Fly Casting - Part Two - Long Cast Aren't Necessary

Let me get to a main point you shouldn't ever forget. Anytime and anywhere,
anyone is trying to cast for trout by making a cast of over forty or fifty feet long,
unless they have special circumstances that are not normal, they are using the
wrong approach. Most all of the cast you make for trout should be less than
thirty, feet long anywhere you are fishing. In fact, if you make cast over fifty, feet
long fishing for saltwater species, you are making a mistake in most any situation
you could possibly conceive.

There are several reasons for this. One is very simple. The longer you cast, the
less accurate you are. You cannot possible make a fifty-foot cast and land a fly  
on a ten foot long leader and tippet combination within six inches of your  
intended target without you false cast too many times. That brings up another
subject of potential error- false casting - but I will discuss that later.

Scenes from "A River Runs Through It" or from your favorite twenty-year old
casting video looks great and tend to make you think you can't cast, but the
truth of the matter is, they have nothing to do with catching trout. Short, accurate
cast that allow you to make a drag-free drift (meaning crooked, messed up cast)
is what catches trout.

There's another factor that causes anglers to attempt to make the mistake of
trying to cast too far. It's caused by the fly rod manufacturers. For the last
several years, up until fairly recently, far too much emphasis has been placed
on making long cast. Most every fly rod ad had to do with fast action, fast tip,
long casting fly rods. It always amazed me that the same manufacturers who
promoted the high price, long casting fly rods, also sold an even more expensive
model made of bamboo with an action so slow it was difficult to stay awake when
waiting on the backcast to straighten out. I suppose anglers were supposed to be
stupid enough to think that making a fast action fly rod cost a lot more than
making a medium or slow action fly rod.

I think the increase in saltwater fishing may have been a factor in this. Those
who were new to fishing in saltwater were easily convinced that long cast were
essential. When it came to freshwater, as with most anything else,
manufacturers had to come up with a reason for you to replace your old fly rod
with a new one. Recently the emphasis has been headed back to medium to
slow action fly rods. In ninety-percent of the fly fishing for trout situations, a slow
to medium action fly rod will outperform a fast action rod.

The most recent emphasis in selling fly rods has gone back to weight. In fact,
some manufacturers have gone so far in their attempts to reduce the weight that
they have reduced the size of the handle to the point it only fits the hands of a
petite female teenager. Anglers with big hands like me have been left out.

In case you missed it, here is my point. If you are trying to make fifteen to twenty-
foot curve cast that lands your fly withing a six-inch radius of a target using a
fast-action fly rod, you are making it much more difficult than it should be. If you
are not concentrating on doing something at least similar to this, then you need
to at least recognize that you should be. That's the type of cast you need to
make to catch trout in most trout streams in the nation.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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