How did you learn to cast?

Discussion in 'Fish on the Fly' started by Rooster, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. I'm working on my third attempt at becoming an adequate fly caster. I just cannot seem to get the hang of it on my own. My lack of casting skill translates into unproductive days on the water, then I revert back to the spinning rod (catch fish), and the fly rod starts to gather dust.

    So, how did you learn to fly cast? Learn on your own while fishing? Practice in the back yard? Did someone teach you? Videos? Professional help?
  2. PapawSmith

    PapawSmith Bud n Burgers

    Nothing is better than having an experienced fly fisherman standing next to you to help you out. You can watch all the videos you want, and they all contain quality info/advice, but the problem is you can not watch yourself apply the techniques that they teach. If you have someone standing there that 'knows how' and can you advise you on how to correct the flaws in your technique you'd be shocked at how quickly you will catch on. Once you learn the proper methods of the casting action, long and more accurate casting comes with practice.
    Find yourself an experienced helper and you'll be fine. Then you'll be hooked.
    Good luck.

  3. I strongly suggest that you find a certified instructor and take a casting lesson. I took one from Brian at MRO and it really made a difference. That and his advice that I practice, practice, and practice. Sorry AI.

    By the way, I also subscribe to the thought that - "You can learn to cast a fly rod in a half hour, but it takes a lifetime to perfect."
  4. creekcrawler

    creekcrawler Konfused Kayaker

    Learned in the back yard when I was @ 12.
    Think I got a book that gave me the fundamentals....
  5. the back yard thing. and articles out of Fly Fisherman back in the day when the mag was worth the purchase price.

    what exactly is your problem? for noobs, timing is the biggest issue I think. they dont give the rod enough time to load.
  6. Rooster, give me a shout and Ill meet you somewhere and give you a good lesson. this could be in the winter , over grass or ice, just let me know and Ill see if we can work out a time and place, I suppose on the water would be best.

    Casting comes first, then the fancy stuff later ( IE mending, specific casts for specific types of water, throwing heavy stuff, fluffy stuff, different leaders etc)
    Send me a PM, also would help if we knew where you had been attempting to do this unsuccessfully,and how, it is possible you were doing everything right and this time of year, the fish were not cooperating. That might help us give some better pointers.

  7. This is all good advice. The only suggestion that I have to add is this: yes, it's a good idea to learn how to cast properly, but I've found that line control (e.g. mending) is more important when it comes to actually fishing and catching. In other words, one can make an ugly cast, but still catch lots of fish by working on drag-free drifts and such.

  8. I'm a newbie to fly fishing for steelies but the huge difference for me this year is a quality rod... last year i had to really whip the cheap one- it was a 9wt St. Croix with ZERO graphite in it- so I was having to use my whole arm to get anything out there... mending the line- forget it! no chance.
    This year I bought a Cabela's SLA 7wt and OMG what a difference!! I'm just flicking the wrist and letting the rod load and then it just sends it! i couldn't be happier- especially since my first time out with it- I went 1 for 2 in only an hour of fishing....
    So from one rookie to another- its all in the wrist and its 10 and 2, 10 and 2- Something else that I have found- in the right conditions I'm able to sneak up to holes from down stream and get well within casting distance- (maybe 2 rod lengths- within 20') that leads to less time getting snags in trees out and more time landing fish... good luck!
  9. ryosapien

