Casting a flyline (self gratification v. fishing)

Tony Muncy is quite at ease loading and slinging a line. But, for the rest of us with a pronounced lack of motor skills or physical ailments, a more gentle approach is required and most importantly acceptable. I doubt, in my prime, I have ever cast much past 60′ and I am pushing that. I have acquaintenances that can easily cast the entire flyline (at least at a convention center outdoor expo). But realistically there is almost no point for that on a lake or stream. That is why the Fish God(s) made spey rods for steelhead.

It is common practice for some to let out most of their Intermediate Line or another sink line and wind drift across a lake. May I say, you will catch fish doing this. But what a pain to reel and strip in all that line and if you hook into anything below 20-26″ the fish will often come unhinged and free. Really as a rule I cast out 30-40 feet of line on stillwaters and catch plenty of fish (well usually) with that limited amount of line presented and worked to entice the strike. I really don’t believe one needs the whole fly line out. Maybe 60′ as I wind drift, but if working to a hatch or pre hatch, I am working 30′ and moving about to maintain position if the wind is a factor. You are rarely going to spook fish if you efficiently move about. What does probably spook (I mean unless you are on the central channel at Hosmer L. and can see fish scurry away) is repetitive casting and splatting. There is something addictive, for some, in casting. The feel of a quality rod is so pleasant for some and they have to feel that loading and reloading. What this does is cause someone to cast 2-3 times longer than really necessary. The old saying of can’t catch fish if the line isn’t in/on the water is true. Some would say, well what do you care if I like practicing my cast. I don’t give a crap. Cast away, just don’t fish near me waving about, splatting the surface with an overcharged cast and then when dissatisfied with only 45′ ripping it back up and casting more to get another 5′. Please. Get the line out there and leave it. Kick away from it if on the move and let line out to separate yourself from the fly. If you are anchored up or not on the move then get a single decent cast out there and leave it and work it. I have a permanent impairment with my casting arm. I have long ago given up on being a great caster. So efficiency is all I have now. What this does is it mellows you out, lowers your intensity of the physical process and lets you focus on the presentation once the line is on the water.

Once the line it on the water then keep your tip down to reduce a draping bow in the line, which will to some degree lessen your ability to see the take and set the hook. Even with a direct connect to the fly, you will probably miss as many fish as you hook. To reiterate, WF floating lines (no DT’s) and Intermediate Lines and/or Type 2-5 Lines; few false casts…get them out and working. No one really cares how far you can cast except you. You pick…self gratification of casting or catching fish. To do both is a big waste of your time.              


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