I enjoyed and still do, my vision of hell is arriving at a loch and being so good I just catch, loch Ba springs to mind, if it's not a challenge I'm done with it, and I liked fishing so much that I wanted to protect that, fishing alone without a clue but challenged to work it out is the best bit for me.

Casting practice is a bit like making flies, it's just preparing to fish as well as you can, and I like the social nature of it, was that year or so wasted? looking over the longer term? let's just say that when I go fishing I'm glad I wasted the time then rather than need to now.
 

ohanzee

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Excellent point. Hadn't thought about it before but as an amateur woodworker who now by choice uses a lot of hand tools there is an obvious connection I can now make. First, using edge tools - for example a pairing chisel - requires a lot of feel - for both the effort applied to the tool and for the grain of the wood. Second, I've been hand sharpening things since I was a child with a pen knife and after well more than half a century at it I am still learning how to control my movements better.

Cheers
Mark

Just knowing it's there is enough, feel develops through awareness, this was told me by a master craftsman that taught me to shave the end grain of 300 year old oak beams, he learned his trade in roofs of English cathedrals, and shaved end grain with transparent shavings, honing the edge every 5 slices, to me it was as hard as stone, for him it was butter, effortless and no power needed.
 

Wee Jimmy

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I certainly would never knock anyone who makes the extra effort to improve themselves at anything in life so fair play to them.. If I had the time and space I would probably practice more away from the water myself...(y)

While I was always my own worse critic, always pushing myself, I do seem to have mellowed a wee bit in that regard. That being said, accurate casting and presentation have always been very important to me for the way I like to go about things on the water, I don't think that will ever change. I also firmly believe if you are the type who is always striving for that perfect cast then its possible to improve your casting skills whilst actually fishing. I'd be the first to admit I might not be doing it as efficiently as I could be but if I can put my flies where I want them nine times out of ten, then I'm happy with that.
 

Whinging pom

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Wee Jimmy
I’m going to be presumptuous here and assume your mostly at home on a boat and fishing with droppers. And by the very nature of what your doing, you need to be aware constantly of the adjustments to achieve the turn over and presentation to safely transition those flies untangled onto the water. In fact standing on a loch:reservoir bank trying to get out into the zone against various conditions ahead and obstacles behind, will keep the average caster conscious of the mechanics.
Maybe us river stream fishers are concentrating ahead on other things and just fall back on our intuitive cast a bit more to get us over our quarry.

The thing is I have at least three or four things in my cast that have developed over time that I need to be aware of and actively work on to groove/ hone/ correct in my cast/ muscle memory, now without distractions if I’m going to improve. And cripes I need too!!

I’m sure most on here would be the same if they looked into it or admitted it!

The sight of a rise form in the margins above a wee riffle with a ranunculus bed in mid stream and I’m zoned in on presentation problem solving, and reverting to my at present, muscle memory ,and flawed casting style.

It is however the nature of this forum, from the bone fish flats to a team with droppers on a windy Scottish loch and everything in between , we’re a very broad church, with varying disciplines and the complete spectrum of abilities.
What I say for me doesn’t mean I disagree with you or tangled or Bob p. It’s just perspective.

I’ve no ambition to regularly hit a small target 50-60’ ahead, as a must-have ability for my type of fishing. I don’t believe it’s particularly ambitious compared with what many guys on here can do.
To do it with some control on the loop formation and a feel for the timing as a intuitive grooved cast is my ambition for this winter. Then whatever I do in my normal river fishing next season is WELL within my comfort zone.

Under the gaze and manipulation of a casting instructor yesterday I was managing what I enviously see others do, and I ( think) understand why I’m not achieving it. Last thing I’m thinking of today is fishing, I just want to get out and practice while it’s fresh in my mind.

Cripes I wonder how many on here would, like Robin said yesterday, think nothing of paying silly money buying the latest Sage for the ‘improvements’ it will bring. But begrudge a tiny proportion of that outlay on having a qualified professional dedicating an hour to achieving real improvements and benefits.

He sees them regularly come out to shop taking equipment to the casting-lake for a trial and they can’t cast.

For me it’s a no brainier.
 
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Wee Jimmy

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Wee Jimmy
I’m going to be presumptuous here and assume your mostly at home on a boat and fishing with droppers. And by the very nature of what your doing, you need to be aware constantly of the adjustments to achieve the turn over and presentation to safely transition those flies untangled onto the water. In fact standing on a loch:reservoir bank trying to get out into the zone against various conditions ahead and obstacles behind, will keep the average caster conscious of the mechanics.
Maybe us river stream fishers are concentrating ahead on other things and just fall back on our intuitive cast a bit more to get us over our quarry.

The thing is I have at least three or four things in my cast that have developed over time that I need to be aware of and actively work on to groove/ hone/ correct in my cast/ muscle memory, now without distractions if I’m going to improve. And cripes I need too!!

I’m sure most on here would be the same if they looked into it or admitted it!

The sight of a rise form in the margins above a wee riffle with a ranunculus bed in mid stream and I’m zoned in on presentation problem solving, and reverting to my at present, muscle memory ,and flawed casting style.

It is however the nature of this forum, from the bone fish flats to a team with droppers on a windy Scottish loch and everything in between , we’re a very broad church, with varying disciplines and the complete spectrum of abilities.
What I say for me doesn’t mean I disagree with you or tangled or Bob p. It’s just perspective.

