the perfect Jump Roll

performed by Christopher Rownes

also known as a Switch cast and Dynamic roll by some, i prefer not to use those terms because of all the confusion they usually create.
simply put, a Jump roll is the other form of roll cast.
instead of dragging the line back on the water to create the D loop, the ‘jump’ part means lifting the line from the water, placing the anchor, creating the D loop in line with the intended front cast direction and going into the forward cast before the D loop crashes on the water.

although hard to disassociate from the Spey cast family, it really isn’t one because this isn’t a change of direction cast. sure, we can deliver the line in a slightly different direction than where the line was lifted but that angle change is very limited.
however, the Jump’s siamese twin of sorts, will be the Single Spey which is based on the same principle but involves a curved sweeping motion and consequent D loop angle change during the ‘Jump/Lift’.

in his dvd set ‘Modern Spey Casting’, Simon Gawesworth highly recommends practicing this cast regularly and to use it to warm-up to start off the day. i couldn’t agree more. it’s not the most useful of actual-fishing casts as it means putting the fly back where it came from and usually causes some commotion on the water’s surface during the lift but ! getting it down right involves good and proper everything: power application, timing, rod tip tracking, smoothness and probably a whole bunch of other elements that’ll come back to me once i’ve published this post…

more than just ‘line-pretty’, this image shows excellent anchor placement involving anchoring only the leader and not the fly line. this provides more than enough ‘stick’ to not blow out the D loop and makes the front cast more efficient and quasi-effortless. superb form indeed.
in this image we’ll also notice that the ‘kiss and go’ principle is far from being a rule or even a necessity as we clearly see the forward cast was started and finished well before the line anchor touched down: a ‘go and kiss’.

’nuff said, here’s some line-candy. enjoy !

'the perfect Jump Roll' Chris Rownes

Fly Casting- the Cunning-Ling

an Off-Tracking Curve Cast demonstration by ‘Doc’ CK Ling

to me, ‘Cunning-Ling‘ sounds a lot better than ‘Off-Tracking Curve’ but let’s just say that the latter gives us the idea that it’s a presentation cast and not something else…
i had come across this cast several years ago during line layout research sessions and it sure is nice to see someone perform it so well on video for all to see.
easy to do and easily repeatable, this short range curve cast works well with all leader and fly types. this brings it into the world of real fishing casts and not show-off ones that are of little if any use on the water.

anyhow, back to tracking and off-tracking:
we know that to cast a straight line we need to track the rod straight. this is what we call the 180° principle and it’s one of the hardcore foundations of fly casting. once we’ve learned to track and cast straight (and learned it well), the next step in the evolution of a fly fisher is to learn to go freestyle and be creative with what we previously learned and one of those, and in my opinion a very important one, is to learn to cast the line in voluptuous curves that will dazzle the fish. (well, the fish aren’t supposed to see any of this so not really but it’ll for sure put your ‘linear’ friends to shame and you’ll catch more fish and have more fun and satisfaction at the same time)
to do this we need to break away from the ‘2 Dimensional’ aspect of straight line casting and go straight into ‘3D’ mode because we’ll need to move the rod tip out of plane, what Ling refers to as Off-Tracking.
what we’ll see below is on the final stroke, the rod tip swings around behind him going from (his) left to right and this makes the line end up going from right to left after the casting stroke. when ‘off-tracking’, it’s good to keep in mind that line layout directions will be the reverse of what the rod tip did.
we’ll also notice that this and some other presentation casts take up a lot more aerial space to perform them, something we’ll need to take into account and check feasibilities before planning it’s execution.

another aspect i really like with this particular curved line presentation is that it’s composed of both a cast (the curved front part of the line is created during the casting stroke) and a mend ( the part of the line closer to the rod tip is repositioned after the casting stroke).
the mend part allows us to place the back part of the line judiciously to either avoid obstacles or to position it in an ideal manner to reduce or increase drag.
clever indeed and just another demonstration that there are a lot more efficient line layout possibilities than most fly anglers might think and all it takes is to break out of the box. (and a little practice !)

