Casting Accuracy Part II – Common Mistakes & Solutions

Casting Accuracy Part II – Common Mistakes & Solutions

This is part of a series about Improving your Casting Accuracy – Part I can be found here.

In this post on casting accuracy, we want to eliminate some obvious errors in technique that we see on a daily basis.  If you can fix any of these issues your casting will improve in a single day!

Problem #1 – Breaking your wrist
This is a loop and distance killer.  Remember casting the fly line is all about controlling the line in the air.  So having good loop control starts with not bending/braking your wrist – especially on the back cast.
Solution – if you just can’t seem to fix this is to stick the butt of your rod in your long sleeved shirt.  Try it and you’ll be amazed!

Problem #2 – Bringing the rod back too far on your back cast
Again that’s another loop killer.  Many of our fishing guests come from parts of the country where a windy day is 15 mph.  Well, welcome to the West where that’s pretty much our normal breeze.  Hence the 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock technique taught by many does not work in a stiff wind.  I tell all my beginner anglers that if you can’t see your rod hand in your peripheral vision you are going too far back.  If you must think of it as a clock face then 9:30 to 12:30 would be a better example.
Solution – have someone stand behind you for a few minutes and physically stop your hand if it goes too far back. You can also watch your cast, stopping your hand before it goes too far back.

Problem #3 – Trying to cast too far
This is where all anglers eventually breakdown.  Fortunately, this is easily solved.  It’s as simple as moving closer.  If you can move closer to a trout do it.  Casting 35+ feet for a trout is only for specific scenarios, the closer you can get (without spooking the trout) the better your accuracy will be.  To get distance and accuracy is all about having good technique and practicing at it.
Easy Solutionstop casting too far and move closer!  Remember a 30 foot cast is only about three times as long as your nine foot rod.

Problem #4 – Not practicing or practicing incorrectly
Solution – As we’ll continue to harp on, practice in your yard, driveway or local park after walking the dog.
Better Solution – Move to Montana where you can fish about 9 months a year.  We promise you’ll be an expert caster in just one year.

Problem #5 – arises from the aforementioned ‘solution’ – you get fired from your job, have no money, your girlfriend/wife dumps you, you end up working in a fly shop for pennies and have no time to go fishing.
Solution – just come fishing with us for a few more days a year.

Improving your Casting Accuracy – Part I

Improving your Casting Accuracy – Part I

Hunting Bonefish in the Bahamas

What if you could improve your cast to fish hook up ratio?  Unless you just like standing in a river waving a stick, every angler we know would jump on that opportunity.  Several things stand out when you look at a good angler vs. an average angler.  Good anglers maximize their time on the water covering the water effectively.  While it’s not all about numbers of caught fish (remember it’s still really about the experience) we do want to increase our success ratio.  Casting accuracy is one of the primary ways to accomplish that goal.  Here are several thoughts on improving your casting accuracy.

First, no matter where you live you can practice.  We often joke with our fishing clients about their lack of practice.  You don’t have to live on a river or lake to practice – although it doesn’t hurt.  Chances are you live somewhere near an open space of at least 60 feet (30 feet for the forward cast and 30 feet for the backcast).  This can be a parking lot, park, local reservoir, or just your backyard.  Beware if you do this in a public setting get prepared to meet some interesting individuals, most of whom will have some ‘smart’ comment about what you’re trying to catch (our favorite reply is ‘grass-carp’).  Also if you practice on gravel or pavement make sure to get a fly line that you don’t mind ruining.  Gravel and pavement will gradually damage the line.  If you need a practice line most fly shops will give you a demo line for free or very cheap at the end of the season.

Practicing correctly is crucial; if you practice poorly it won’t help you a bit.  Make sure that you’ve got a good foundation if you’re still in the learning phase stop by your local fly shop and get a lesson or read up on any of the numerous books/videos on the topic.

This is going to be a continuing topic so check in next week as we’ll be posting some casting games and some of the most common mistakes we see.