    ryosapien Bad@

    quite to the contrary muskie i find (in accord to every fly fishing article on casting you will ever read) that you need to lock the wrist to avoid getting huge loops and week shoot of line. You give a SMALL flick of the wrist to straight at the stop of the stroke. Breaking your wrist is causes wide loops (which is sometimes desireable). THat said with the weight i use when fishing steel i rarely need to cast pretty like. small ponded it with an open orvis guide for 2 weeks before i even thought about hitting a river. BY pulling the line off of the water you get a better idea of how to load the rod on the backcast. LIke patricio said allow the line to extend and feel the rod load before beginning the forward cast. I also have found that by pushing my elbow forward and up slightly on the forward stroke i can keep the tip of the rod moving in more a straight line.
  10. Self taught except for the dbl haul!
  11. self taught, cast, haul, roll and spey(I have WAY to much time on my hands) however the best way to get a jump start on the cast is to get some instruction, this will help you figure out what you may be doing wrong and how to fix any problems, then you have somthing to go on when practicing in the back yard. there are usually one on one lessons available at most fly shops, or you can find someone with some teaching experience, like mark, and meet up for a lesson. the biggest thing is once you get an understanding of the cast practice, and practice doing it well, when your looking at a big trout in a slick you want the cast to be natural no longer somthing you need to think about.
  12. self taught. the first combo was a cheap $60 sci-anglers 6wt outfit. took me about a year to learn casting, and CONTROLLING the line. the toughest cast, which i still try to perfect is the roll cast(trying to reach 60 feet). double haul is good. now im working on distance and placement of the fly because i can only cast 80 feet on 7wt. accurately
  13. Fishaholic69

    Fishaholic69 Fly Fishing Addict

    I watched videos online and rented videos from the library. most of all I went outside and casted in the yard and then took it to the river and tried it out. after going for a year and a half now I can cast across my river easily in most spots. its not a huge river but I get the idea of casting for the most part and catch fish most of the time out! keep it up you will get better and better every day. some days I get skunked and all I do is cast and cast. I don't know if what I do is called fishing or casting half the time! lol...
  14. I lived in Oregon for a short period of time and I took a class there. A beginner class in tying and another in casting. Having someone show you the little things you are doing wrong makes a huge difference!
  15. Learned the basics from a book and practiced. Have developed my own "style" over the years based on what worked for me.

    Don't give up Rooster. Once you do get casting down fly fishing becomes a whole different world.
  16. ryo-
    are you saying use 10 & 12 with your wrist? Lock it at 12? (small flick of the wrist to straight at the stop of the stroke)??
    I'm not quite understanding. I have been more patient with my casts and when I feel the rod load I then make my wrist go forward. The loading of the rod is a sensation that I never experienced until about 3 trips ago- it was like the gods shown down on me "wala"! :)
    Some problems I get into is casting in tighter areas, I almost have to cast parallel over top the river with my arm at a crazy angle- like you said, casting for steel doesn't require pretty casts. I'm going to try the elbow forward and up slightly on the forward stroke to keep the rod tip moving in a straight line- I think that will help me with extremely agravating snags on trees and bushes on my back casts.
  17. Hey guys, new member here. Found out about the boards from a co-worker and I am really excited to have an Ohio-centric fly fishing board.

    I learned to cast in three stages. I started with the usual books and videos and that got me interested.

    Then, while living in LA, a friend started taking me out on some SoCal streams for some fishing and I learned how much I still had to learn and he worked with me a little. But neither of us got much time on the water so we were both a bit too impatient to really do a whole of lot transferring knowledge.

    Finally, I took a few trips to Vermont where I attended the Orvis fly fishing school in Manchester. That's where I really made progress. I attended two more times (after my first class) as they kind of customize the classes to your level so I took a second one to get down some advanced techniques and the third time was after I had been off the water for a long time and had picked up some really bad habits from too much backyard casting.

    Some people are lucky enough to be able to pick it up from reading or just watching but if you are struggling with it, I really recommend working with a professional. MRO here in Columbus offers classes and instructions and Orvis has schools scattered around the country if you want to combine a trip with your instruction. You can also look for guides who specifically mention that they are happy to take flycasters of all levels.
  18. Fishaholic69

    Fishaholic69 Fly Fishing Addict

    maybe your timing is wrong. try watching your rod on the back cast. when it bends backward (loads) start the forward cast. if you do it right your line should cast out easily with out hardly any effort whatsoever.
  19. welcome to Ohio Game Fishing deaner1971.

    There are a number of us in the Columbus area that fly fish and we can hep you out too. For now I have pretty much hung up the rods and will be restocking my fly boxes. Most of my fishing is done north of 270 in the Olentangy and Scioto and at Antrim as well.

    Again, welcome to OGF! :cool:
  20. ryosapien

    ryosapien Bad@