CK Ling is an IFFF-MCCI (International Federation of Fly Fishers-Master Certified Casting Instructor) from Malaysia. both Ling and Dron Lee are responsible for the UFO (United FlyAnglers Organisation) Malaysia (cool name) International Fly Fishing Festival. i was invited last year to demonstrate presentation casts but wasn’t able to go but the invitation still stands so…

Fly Casting- Some thoughts on Instruction and Descriptions from Mel Krieger

an excerpt from The Essence of a Fly Cast – Mel Krieger via Christopher Rownes

words, words, words. we need them to teach fly casting but if they’re not carefully chosen they can lead to confusion.
for instance, a pet peeve of mine is Joan Wulff’s ‘Power-Snap’.
in my mind, and something i’ve often witnessed in person is, when described to a novice caster those two words connected together often result in too much power and too much snap: things that get them in trouble real quick.
another one is the infamous ‘stop’ which we’ve already scratched the surface on that deserves an in-depth article of its own but in the meantime, what this article mostly reminds me of is there’s two basic approaches (or maybe mental-frames) to how the rod moves and how it affects the line. i like to refer to them as-

Hand Centric and Tip Centric.

in the first case, instruction and casting movement is envisioned around what the casting hand does and in the second, what the rod tip does.
it goes without saying that the hand needs to move the rod butt to eventually make the rod tip move but i by far prefer to focus on what the tip is doing because it’s the rod tip that’s the final element affecting the fly line and this greatly affects our understanding of concepts such as the ‘stop’, rod bend/rod shortening, straight or curved line path, rod straight position, counterflex or: just about anything that has to do with the casting stroke. besides, thinking about your rod tip is a lot sexier than the usual dirty, ill-manicured hand…

needless to say i’m happy to see a similar hand/tip approach coming from a Top-Gun like Mister Krieger. i sure wish i could have met him.

Mel’s approach on this and a whole host of other matters remain some of the better ones i’ve seen and leaves a lot of food for thought. enjoy !

All fly casting, no matter how descriptive and analytical the directions and teachings, must finally conclude kinaesthetically – that is by feel.
The only way to learn this unique feel of casting a long weighted line with a flexible rod is to experience it; not unlike the learning process of riding a bicycle for the first time. Convincing or inspiring the learner to jump on the bike and go for it may well be the ultimate instructional mode. Casting a fly is identical, and again like riding a bike, virtually every person who is not severely handicapped can learn the timing and feel of fly casting simply by casting.
There is of course a place for other instruction even in this basic learning cycle that may help the learner focus his or her efforts and hasten that learning process. That would include analogies, visuals and key words and phrases, techniques that are also used for intermediate and advanced fly casters. Although most of these instructional tools are valid and useful to the learner, there are times when they can actually inhibit learning and possibly lead to serious casting faults. The following are some possible examples.
“Throwing a ball” is an excellent analogy for communicating the athleticism and fluidity of a natural throwing motion. It can, however lead to the use of too much wrist movement and a throwing motion that fails to utilize the bending and unbending of a fly rod.
Words like “whump,” “snap,” “flick,” “flip” and “pop” are commonly used to convey the feeling of bending (loading) and unbending a fly rod. Again, they are mostly good words, but often misconstrued to indicate a too-quick loading and unloading of the fly rod, resulting in a dip of the fly rod tip and tailing loops. Spelling whump with two or three “U”s – “whuuump” or possibly “snaaap” might be of help, especially for longer casts.
Phrases like “accelerate to a stop,” “speed up and stop” and “start slow and end fast” are common instructional tools that accurately depict the tip of the rod during a casting stroke. Many learners however, attempt to emulate those slow to fast directions with their casting hand, often with poor results. A more useful instructional phrase might be “a smooth even hand movement to a stop.” The result will actually be the rod tip accelerating throughout the casting stroke.
Another common phrase that has almost become a mantra in fly casting is “Applying power too early in the casting stroke creates a tailing loop.” This statement is actually incorrect. It is possible to apply maximum power in the beginning of a casting stroke. The key to a good cast is maintaining or even increasing the rod bend throughout the stroke. The real culprit in this tailing loop concept is unloading the rod too soon.

