Posts Tagged ‘fly casting tips

24
Feb
12

Basic Fly Rod Waving w/ Lefty Kreh

GREAT BASICS BY LEFTY KREH FOR THE BEGINNER’s Fly Casting

Nice easy going basics on handling the rod to move the line. Look how nice and easy he makes it look. 

Legend Lefty Kreh throwing the line

01
Oct
11

Fly Fishing the Philippines: Serenity at Sunset

Chest Deep and Nice Casting at Sunset in the Philippines  

Fly Fishing in the Philippines: I couldn’t find an explanation re what the fly fisher was angling for…but the sunset and lapping waves looked pleasant enough. His casting stroke is nice and he is shuffling his feet as the surfaces shifts. I have a friend, who just returned from the Islands. He says there is some excellent fly fishing to be had in the Philippines. Of course, he didn’t elaborate.

Well, in light of the typhoons that just caused death and destruction in the islands, this prior post may seem in poor taste. I wasn’t aware of the storms. However, I will leave the post for a more serene time.

23
Sep
11

Fly Fishing: Reach Mend and Feeding Line

The reach cast is an easy way to throw an immediate mend into the fly line. Also, note the subsequent quick mends to feed line up through the guides and maintain the line in the feeding path without drag. This is a good way to feed a pattern downstream to waiting fish. I have lowered egg patterns down toward trout staged below  Chinook Salmon Redds

REACH MEND AND FEEDING LINE 

Michael Durham Salmon Photos & More

30
Jul
11

Fly Fishing: Mending a fly line…what’s the big deal?

“One of the difficulties in mending for most anglers is that their technique eliminates slack in the line and leader, rather than creating slack or moving it to a new position. If the angler starts with no slack, and starts yanking on the line at the rod tip, the fly will move. At worst, the mend will negate casting accuracy by pulling the fly out of the fish’s feeding lane or cause enough drag to spook the target fish. “Mending Your Ways” by Brant Oswald

Middle Fork Willy: To mend now will move the fly as it moves along that far seam. An earlier, bigger mend would have kept the fly in the zone longer. The fish were rising along a 10′ stretch of the seam. I was maybe presenting to half that distance without drag ensuing. Notice the competing current speeds on the fly line. (SwittersB)

Oswald writes a nice beginner’s tutorial (intermediate’s reminder) on mending the fly line. The effort is to develop a balance in feeding line up trough the guides and/or adjusting the speed of the fly, via mends, without disturbing the fly and alarming the fish. The correct tension upon the fly line that maintains natural speed (moving at the speed of the current, not speeding up because of drag on the flyline/fly) is a skill that is much more important than how long a cast you can make. It is an important act that is often performed too hard.

23
Jul
11

Beginning Fly Casting: Take a Lesson

Casting with Cushion Under Arm

“Some teach no movement in the wrist, or no movement in the elbow or no movement in the shoulder. Some teach the old method of holding a book pinned between the elbow and the body so as not to drop the book. Some use an analogy of pulling a light chain down to turn on a light. There are all types of devises and theories that were created in the past in an attempt to restrict the movement of those three joints in one way or another.

In establishing the certification program the Federation of Fly Fishers is attempting to standardize and improve casting instruction across the country. During this process a study in fly casting is emerging that is gradually clarifying the most important basics and how they can best be taught. This process is ongoing.

One fact that is becoming increasing clear is that each of us have unique body mechanics which must be taken into account.”  Floyd Dean…FFF Master Fly Casting

Fly Fish Louisiana

For the better part of my fly fishing life, I taught myself. No, that isn’t really true. I didn’t really teach myself. I adjusted. I tried to present a fly to a target and attempted to adjust the stroke to get it, the fly, there. I had no idea how my casting stroke looked. I tried to make sure I didn’t catch grass or trees behind me and out front, I wanted to land the fly ahead of the fish and entice a take. That was it.