I’ve no ambition to regularly hit a small target 50-60’ ahead, as a must-have ability for my type of fishing. I don’t believe it’s particularly ambitious compared with what many guys on here can do.
To do it with some control on the loop formation and a feel for the timing as a intuitive grooved cast is my ambition for this winter. Then whatever I do in my normal river fishing next season is WELL within my comfort zone.

Under the gaze and manipulation of a casting instructor yesterday I was managing what I enviously see others do, and I ( think) understand why I’m not achieving it. Last thing I’m thinking of today is fishing, I just want to get out and practice while it’s fresh in my mind.

Cripes I wonder how many on here would, like Robin said yesterday, think nothing of paying silly money buying the latest Sage for the ‘improvements’ it will bring. But begrudge a tiny proportion of that outlay on having a qualified professional dedicating an hour to achieving real improvements and benefits.

He sees them regularly come out to shop taking equipment to the casting-lake for a trial and they can’t cast.

For me it’s a no brainier.
I'm almost exclusively boat fishing with dries ,preferably in a pin ripple or flat calm . Usually with a pair in any kind of ripple but I prefer a single fly when its flat. Some of it is prospecting randomly but targetting risers is really my thing. Accuracy and stealth are a big deal for me.
I can achieve all this at short to medium range, by that I mean from under my rod tip to 15 yards . A long range cover for me would mean 20 yards but its certainly a lot more hit and miss at that range.

I take your point though and I did seek advice from a reputable APGAI some 30 years ago in an effort to improve my distance. I'm sure deep down that almost everyone will wish they were a better caster if they are honest with themselves.
 

Whinging pom

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As there seems to be quite a lot of discussion (even without my input) on casting instructors and they’re role in achieving good casting practice maybe a list of the ones used and recommended by members would be handy?
 

Tangled

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As there seems to be quite a lot of discussion (even without my input) on casting instructors and they’re role in achieving good casting practice maybe a list of the ones used and recommended by members would be handy?
Happy to include a list of recommended instructors. It obviously requires a level of honesty :cool:
 

Whinging pom

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Ok I’ll nominate:
Robin Elwes
Www.learn2yfish.com for contact details
Areas: London, Reading (sports fish) and the Test
AAPGAI single handed master
double handed master.
REFFIS and STANIC
Been Farlows main casting instructor since 1988

Recommendations :
A few notable things about his teaching :
The ability to take the rod off me and instantly completely replicate my casting stroke so I could see a mirror of what I was doing and watch his arms and hands reproduce it with my timing and rotation and wrist break.
To break down the cast into sections and rebuild one section at a time before putting it back together for the end of the session.
AND..
knowing when to step in confiscate my rod and hold it behind his back and say “ ok fella let’s talk about anything else while your muscles relax”.
Years of dealing with all level of clients shows , yet infectious enthusiasm still there!
 
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LukeNZ

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^^^ added
...but surely we need an understanding casting instructors thread!

And definately, an understanding fishing guides thread!

On the latter, I have a book reccomendation, and for anyone who has done remote camp, fly fishing, or would at some point like to - it is all the fishing guide understanding you will ever need.

Brilliantly honest, and a great read.

The Alaska Chronicles: An Unwashed View of Life, Work, and Fly Fishing.

Author: Miles Nolte. ISBN: 0-9620609-9-2

Could be a good one for winter.

🙃
 
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Tangled

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I wonder if we can sustain a decent conversation about tailing loops?

Like the SLP not really being an SLP (but near enough for practical purposes), the descriptions and causes of tailing loops has created a few problems for me. (One is how it causes a 'wind' knot, but that's for later.)

It's bugged me that the tailing loops that I occasionally thought I threw when fishing bore no resemblance to those I cast when I'm trying to deliberately create one. It also bugged me that tailing loops as depicted in the various online videos and blogs didn't actually look like tailing loops to me. It just looked like a confused mess. Then I found this and, if correct, I began to sort it out in my mind.

But let's see how we get on.

 

LukeNZ

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Insufficient line speed is the cause (assuming correct equipment set up - balanced outfit).

Look at the reasons for that; most often it is too much line out for the casters ability, causing a lack of progression through the cast - essentially line slack, as the rod load is not consistently and progressively maintained through the stroke.

Too much line also causes low ability casters to get funky with their rod arc, in an attempt to keep it all going - this compounds the load / line speed problem.

🙃
 

Tangled

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I watched it and I have no idea what he is trying to say, what is it you sorted out?
I think he's saying a few things

1. that out there in the world - even the world of undeniably brilliant casters - there's a confusion between a tailing loop and a closed loop.

2. that teacher's demonstrating tailing loops are not making them in a way that they happen in real life. (The inference is that because they're not, it's not useful.)

3. this one I'm keeping quiet about until I'm a bit more confident :cool:
 

Tangled

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Look up 'crossing loop'.

The point of the post is to show that people are routinely confusing crossing loops with tailing loops.

eg, as requested, I googled crossing loops and the first result was the from Midcurrent

"Tailing loops are the bane of both novice and experienced casters, and they can almost all be traced to problems with the timing of the casting stroke. A tailing loop is one where the front of the fly line and the leader cross below the plane of the cast as the forward cast rolls out, often causing a tangle in the line or a wind knot in the tippet or leader."

To be a tailing loop the lines cross twice.

So, is a crossed loop a fault?

(I'm defining 'fault' as unintentional and detramental)
 
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