In the pull-through casting stroke, the casting hand precedes the rod tip through most of the casting stroke and the turnover and stop takes place only at end of the casting stroke.
Lay out 70 or so feet of fly line on a lawn behind you, fly rod pointing to the fly, and throw a javelin, turning the rod over only at the very end of the throw. You may be pleasantly surprised with this extreme pull through casting motion.

Let’s look more closely at a fly casting stroke. The first step in all fly casting strokes is “bending the rod. Significant movement of the line only takes place after the rod bend.
Starting a casting stroke too slowly, or for that matter too quickly, commonly results in a poor rod bend and an inefficient cast. Think of starting strong or heavy, forcing a bend in the rod as the casting stroke begins. A somewhat better description of a casting stroke might be “bend the rod and sling the line” or “bend the rod and accelerate to a stop”, or whatever words work for you following “bend the rod and …”. Casting the fly line from the water and changing the back and forth direction of the line helps to start the casting stroke with a good rod bend. Notice that many casters make their best back cast from the water. That’s because the friction of the water puts a decided bend in the fly rod early in the casting stroke! A roll cast however requires a more forceful rod bend as it does not have the loading advantage of a water pickup or an aerialized line between back and forward casts.

The roll cast can be an excellent entry to the unique feel that exists in fly casting. Forcing the rod into a bend and keeping it bent – finally unloading (stopping) in the intended direction of the cast – almost like putting a casting loop in the fly rod itself.

for the second part of this article: The Pull-Through click here

Fly Casting- Thoughts on the Drift, Rotary and Parallel

some excellent analysis by Steve and Tim Rajeff via Fly Casting Forum

as a reminder, here’s the generally accepted definition of Drift:

Drift: To position (or reposition) the rod between casting strokes.
Moving the rod (tip) to adjust Casting Arc, Stroke Length or Casting Plane. Drift applies little or no force on the line.

although not a necessity for every casting situation, we’ll see from the second part of the definition above that this technique should be well engrained and in every fly angler’s bag of tricks.
some purists will state that it’s not needed even for the longest casts but i can’t think of a single distance caster that doesn’t drift on at least the last back cast before delivery… besides, without going into the specialised world of competition-style distance casting, simply put, drifting makes  a lot of casts easier and cleaner. something we all aspire to, specially when fishing. why miss out ?

apart that it negates creepy creeping and greatly reduces tailing loops, parallel drifting promotes (actually necessitates) a greater involvement of the whole arm and its joints which leads to fluidity and smoothness for both the caster and line path. pretty darn good results considering how easy and effortless this action is.

if drifting isn’t part of your repertoire do yourself  the favour of practicing and keeping it in a near-to-access part of your casting brain. it will come in handy. promise !


The puzzle of  every teacher is how to introduce drift without ruining the short stroke that has been taught. The best answer to this is to teach drift way after the student is thoroughly grounded in casting and hauling etc..The interesting thing about drift is that first of  all there are two ways to drift and second, drift adds so much power and control when distance is on the menu.
The first type of drift ordinarily discovered by the caster is rotary drift – produced by angular motion of the rod from wrist action. This drift can be found in any length of stroke and tends to open up the loop in both directions.

This wrist generated angular drift is frequently followed by a tailing loop as well.

The other kind of drift is what I call the parallel drift. This will be seen in many illustrations of casting strokes and is the gem of the drift game. I don’t see it as much as the rotary drift and the reason is that it is hard to do from a mechanical standpoint. Every caster starts out wanting to cast with the wrist and one reason for that is that it is less effort to rotate the rod from the wrist than to put out the foot pounds needed to move the whole rod back, by the use of hand movement, thus adding a few inches or a foot or more to the space available for loading the rod on the forecast. The hand has to be out by the shoulder and moving from a point a foot or so in front of the head to a point as much as six inches or a foot behind the head, depending on how limber the caster is. This requires work and requires rotating the wrist forward, rather than back in order to keep the rod moving parallel to itself as the forearm is moving and rotating backward.