Years later, at a shop, I stood looking at a rod in the shop. I did the usual tip shake. I looked at the handle and judged how it felt in my hand. I looked at the color…nice. All you really need to fork out a tidy sum? Not really. The shop owner said let’s string it up and have you cast it out in the parking lot. Well, I resisted as it was akin to taking a car for a test drive. Pressure to buy…just looking…thank you.

Well, there I stood in the parking lot with rod in hand and I proceeded to cast. My the rod loaded so sweet and I snapped that piece of yarn out there easily. Then it started…the casting critique. Hmmm? I was defensive at first. I didn’t need any stinking critique, thank you.

Fly Fish Louisiana

But, the shop owner, an accomplished guide, could immediately see my faults (tailing loop) and started the process of teaching me drift and a softer forward stroke…. It was my first impromptu lesson. Since then, I have had others, especially with a two hander. I don’t mind now. But, my bad habits are pretty well established. I study more on line now. But, wouldn’t it have been nice, way back, to have had lessons?

So, I advise you to take classes. Several. Be patient as each instructor pushes you, and your stroke, this way and that and learn the basics, the basics that always apply regardless of your (or the instructor’s) personal quirks. Take a lesson..take more than one.

Also, when you take on the effort to teach others, make sure you know what you are teaching. Your prior lesson(s) will help you impart the correct advice. Encourage the newbie to attend fly casting instruction events (FFF sponsored usually) and/or visit their local shop.

16
Jul
11

Fly Fishing & Tailing Loops

Tailing Loop

I wade out about as far as I dare. And, of course, the fish continue to pop up just beyond a comfortable casting distance. What do I do? Yes, I go for it. What results is overpowering my casts and a tailing loop and sooner or later, when it is totally inconvenient (I am in the middle of a hatch) I end up not just with wind knots but eventually a mess. What is worse, I don’t always see the mess, pressing onward and outward. Yep, there it is a mess and re-rigging time. Wind knots happen to most people (they say) and (they say) it reduces your leader strength by a reputed 50%. But, in my haste to reach those fish I push beyond a wind knot to a total stop in the action. So, I have vowed to slow down and fish shorter and smarter. Here is a nice little review of casting problems related to the railing loop at SEXY LOOPS

“The main cause of tailing loops (in Texas) is Forward Creep. Forward Creep is beginning the forward stroke too early. Anticipating the forward cast would be a nice way of looking at it. Either way it sucks. Your backcast is travelling backwards, your rod tip is travelling forwards, the backcast straightens pulling the rod tip under the Straight Line Path and you throw a classic tailing loop…..The tip path for forward creep is a Sine Wave.

Cure:…..If you are a complete beginner pause longer before you begin the forward stroke. If you are an intermediate learn to drift. Drifting is the antithesis of Forward Creep and is an important thing to learn if you want to throw Sexyloops.”


13
Jun
11

Fly Fishing How To’s: Just get it there…….

I often refer to my fly tying creations as ‘impressionistic’ creations. This is an admitted copout for my less than tidy tying style, BUT my creations do catch fish….historically, quite a few. 

So it is with much of fly fishing. You can throw the perfect cast and know all the bug’s entomological names, but in the end you must make that fly (impressionistic or perfection) present in the most natural way possible given the stream or lake’s configurations.

I am a self taught fly caster. Any shop owner that stands beside me as I test a rod would tell you my casting faults: tailing loops, over powered forward cast, etc etc etc. Coupled with a fully fused right wrist, I am not a great caster. So, my efforts have always been how to present the fly to look real and equal to others drifting by or rising through the water column.

By all means have casting lessons, study videos, read articles and books about this cast and that, but in the end presentation is critical to it all. Mending, reach casts, curl casts, your position in relation to the fish or likely holding water are more important than your throwing 70″+ of line or looking like a piano metronome.

11
Jun
11

Fly Fishing: Knots Landing

One of the basics of fishing how to’s are knots; the how to tie a certain knot. For the average, beginning fly fisher, fishing freshwater, there are only a few knots to learn. Most beginning books, classes, blogs (to include this one…see search box re “knots”) for fly fishing, have plenty of info on how to tie a cinch/clinch knot, surgeon’s knot, blood knot, nail knot, loop knot. 

