We’re not all fart jokes and girlish giggles here at SCOF, and most of us have more than a few days on the water. We do a regular stratergizing piece in each issue of the mag, but why should it stop there? So, without further delay let’s start the knowledge droppin’.
I am by no means a FFF casting instructor, but as a guide I see a lot of bad casting. I’m not talking about the beginner whose whipping the air like it stole something, but I’m talking about really bad intermediate casting from folks who have the tools to create good loops but for some reason can’t seem to get out of their own way to do it. If your cast is great up to 30 or 40 feet but then seems to breakdown into a disheveled shell of you short cast, I can almost guarantee you that you’re either muscling up, taking entirely way too many false casts or both.
It is human nature to apply more muscle to make things go farther…throw a ball…swing a bat…try to pee on that car 30 feet away (yes that is a muscle…ever heard of male kagels?). Unfortunately in casting a fly rod human nature only works against you. Ever see Joan Wulff cast the whole line? She is not in any danger of anyone accusing her of juicing. The reality of the mechanics of the fly cast is, the longer the distance that you need to cast, the longer the stops on your back and froward cast need to last in order to allow more line to straighten. I promise if you use the same amount of force in you 20 foot cast as you do on your 40 foot cast, but just wait longer for your loops to unfold you will be able to starighten the line out with minimal effort. If you don’t believe me check out Joan.
The second thing I see more than anything else is intermediate casters that are in love with their own false cast. I was once told that flies in the air don’t catch fish, and it kind of stuck. It’s simple math, the more time your flies spend in the air the less fish you catch…it’s just that simple. False casting also exponentially increases the chance of tangling your rig with each roundtrip flight your flies take. The last thing to consider about the sheer amount of false casts you might be making is that in saltwater situations shots are fleeting, and the fish don’t wait around for you to execute the 6th false cast in your routine. You’ll catch more fish by picking it up and putting it down. Most folks would be way better casters if they eliminated 80% of their false casts (and 90% would be even better).
Hopefully somebody finds this helpful, but if not we will get back to the regularly scheduled fart jokes soon…no worries.