There are various degrees of this motion available depending on how far out from the body the cast is being made. For accuracy casts with the rod side foot forward the hand will be beside the head and moving back and forth in a plane that misses the ear, just barely. For great power, with an open stance, the rod might be outside of the shoulder in the baseball throwing motion used for great distance. In either case conscious effort to make the rod run back parallel to itself is needed . The wrist will resist cocking so far forward while the hand is moving backward. There will be instances where after the limit of  parallel drift has been reached  some rotary drift will be added to the back cast. This can get the rod back almost horizontal and in a position to come forward with the leading elbow motion that helps produce line speed. While the elbow is leading the hand forward the rod is moving forward parallel to itself before finally going into rotary motion again, leading to the final tip snap.

So, the parallel backward drift is mirrored on the leading elbow forward stroke.

This parallel drift will loosen up the arm and shoulder joints in time and should be approached gradually. It is amazing how the body wants to return to bending the wrist back rather than to perform the arduous parallel drift maneuver. But in time, the very pleasing results from this move will produce a conditioned response. If I do this uncomfortable parallel drift I will have a great back cast and forward cast.

The final dividend from  the parallel drift is that  it allows the caster to feel the tug of the line better, because the rod is closer to perpendicular to the line. The closer the rod is to ninety degrees from the line the easier it is to feel the line straighten out. Sometimes you can  drift a little more with the wrist as you feel the line straighten if there is enough speed on the back cast.

The Angler and the Loop-Rod

by David Webster 1885 via OpenLibrary

“Loop-Rod and Loop-Line” 

what a nice descriptive. i like that and i like it a lot. it seems just right and somehow more appropriate than our usual ‘fly rod and fly line’ but fear not friends, this isn’t about changing what we call them but about sharing a really cool find.

the angler and the loop rod TLC 2-12-13
filled with a lot of experience and insights, tips and tricks,

angles at which to cast

you’ll also discover funny ways to talk to the fish to get them to take the fly, it’s a great read. click either image for the online book or HERE to download the file in various forms to read offline. enjoy !striking

“The statue stood quiet and still, like the silhouette of a tired mime. ”

~ Jarod Kintz

Ipt silhouette TLC 21-11-13

a loop too tight

too often touted as the ‘nec plus ultra’ in fly casting, the ultra-tight loop can sometimes have its disadvantages as seen in Niklas Erikson’s video below. the image isn’t of best quality but we can clearly see the arrow-point loop-face consecutively collapse and reform seven times by the time the line has fully turned over. (ok, it doesn’t turn over very well but hey, this is championship-level distance casting… :mrgreen: )
kidding aside, this is a fascinating example of loop propagation study. of special interest as well is watching the caster’s movements throughout the delivery stroke. that’s about as ‘Oooomph‘ as Oooomph gets.
be sure to watch it in full screen and HD. enjoy !

Fly casting Presentation casts- Off the shoulder curves and pile-curves

from the ‘A driveway runs through it’ series
in slow-motion and color enhanced to see the line, leader and fluff better.
(i love the slomo bird songs !)

sharing this here today more for the visual aspect (for those who enjoy this kind of fly line flying stuff) rather than a how-to of the actual casts, this was a simple test film i did for myself years ago. i wanted to have an after-the-act visualization of the line in the air and its consequent layout. the slomo editing takes image quality a few notches down but gives a better sense of the line’s propagation.
the make-believe situation was fishing upstream in an encumbered stream to imaginary trout represented by the rings. just a rod length to my left was the cabin, in front to the right cedar tree branches (they’re like velcro when the fluff lands in them !) prevented casting over the casting shoulder, there was a phone line 4 meters above and bird-haven bushes behind me. the camera was free-held in my left hand while the right arm was performing the casts over my left shoulder.
in a real fishing situation, i would have reeled in at least a meter of line in to make it all more manageable and to have an easier time in case of a strike.
although there’s only one serious ‘fish-lining’ over the first ring (to cover the fish with the fly line and scaring it because something strange just landed over its head) most of the casts would have had a good chance to interest the ‘fish’ in either ring. in a way, what i’m most surprised/pleased with is how my left hand managed to stay pretty well on track. as such, i’m thinking the left hand did a better job than the right.

here’s the same video unedited and in real time.

