Couple Questions After First Outing with a Fly Rod
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Thread: Couple Questions After First Outing with a Fly Rod

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    Taylorsville
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    Default Couple Questions After First Outing with a Fly Rod

    After trout fishing exclusively with ultra light spinning gear, I finally acquired an entry level 9' 5wt outfit. I was able to get out on the water in a DH stream Saturday. I had a good time, but I was certainly out of my fishing comfort zone. In fact, I packed my ultralight spinning gear just in case.

    From my Saturday experience, it seems like the roll cast is pivotal to having a decent day on smaller water. I've been practicing it on grass but the casting stroke feels a lot better having the friction from the water's surface tension.


    On a roll cast when forming the d loop, should you always bring the rod up to the shoulder that is facing downstream or does it matter?

    I also struggled to roll cast beyond the 10-12 feet range. Should I have a certain length of line out to initiate the roll cast then shoot additional line out if i want to go further?

    Are there any other essential casts I should focus on? Seems like the opportunity to perform a traditional back cast is going to be rare unless I want to catch trees and bushes. I definitely felt handcuffed at times on spots I could fish Saturday due to my casting ability(inability).

    Any and all pointers would be greatly appreciated. My casting and mending are very much at the beginner level, I'm just glad a couple rainbows didn't seem to mind.


    If it matters, I was using a 9' tapered leader, strike indicator, and a single nymph with some split shot. I dont trust myself with a double nymph rig.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Asheboro
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    Experience helps. Go often and leave the spinning rod at home, so you won't be tempted.

    Consider a casting lesson on the water with somebody like Chief Flyin (Carolina Sports, Statesville) if you can't find a mentor to spend some time fishing with you.

    Fly fishing is a great addiction.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    106

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    Bring the rod back towards your shoulder, as the line starts to drag back to you, roll your wrist and aim at your target, and push the rod. Angle has to change depending on the spot you are fishing in. I'm a guide and teach this cast for a living, most of my clients have never used a fly rod in their life, but after a few attempts at a roll cast they start catching wild trout right away.

    Roll casting is not for distance, unless if your graduate to a spey rod, which is a two handed and a different ball game.

    Don't think that you have to cast far to catch trout in our small streams. A long cast ends up spooking more fish than it catches on small water. Work the stuff that's closest to you first, than gradually change your position and cast to fish the heads of the pools. I'm on the pro staff with carolina outdoor adventures TV. I filmed this show back in the summer, watch it for some useful pointers to apply on the water. Good luck out there.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_-ZryrdDfg&t=197s
    badankles, and LIVIT like this.


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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Kernersville
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    The link Trout_Guide posted has some excellent info for small stream fishing.

    A couple of suggestions. Your leader is probably a bit long for roll casting on a small stream, a shorter leader will turn over faster and be easier to learn with. It's just easier to manage, a 7.5' would be a good place to start.

    A 9' rod is tough to use in confined space, but it's OK since you have it already.

    Try a weighted nymph without split shot. Spit shot tends to dampen the cast a bit, especially if you are new to fly casting.

    Go often, and you'll get the hang of it.

    One more thing. Poking and dipping sometimes work on small streams.

    Be stealthy, and put the fly where the fish are. Sometimes working pockets and undercut banks requires a short line and precise placement, with no traditional casting at all.
    LIVIT likes this.


  7. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Mocksville
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    In a small stream, your casts need to be fairly short most of the time. I cant add anything about the actual cast that hasnt already been said. Stay out of the water as much as you can in a small stream to keep from spooking fish. Also, Start working an area close to where you're standing and work your way out and then across. In a smaller stream you never know where fish might be holding. There may be fish sitting in places other than your normal target areas

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Elkin
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    Couple things, If you purchased a $25 rod, roll casting may be challenge due to product, and not operator. Secondly, if you have a 9' rod, you can flip and dip, or some variant of French nymphing which is entirely feasible with a 9' rod. Thirdly, DH fish do not generally recognize natural trout sustenance as food. Egg patterns are your best bet. Add some spit shot. Proper depth and location is more important than distance of casting.

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Stallings
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    Bow and arrow casts are an essential arrow in our quivers. Length of arm plus length of rod plus length of leader means you should be able to shoot a 20 foot or more bow and arrow cast (unless you can do it like Joe Humphreys, with a coiled-up mess of running line in the fly hand- watch how he does it sometime. Amazing).
    The D can be formed on either side of the body, just have to be mindful of where the fly comes from on the cast. (Definitely do not cast from the left side if the line and fly are anchored on your right. You'll hook yourself).
    Most of the time here, you can fish with no more than a couple feet of line out past the guides, flipping and pitching.
    If you can afford it, take a lesson from Mac Brown in Bryson City.
    Later, when the bigger waters and bigger pools on smaller waters start to beckon to you, learn some single-hand spey skills. THAT will be a revelation!
    Good luck!
    Lifelong fishing nut. Wish I was fishin, instead of wishing!

