PLEASE NOTE: In order to post on the Board you need to have registered. To register please email paul@sexyloops.com including your real name and username. Registration takes less than 24hrs, unless Paul is fishing deep in the jungle!

Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

Moderators: Paul Arden, stesiik

Phil Blackmar
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:57 am
Location: Corpus Christi, TX USA
Contact:

Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#331

Post by Phil Blackmar » Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:55 am

Hi Paul-

This fly fishing stuff keeps reminding me of golf. I practice, at least a little, pretty much everyday while standing on stable ground. I use various size flies, although seldom with added weight, and throw a variety of rods. It's never rushed and there is always an opportunity to try again if the first attempt was unsatisfactory. I've been spending most of my time lately throwing at targets from different planes, making different presentations, back casts, curve casts. sidearm needles and rolls etc. I throw a little for distance, just because I like to. It reminds me of the driving range in golf because when I get to the water, so often things change

Yesterday was a perfect example. We had a 1 to 2 meter swell with a light breeze and a huge current. After one knee replacement and at 63, my balance is not what it once was. The Cobia were not on top circling, so I did a lot of blind casting around oil rigs which meant long casts, 12 wt rod, big flies which gets heavier when wet, bobbing back and forth trying not to fall down or stand on the line and often while running the boat too. Far cry from the gentle practice environment. Although I made some good casts, overall my casting sucked. Loop control was pitiful when trying to get more distance out of the casts with the heavy, big flies.

In the past, you've asked me about how I practice. It's pretty obvious it needs to change a little to fit reality. For starters, I envision adding bigger rods and heavier flies. Next is loop control, starting at 50-60 feet, then progressing to max fishing distance of 100 ft plus, followed by adding a variety of wind directions. That 6/0 hook has a way of getting my attention. Lastly, practice from various stances on uneven ground, maybe even some sort of board set on some balls making balance tricky.

I was good in golf finding creative ways to practice which better prepared me for competition. I need to do the same with fly fishing in the saltwater.

Yesterday's results: The Cobia were not on top visibly cruising. Blind casting, I caught a few jacks over 20 lbs which adequately pulled my arms off. I did have a shot at a pod of Cobia late in the day and got follows but no takes.

Your big ladyfish bite sounds like fun.

User avatar
Paul Arden
Site Admin
Posts: 14715
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Answers: 1
Location: Belum Rainforest
Contact:

Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#332

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Apr 15, 2021 1:11 pm

Yep it might be different for me because I fish a hell of a lot more than I practise casting. Then it’s nice to get out of the changing environment that fishing creates and just work on techniques without the drama.

And it’s a great point because I often hear from other guides how they have clients who can cast beautifully on the grass, but when having to make it happen, taking shots in unexpected conditions, line management, blustery winds and so on, then it all turns belly-up.

What I think however is that training measured distance, measured accuracy and the Essential Challenge would give you a more solid base that will enable you to change things more readily between casts as required by the situation at hand.

There are certainly times in my life when I have spent vast amounts of time working on casting. That’s a skill set that is ingrained, that I can utilise any time I have to make a shot or difficult cast. But casting is not really a substitute for fishing and vice versa. I would separate them. The rewards will come.

Here is an example. Let’s say you can hit 270 yard drives. But what is required is 220 yards. It’s going to be a lot easier to drive 220 yards if your maximum is 270 than if it was 220. And if your maximum is 320 yards then 220 yards is a doddle. (Change the numbers to fit because I have no idea what I’m talking about :p)

In flycasting however the same applies. You have to make a shot at 90’ it’s windy. You can cast 90’ but not in the wind. Let’s say you can cast 115’. 90 is now possible, even with some wind. But let’s say you can cast 130’. Even in a gale you can throw 90.

Distance casting is a massively under-rated skill in fly fishing. It gives speed, it gives straightness, it gives wind penetration. Doing it under pressure – that’s a mind game. But taking shots in difficult conditions – that’s the distance casters world. Particularly in the Salt.

So what I’m saying is you can make it difficult for yourself, stand on one leg, have people throw buckets of water at you, use mismatched tackle. Or can you can learn to throw a long way!

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions

User avatar
Paul Arden
Site Admin
Posts: 14715
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Answers: 1
Location: Belum Rainforest
Contact:

Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#333

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Apr 15, 2021 1:41 pm

Incidentally Phil, I think one of the more important things on Flycasting which I rarely see is to bend your knees. Feet apart, good balance, if the boat is flipping around sink your legs to get as low as possible. Good casting starts from the ground up.

It’s also harder if your are not spending all your time on boats. It’s like skiing. Put me on a set of skies and I’ll land on my arse pretty quickly. Put me on skis for two weeks and I have a new sense of balance. Being on the boat is the same. The boat rocks, it rocks with you, it rocks with the waves. And then you’ve got to cast!! Maybe a board on balls would work :D

I’ve only fallen out of my boat twice :laugh:

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions

Phil Blackmar
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:57 am
Location: Corpus Christi, TX USA
Contact:

Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#334

Post by Phil Blackmar » Thu Apr 15, 2021 4:13 pm

All great points Paul. I do need to spend more time on the water. My heart hasn't been it tho for the past couple months. In February we had a killer freeze that killed a good percentage of our fish. Normally, we get an influx of new fish with spring high tides, so I'm waiting for May to see what comes into the bays. As for the Gulf of Mexico, we just hit 70 degrees late last week which is the magic number for that environment. So, there hasn't been a lot of reason to get out on the water.