Related articles

“The distance between your head and your hand can be a long way”

Mel Krieger

what a nice way to say “what i think i’m doing isn’t really what’s happening”, something many if not most of us are guilty of when it comes to fly casting (and a lot more… )
see, and just as an example, i had made no plans whatsoever to make an enormous, five minutes-to-take-apart series of knots in my fly line in front of all those people while doing a casting demo. dumb brain…


related articles

gathering |ˈgaT͟HəriNG|

1 an assembly or meeting, esp. a social or festive fly fishing and fly casting event or one held for a specific purpose: the Scottish  Sexyloops Gathering.
2 a set of printed signatures of a book, gathered for binding or: for the purpose of letting you all know why there won’t be a whole lotta posts on The Limp Cobra in the next few days.

gather |ˈgaT͟Hər|
1 [ no obj. ] come together; assemble or accumulate: a crowd gathered in the casting field.
2 [ with obj. ] bring together and take in from scattered places or sources: we have gathered  all the  fly casting instructor/geeks we could find. hopefully all this will happen without any intervention from the police or fire brigade.
• pick up from the ground or a surface: they gathered up their fly rods after tea.
• collect (cookies or other  chocolate-filled foods) as a harvest.
• collect (coffee, chocolate-flavored energy bars, etc. because it’s all too easy to forget these vital things when you’re in the swing of things) for food.
• draw together or toward oneself: she gathered the fly rod in towards her shoulder to initiate the back cast.
3 [ with obj. ] infer; understand: her clients were, I gathered, a prosperous group of casters.
4 [ with obj. ] develop a higher degree of: blimey ! i had a feckin’ blast ! 
5 [ with obj. ] summon up (a mental or physical attribute such as one’s thoughts or strength) for a purpose: he lay gathering his thoughts together before he gathered himself  enough in-the-groovness before trying to perform a VooDoo cast at the gathering.

apart from a lot of fishing on the way and back down (and testing a new tenkara rod given for review with the goal of landing a salmon with it !) , a lot driving on the left side of the road, kilt & scones shopping and tons of coffee, that about sums up the next two weeks for me and the casting part at least will be happening here-
(weather looks nice and clear and all’s green, not white. good sign)
gathering 2013
with the hope there will be a decent internet connection to share some picks along the way as well as a few Scottish jokes (just kidding, we all know there is no such thing as Scottish jokes),  i bid you all a great day. see ya soon !


Fly Casting- One for the Wrist Breakers

finger on top witches

for a slightly less bewitching method to conquer this shameful habit you could always try this: LOco WriSt !!!

image and casting wisdom via Mark Surtees

(somewhat) related articles

“Going fishing without being able to Spey Cast is like making love with your clothes on – you will achieve only half the pleasure”.

~ Mike Daunt

and if he goes about it the same way he casts there’s bound to be a few knots involved as well… 😆

related articles

“If a polar bear can do it I sure as hell can’t see why you couldn’t”

ffs, that’s better casting than what i’ve seen a lot of people do and the goofy beasts don’t have thumbs or even hands for that matter…

Fly Line Selection: Head lengths, weight distribution and other goodies

continuing with the Fly Line series, today’s gem comes to us from Lee Cummings.LC Triangle SL Gathering

“One of the questions I normally ask a client whilst setting up his/her own equipment is “may I ask what line you are currently using there?” and secondly “what is the head length ?”

These are not trick questions, I just simply wish to learn about the clients mindset as to why they chose that line, or why it was recommended to them. Quite often the client remembers the name of the line manufacturer and even the model name and its AFFTA classification number, but there the knowledge of it often ceases.”

“If a line of inappropriate and excessive head length has been purchased, the angler “after some frustrations” does the sensible thing and only false casts out to a length which they can manage, sadly the outer most reach of their fishing is regulated by a head length issue right there.”

and that’s just a few snippets i hope will wet your appetite for more.

if you’ve ever gone out and bought a well reputed fly line and wondered why it wasn’t living up to your expectations you’ll find some very important thoughts in Lee’s highly recommends article. enjoy !