The problem I encounter on the water with beginners, is they look past the importance of a maintained uniformly tapered leader/tippet. The proper leader is important in turning over the fly via the cast. It is important in the presentation of a soft delivery to not spook the fish. 

A knot that joins butt section to leader or leader to tippet should not look like a granny knot on steriods. Keep the knots lean and horizontal, not round, irregular and clunky. Knots create drag, so pay attention to this important, basic skill. Understand how to tie/construct/maintain a reasonably tapered leader of around the length of your rod if not more. Strive to maintain that butt section/leader length and only have to touch up the tippet length now and then after break offs or repeated changing of flies.  Presentation of the line, leader, tippet, fly includes a streamlined, properly tied knot. 

21
May
11

Fly Fishing: the Shoreline Eddy

I was going to write the ‘back eddy’ but I think it is better to describe it as the shoreline eddy. The fly fishing literature will usually suggest the eddy is a ‘smorgasbord’ of food for trout (when did you last lay eyes on a smorgasbord?). Most eddy’s are the size of your car or smaller, with the occasional mega one. A shoreline projection into the current or bend in the river will create the eddy. Regardless of their size, food (insects) is funneled into these revolving, carousel like pools. The eddy, at some point, because it is rotating, doubles back up river against the normal downstream flow. The trapped food items are vulnerable to a trout, and your approach, if not stealthy, makes you vulnerable to a fish’s view. So, plenty of fish food and fish is exciting. But, the challenge will be the presentation. A dry, an emerger, a streamer drawn through hoping for that hit? 

This is one of those times you really should slow down with your approach (it is always said you should slow down, but often we fail to stop and study the water from the edge out). Once you spot the eddy, stop. Get a clear view. Can you back off and observe for a while? The fish will be sipping or right below the surface taking in the trapped insects. Think how you are going to present a fly into that slowly revolving window without spooking the fish. A long leader is ideal for a probably small offering. If possible and safe, can you climb above the eddy and safely, stealthily look down to study the activity?

How will you present the fly while staying low, watching your fly, dealing with possible wind, and avoiding too much drag? You will not get too many chances here so take your time to watch how the fish are/is feeding. Then consider your cast, where the fly will travel given the current and where the fish is in relation to that path. Don’t just chuck and chance it. 

Do a little research on Pale Morning Duns, a Summer time pattern that likes the quieter back waters, particularly a shoreline eddy.


18
May
11

Fly Fishing: Introducing to Kids

Kell & Katie (SwittersB)

I have written here before re my own transgressions in teaching my sons how to fly fish. Just a friendly reminder to make it a relaxed, initially simple outing. Do not bring your own competitive, impatient style to the water. Be patient with the child’s own impatience and competitive streak. Teach them, mentor them with an eye toward the realities of the sport: things do not always go as planned or desired. Tangles, snags, collapsed casts are all to be expected and fixed. Like in life……..

If you are teaching your own acquaintances, then remember they will be watching your style and how you handle all manner of problems and successes. We do tend to be on our good behavior while teaching strangers, but less so around our own family.

Children will bring to the table all manner of emotions they have developed through sports or self -imposed assessments. Don’t add to their load with too much negativity or too much “here let me show you”. Keep it simple and fun. 

Pick a quiet expanse of lawn at a park or school. Starting at the edge of a stream can be ok, but back casts, mending, roll casts etc. will require patience. At the end of a session, you will know if the child is relaxed, happy, excited or handing that rod to you like it is charged with bad ju ju.

Once you think they have a simple grasp of the basics, a casting class or beginner’s class may be in order, but make sure they are up to it and that you have a sense if the instructor is up to teaching kids. Watch for kid’s classes or introduction to fly fishing casting ponds at sportsmen’s shows /expositions.

Above everything, make it something they will want to still be doing for the rest of their life. Check out FlyFishingPhil for a casting technique drill to adapt to teaching young ones:

http://www.ffpc-rods.com/page18.html




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