As for distance, I'm not as strong as I once was. I cast for distance with my two sons who are strong as an ox. They both can throw a very tight loop but I can still beat them by a little due to better mechanics. I'm still trying to figure out where my loop goes when really maxing distance. Do I need more delayed rotation, or less? I'm continually experimenting. I was working on line speed the other day and it was enllughtening. I was really opening my hips early creating a pull across my back thru my shoulder into my arm and the rod. The line was singing

I am not even close to being a long caster like the crowd you run in, but I"m not terrible either. With no wind, 5 MED 100'-105' is comfortable, maxing out about 110'. Carry is still low 80's. With a 9 wt, standard old weight 9 saltwater taper, 110' comfortable, maxing around 125'.

I've not been working on pure distance for a while. Instead, I've been working more on fishing distance, quality loops and good distance and accuracy control out to 100' plus throwing to targets using a variety of casts and angles. I've found some pretty cool side arm very narrow loop casts as well as a side arm 12/6 layout roll over cast.

Thanks again Paul

Phil Blackmar
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:57 am
Location: Corpus Christi, TX USA
Contact:

Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#335

Post by Phil Blackmar » Thu Apr 15, 2021 4:16 pm

PS

We get a lot of wind here this time of year. Target practice to 20" diameter hoops using front casts, back casts, curve casts, and more all in different planes all set in 25 mp winds at various angles makes for a good learning experience. .

User avatar
Paul Arden
Site Admin
Posts: 14715
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Answers: 1
Location: Belum Rainforest
Contact:

Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#336

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:02 pm

Those are all very respectable distances, Phil 👍

Practising in the wind is good. It’s generally not taught very well. Particularly backhand shots. That’s really where using the 170 style as a backhand delivery comes into its own. Nothing else compares to it.

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions

Phil Blackmar
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:57 am
Location: Corpus Christi, TX USA
Contact:

Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#337

Post by Phil Blackmar » Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:42 pm

I agree about the wind not being taught very well. I have a cast I call the wedge for into the wind shots. It's good out to around 60-70 ft. I make it by getting on top of the forward, or back cast so the line comes fairly high above the rod tip on the way by. Good rhythm is essential to create the very straight top line that is angled downward. Done correctly, there is no droop from the fly line to the fly. Rather, i'ts all in a straight line from the nose to the fly. The nose of the loop is a sideways v, hence the name "wedge". Though the loop is not narrow, the cast punches through a very stout wind and still lays the fly out. A very tight loop with a traditional shape parallel to the ground will not layout into the sort of wind I"m talking about......

User avatar
Paul Arden
Site Admin
Posts: 14715
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Answers: 1
Location: Belum Rainforest
Contact:

Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#338

Post by Paul Arden » Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:25 am

Yep that’s it! And you make it travel at 100 or maybe even 150mph. The fly lands one inch above the water. That for me is very simply turning a high speed back or forward distance cast into a shorter distance shot. And I think it’s because it’s so direct it’s extremely accurate. I practise by hitting floating leaves. And I’m usually within about 6 inches. I’m far more accurate with this shot than I am at hitting rings. But then again I spend a lot more time doing it!

What I found interesting about the Ladyfish is that the Snakehead shots where I slip and shoot line at every opportunity meant that I was making usually none or maximum 1 false cast. That made a big difference because I was often targeting individual fish in the bust up and not randomly throwing into the activity, which was far more productive. That’s not possible to do otherwise because they are up, moving fast and then down. So while not essential, it definitely put more fish on the line.

I actually really enjoyed that. It was obviously a hell of a lot easier than Snakehead but a nice change. Good company too!

I’ll try to get some more advanced casting info up in the video manual. Particularly shots and some more advanced Speys and angle changes. Maybe also flycasting practise drills.

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions

Phil Blackmar
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:57 am
Location: Corpus Christi, TX USA
Contact:

Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#339

Post by Phil Blackmar » Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:18 pm

Paul Arden wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:25 am
Yep that’s it! And you make it travel at 100 or maybe even 150mph. The fly lands one inch above the water. That for me is very simply turning a high speed back or forward distance cast into a shorter distance shot. And I think it’s because it’s so direct it’s extremely accurate. I practise by hitting floating leaves. And I’m usually within about 6 inches. I’m far more accurate with this shot than I am at hitting rings. But then again I spend a lot more time doing it!
I do the same with some of my target practice but I also spend a lot of time on side arm casts. When close to a fish, the lifting of the rod or line coming in high will spook them. So I work on trying to get very narrow loops that skim above the water for these applications. The correct amount of power and the fly will not kick sideways. A very narrow loop also helps with this. I have another cast I use for this I call the side arm roll. It's a side arm cast where at the end of the stroke I make a half circle downward and back with the rod tip.It makes a vertical 12/6 loop and the fly lays out over the top. If done with some zip and a nice little haul, the line actually has good energy laying out and doesn't kick at all. You can get amazingly accurate. Aim the loop. I practice trying to hit the side of a 20" hoop.
side arm roll.png
side arm roll.png (13.05 KiB) Viewed 406 times
What I found interesting about the Ladyfish is that the Snakehead shots where I slip and shoot line at every opportunity meant that I was making usually none or maximum 1 false cast. That made a big difference because I was often targeting individual fish in the bust up and not randomly throwing into the activity, which was far more productive. That’s not possible to do otherwise because they are up, moving fast and then down. So while not essential, it definitely put more fish on the line.
The snakehead cast is a cool cast. Really have to make yourself stay patient making the transition from back to forward. I tend to rush it too much.

Cheers

Phil Blackmar
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:57 am
Location: Corpus Christi, TX USA
Contact:

Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#340

Post by Phil Blackmar » Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:08 pm

Note about the wedge cast at distance-the top line must be straight for it to be effective. To make this happen, the forward stroke has to be long enough to establish the straight top line prior to rotation. Is this what you find?

Post Reply

Return to “Flycasting”