Getting Head Smart

related articles

Spey Casting: the Snap-Slip-Spey

this isn’t exactly new as it came out a few years ago (2009) but this technique is still quite unknown by a lot, if not most spey casters. i’ve shared it elsewhere and it’s about time it got more attention because it’s one of those rare instances where true innovation happens in the fly casting world.JF & Croc snap-slip-spey
created by Juergen Friesenhahn, friend, colleague, IFFF Master Instructor, drummer and all around good guy, this technique is simply brilliant and really stands out from the crowd.

here’s the situation:
we’re fishing flies on the swing with a 3,35m/11ft switch rod, the shooting head or full-line head is 10m long and the leader 5m (33 & 16 ft). without going into whacky gymnastics that puts the fly roughly 18m/59ft from the fisher when the fly has ‘fished out’ and is on the dangle. sometimes fish will hesitate and follow a fly and it’s a shame to tear the fly out of it’s view just because we think the swing is over.
a fly aint fishin’ if it aint in the water !
so, retrieving the fly closer to the angler is the logical next step and if it works, bingo ! but if it doesn’t we’re left with coils of line and to do the next cast we’ll want to have the line’s head out of the rod tip and maybe a little overhang. typically, this means shaking out or roll casting the correct amount of line back downstream but Juergen’s Snap-Slip-Spey alleviates all this wiggly line splashing rolling business (fish could still be in that area) and turns the set up into the D-loop a smooth, fast, suave and downright sexy move.

in slomo

take note that first, to get the Snap-Slip right the ‘excess’ line made during the retrieve needs to be measured (mark the line with a permanent marker), that specific mark gets trapped under a finger and the rest of the line is coiled and stored by another finger(s) of the rod hand. the snap is done with just the rod hand as when using a single-hand rod, slipping the stored line as the rod sweeps upstream and the line hand comes back to the lower grip before circling up into the D-loop. as an extra bonus, by the how-to description above we’ll easily conclude that this technique is as equally valid for single hand rod spey, a little something for everyone.
fair enough, this isn’t the easiest of techniques to coordinate but with a little practice it’s a well-worth skill to have in your bag of tricks.

the S-S-S in real time

cool, huh ?

Fly Casting- Getting on the Right Track

Fly Rod Tracking by Jim Williams via Eat Sleep Fish issue 14

“Tracking can be described as the directional travel of the rod tip within a pre-determined plane(s) back and forth for a given fly cast. If you want to cast more accurately or further then optimising your tracking relative to the application can go some way to achieving this.”

Master Jim. geez, the bloke won’t stop and let’s hope he never does. going into the finer points regarding this very important aspect of the cast and my intro being happily finished, if you’re interested in becoming a better, more efficient and happier caster/fisher click either pic and enjoy this real gem in full.

“What is good tracking?
Below is a birds eye view of two anglers, each has an imaginary target directly ahead. The objective is to complete an overhead cast in a vertical plane with a view to delivering a straight line layout towards their target. The coloured dots represent the direction and travel of the rod tip.”

tracking_animation JW - ESF #14now, if only we could get Jim to teach whoever laid these train tracks a thing or two about tracking straight the World might be a better place…


Fly Casting Physics Explained

” It’s all quite simple, really… “

A=TLC Einstein logo

… and if you’re interested in more complex matters regarding fly casting (without the dreariness of physics) you can click the image for the Cobra’s complete fly casting archive or HERE  for a more pertinent selection of reference articles. enjoy !