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    25

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    Good answers so far. If I can add a few tidbits..: when slowly bringing the rod back make sure the rod tip ends up past your shoulder and off to the side a bit. To get the rod to load the most effectively, try to get the ’P’ point (place the line touches the water) next to you for maximum sticksion from the water to help load, or bend the rod during the stroke. As in a good overhead cast, start the stroke slowly and accelerate to a nice crisp stop. Kind of like flicking paint off a paint brush or throwing a dart. Max acceleration at the start of either and then just pushing the dart or brush just doesn’t cut it. There are times on small streams when the entire day is nothing but roll casts. You’ll soon find out that to change direction of the cast you can only do it in one direction or you’ll cross the line and end up with a tangled mess. This is where single handed Spey techniques allow you to change direction at will. Well worth learning if you do a lot of small stream fishing. One technique I use a lot to have maximum time with my fly taunting fish is to roll cast upstream, off to the side so you don’t line the fish and as the line floats back to you assume the roll cast rod position and get it out there again.
    Enjoy. Eventually you’ll be able to manage your forward loop size and be a Joe Humphries yourself by keeping a small, tight loop while adding a haul. I’ve seen that old fellow toss a 60-70’ roll cast with a light rod doing that. Impressive! Enjoy the journey, it’s a blast figuring this stuff out and making it work...
    Says a certified casting instructor for over 12 years who wasted an entire year practicing roll casts on grass. It wasnt ‘til I tried it on water that I found I WAS doing it right?
    Again, enjoy and if you ever get near north Charlotte send me a PM and I’ll help you out if you like.

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    Swannanoa
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    137

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    You got some great advice. Most important is to just keep going and it will become a bit easier.

  12. #10
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    Nov 2010
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    Oak Island
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    The hardest things about fly fishing for me is remembering how easy it is. Keep practicing until it gets easy. Great recommendations above. Just keep learning. Lefty Kreh has some great books and YouTubes on fly casting. He's dead but he still can teach us a lot.
    Whitefish115

  13. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Durham
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    96

    Default Couple Questions After First Outing with a Fly Rod

    It can be easy (DH waters when the D is on) and it can be wonderfully challenging (thinking upper Delaware River NY). Everyone puts a lot of emphasis on the casting at first but often fail to know where the fish are - which is often everywhere.

    In heavily stocked waters and pressured waters, the fish are where the pressure isnt. The Ramapo River in NJ has parking spaces all along it. I loved going for fish right in front of where I and everyone else parks. Anxious to enter the water, wed all step right through a fish holding little pocket and wouldnt even see the 1 or 2 fish that were invariably there, spook. I learned to love pulling one out before getting the waders wet.

    There was a stream in PAs Poconos that was heavily stocked but that also held a nice population of stream breds. There was a big pool where the truck would dump them in and the bait folks would pull them out. Long after most of them were gone, it still got hit hard but wading fisherman would cross over the riffle at the head of the pool to explore up river. Before doing so, I got in the habit of pulling a fish out of the ankle deep riffle with a nymph. It looked too shallow and too fast and too flat, and too heavily stomped through to hold any fish but they were there despite all the boots moving through. Small but there.

    Its hard to get a feel for where the fish are or can be without spending many days on the water, or better, spending a day with a more experienced fisherman. I learn something every time I do.

    Right now Im on my way to a private stretch of river in Patagonia. My first day on the river, the guide asked me if I knew how to dapple. I said yes not understanding exactly what he meant. We crawled up to an undercut bank where he knew a fish was feeding. We wound a small twig onto my leader as a stop for the tip guide. We crawled up to the 20 Rainbow slowing picking terrestrials out of the circular flow. He took the first offering and I immediately lost him. From there we went out on the river and did the normal casting to fish feeding in the main flow.

    Ive fished that river maybe 15 days since then. The most productive way to get the biggest bows when there isnt a clear cut hatch underway is to stalk the banks, QUIETLY, and dapple. Or take a float and throw big streamers at carnivorous Browns. Strangely enough, the guides dont bother to nymph because its not as much fun(!!). I do nymph.

    Keep at it. Its a load of fun figuring it out each day.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

  14. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Statesville
    Posts
    1,549

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    Feel free to stop by Carolina Mt. Sports in downtown Statesville. I'll be happy to help you with some casting and fishing tips...no obligation. It's often easier to address a lot of fly fishing challenges in person....especially with casting...rather that try to diagnose on line. Always happy to assist folks getting started and expedite the learning curve.
    Richard
    CarolinaMountainSports.com
    Statesville, NC 704 871-1444

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