Bendy vs Stiffy – a study of fly rod action and casting mechanics

“My experience is that for a given line length (and weight) the caster uses almost the same stroke regardless of the action of the rod. Different rods certainly “feel different” but there is little or no “adjustment to or matching of  the stroke” going on.”
Grunde Løvoll

how many times have we heard or read that we need to change the casting stroke depending on a rod’s action ?
the typical explanation given is, for a slower rod we’ll use a slower stroke and a faster stroke with a faster rod.
well, this happens to be incorrect and is a classic example so common in the fly casting world where ‘what we think we do and what actually happens’ don’t meet up.

as we’ll see below, Lasse Karlsson has taped two very different rods together to cast them at the same time with two identical lines of the same weight rating. simultaneous loop formation, loop shape and loop speed are very-very similar with both rods.
if it weren’t for the excessive counter-flex/rebound (and it’s resultant waves of the rod leg of the fly line) produced from the slower rod’s heavier tip  it would be extremely difficult to determine which line was cast from which rod.
there is no adjustment of the casting stroke to achieve these equal results.

for the tech geeks, here’s the equipment info from the video-

“Two rods cast at the same time, same line on both, and same line length.
Bendy rod: Berkley Grayphite 8 feet 5/6
Stiff rod: Sage TCX 690
Line: Rio tournament Gold 5 weight
To make up for the difference in length, the rods where taped together so the tips where aligned.
The berkley rod is 75% glassfiber and 25% graphite, has an IP of 97 grams and a AA of 65 (so really according to CCS it’s fast ;-)) and a MOI of 76
The sage is full graphite, has an IP of 167 grams, an AA of 74 and a MOI of 70

Several things to learn about tackle here.”

and one of them is that a lot of ‘experts’, many rod designers and people in the tackle industry just blindly repeat what they’ve heard without giving it any thought and don’t seem to try these things out on their own, specially when they’re so simple to observe.
thank goodness for people like Lasse, Aitor, Grunde, and a host of others who don’t live in a box.

EDIT: someone asked what would happen if there was more line out of the rod tip and Lasse shared a variant of the first test, this time extending line whilst double-hauling.
the quick answer is: nothing different than if it had been done with only one rod/line. the casting stroke widens, the pause lengthens and every other aspect of a basic cast remains the same.
see for yourself.

related articles

the Shadow Cast

have you ever wondered how this happened ?

taken from the oh-so-famous ‘A River Runs Through It‘  movie poster, here’s a very good example of three-dimensional casting.

devised by Jason Borger as a visual rendition of Norman Maclean’s description “…cast hard and low upstream, skimming the water with the fly but never letting it touch. Then he would pivot, reverse his line in a great oval above his head, and drive his line low and hard downstream, again, skimming the water with his fly ”  therefore creating the illusion of a bug hatch to a more than gullible fish !
(i personally believe this cast and it’s incessant ‘Shadowing‘ of the poor unexpecting fishes put them in hypnoïdal-halucinogetic fit and the only reason they ever got hooked was their mouths where slack-jawed, drooling with bliss and the fly managed to snag them on it’s merry ‘low and hard driving’ way, but then again, it’s just a personal theory).

thing is, in the movie itself, us casting geeks are left with a yuk aftertaste because we can’t even properly see the whole cast and as far as i’m concerned, sitting through an hour and a half of romanticised schmultz (yeah,romanticised schmutz. sorry) to see, enjoy and try to analyze this cast in just a few brief, very edited micro-flashes just doesn’t do it.
now, thanks to this groovy  gif  we get to see the mechanical motion sequence over and over (me jaw’s slackin’ from staring at it !…. 😎 )  finally putting Norm’s poetic description to good use !
the word sequence is off or at least confusing, the ‘Galway’ part starts after the initial over-head cast, it’s the reversal of the grip- Pendulum/Climbing Hook nos. 3&4 that goes throughout the whole back-cast, but the motions are correct. ( i think)

sure, the Shadow Cast is more of an exercise in style and aesthetics than one of hard-core use on the water and that’s just fine because fly casting should be pretty and sexy. after all, Jason in his seminal book ‘Nature of Fly Casting’ describes it as: ” It is not how many fish you catch, it is how good you look doing it. Well, maybe for the movies. ”

as i reread this i have to be honest. the more i think about it the more i believe the whole Shadow Cast thing is a retouched or special effects hyped-up hoax that never existed anywhere outside of the book or the movie’s editing room. ever wondered why no one else does this cast at shows or among like-minded casting geeks or even display it on youtube ? i do, but then i like make-believe and this make-believe sure beats the heck out of this…

Distance, Schmistance !

some great insights on why being comfortable in casting a bit farther can yield greater success on the water by a great certified casting instructor, guide, and tongue displayer, Chris Dore.

a non-negligable positive effect in learning to increase your casting distance is that the farther one casts, the more each element needs to be known, well applied and well constructed.
think of it as a magnifying loupe, the farther one casts, the bigger the irregularities will show up and this leads to two things: distance casting doesn’t allow any kind of mess up, and… distance casting makes a descent caster a much better all-around caster at all distances and a more efficient fisher but more importantly when fishing, these acquired skills are performed ‘automatically’. they just happen. this removes the ‘how am i gonna do it ?!’ worries of the moment, we concentrate better on our fishy target and it all leads to more fun and it’s really all about having fun.

below, Chris refers to ‘homework’ and there really isn’t any better term. fly casting is an activity that needs practice to make better.
you can be a good historian without making history but you can’t be a good fly caster without casting. it’s just that simple.

“I tire of hearing people bagging distance casting. “its not needed here in NZ” and most commonly “all my fish are caught within a few rod lengths” are common justifications. Well mate, thats because you can only cast a few rod lengths. And how do you go in windy conditions? You dont? I wonder why…

If your maximum cast is say, 40′ and you come across a fish at 35′ then you will likley struggle to land a decent, accurate presentation in the slightest of breezes. If a reach, or other slack line cast is required then thats a definate no go. However if your maximum cast is 80′, then you could make this 35′ cast with your eyes closed, no matter the wind. 80′ is easily reachable for anyone prepared to put in a bit of homework.”

read the full article here and if you’re going to NZ and want to catch some big-ass trout be sure to give Chris a call. enjoy !


Fly Casting- “DON’T look at the branch” !!!

because what invariably happens is we’ll cast our fly right into it… *

as a follow up to Turn Around ! where the subject was about looking where our fly line is throughout the cast, this time let’s see how we can use our vision to not only stay out of trouble but to cast the fly exactly where we want.

an example i always bring up with students of all levels is: ‘if i want to throw a ball at you and hit you on the nose, i’m not going to look at your feet !” see the point ?

since childhood we are conditioned to look where we throw things and fly casting isn’t any different. however, while casting we don’t always have the luxury of a nose to aim at. we’ll have to be a bit creative, sometimes picking out a far away object as a cloud or maybe a treetop. it doesn’t matter what but find something specific to look at and focus on just that and your fly will go there.

in the case of obstructions such as the branch above on the bank we need to train ourselves to NOT look at the fly snagger but in a nice, open snagless place instead. if the casting space is between two trees, concentrate on some object in between and behind them. this usually is a bit more difficult as we all have lost flies to trees and have those memories deeply engrained. i guess we could call it a form of ‘fear’, the apprehension of loosing yet another fly but fear not ! once we practice this a bit and get used to selective visual aiming we’ll find it quite amazing how easy and safe it is to cast in situations where we didn’t dare cast before, opening up a whole lot of fishing possibilities.

the important thing to remember is that in throwing, and casting fly lines is a form of throwing, our body automatically reacts, adjusts and compensates to deliver the object where the eyes are focused. trust your body to do the work that your eyes are telling it to do.

* yup, the pic wasn’t staged. i unwillingly reverted to looking at the thing i wanted to avoid as described above and bingo

related articles

Spey Casting- Shooting line management

as a sequel to this video and maybe a little easier to manage,  here’s another method of managing shooting line from Andrew Moy of Tight Lines Fly Fishing. the key point is as he points out, creating and keeping the loops in decreasing sizes, from big at first to smaller at the end of the retrieve. the same principle will apply when shooting loops in single-hand rod casting, the only difference being we’ll want to make smaller loops as they should be held (as much as reasonably possible… ) above the water, land or boat. keep in mind that on flowing water the coils are better off on the downstream side so, be sure to practise this with both hands to be able to cast comfortably, specially with double-hand rods.