Most elegant way of dealing with casting only part of the head? - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-06-2018, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Most elegant way of dealing with casting only part of the head?

I’ve alway wanted to ask this question, which falls squarely into the “possibly silly, but practically irrelevant” category. When you fish starting with just the tippet and part of the tip out the rod tip, or with just the tapered leader out the rod tip, as you work the head out cast by cast, what is your preferred method of dealing with the “casts” - getting the line from the dangle back out. The reason I ask is that I still apparently don’t really know what I want to do since I alway seem to be deciding at the last second. They all seem awkward. Ive tried all different methods over time, and often during the different casts from the same station - a super-mini version of the cast I will be doing when the head it’s out, a kind of poke where I flip the fly in a direct line from the dangle to the target, or after flipping the fly up stream, and lately a kind of a single spey direct into a backcast and an overhead cast. I think the only actual relevant practical issue may be that when fishing so close maybe you might want to avoid too much excessive disturbance of the water getting the line out. I guess also that for such a short swing you probably want the fly fishing the second it lands and not do it sloppily - to actually fish it!

Anyway, what methods do people use, and is there an elegant way that at least makes it look like you have an actual plan?

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-06-2018, 05:28 PM
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That's a good Q that applies more often than we might think.
I know we almost certainly miss a lot of fish by not fishing the "in close" water first. The tendency is to want to at least get the tip and head entirely out of the rod before we start, not wanting to have the big loop-to-loops w/in the guides in the event a big fish hits. I often compromise by starting several steps up river in order to fish the close-in water below me with the whole head out. I think it also minimizes the unnecessary thrashing of line on top of my target fishing area. I know of no graceful way to cast a part head and tippet. I'm all ears if someone else does.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-06-2018, 05:43 PM
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Overhead where possible for me
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-06-2018, 05:50 PM
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I cast single hand, either spey or overhead until the amount of head weight feels like it will overcome my hand and arm strength (which is a lesser amount when using my non-dominant hand).
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-06-2018, 06:31 PM
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If I'm reading this correctly..............

You just have your leader out, or at most, the leader and a portion of the shooting head, right? Too short to shoot.

Your line is on the dangle. Pull 2-3 feet more line out, lift rodney straight up, then flip it out into the ditch. It takes 10 seconds at most for that amount of line to swing by. Repeat until the head is all out, and you're good to get busy with your snap-T, double spey, whatever.

Pretty simple really. And who gives a flying fig what it looks like. You won't be fishing it long - just until the head is all out, and that takes all of a minute.

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-06-2018, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botsari View Post
I’ve alway wanted to ask this question, which falls squarely into the “possibly silly, but practically irrelevant” category. When you fish starting with just the tippet and part of the tip out the rod tip, or with just the tapered leader out the rod tip, as you work the head out cast by cast, what is your preferred method of dealing with the “casts” - getting the line from the dangle back out. The reason I ask is that I still apparently don’t really know what I want to do since I alway seem to be deciding at the last second. They all seem awkward. Ive tried all different methods over time, and often during the different casts from the same station - a super-mini version of the cast I will be doing when the head it’s out, a kind of poke where I flip the fly in a direct line from the dangle to the target, or after flipping the fly up stream, and lately a kind of a single spey direct into a backcast and an overhead cast. I think the only actual relevant practical issue may be that when fishing so close maybe you might want to avoid too much excessive disturbance of the water getting the line out. I guess also that for such a short swing you probably want the fly fishing the second it lands and not do it sloppily - to actually fish it!

Anyway, what methods do people use, and is there an elegant way that at least makes it look like you have an actual plan?
If possible, start 40’ upstream and start with the full head out.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-06-2018, 07:48 PM
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This is a great topic. I find that the stiffer the rod the more awkward this process is. When using the Walker 16'6', with its soft tip, it makes it easier once i get about 20' of actual flyline out, but things are rough before that. I usually try a delicate roll cast. I do about 4-5 of these before its straight enough to swing, kind of.

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-06-2018, 08:27 PM
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Good reminder to fish in close! I always need to to hear it

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-06-2018, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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Couple of clarifications...if I really thought there was a fish at a particular spot, then yes, I would most likely take up a position a full head above it, at the very least. But that is cheating. I would still probably work the head out a yard or so at a time from that station if there was ANY chance of fish above the “special” spot.

I’ve tried at one time or another most methods. Would be cool if I hear a new one, but I’m wondering what people like to use and how committed they are to each method. Yes, the lift and flick does seem the simplest - fewest distinct movements. I guess I’d want the method to have an option to lay the line out straight at a controllable and variable angle if desired, not just sloppily poke out in a pile, since for such a short swing I probably would want it to be fishing right away, or what is the point. Of course if a poke pile was what I WANTED to do in a certain situation, for example to sink it fast in a particular spot before swinging, that would be OK of course.

So the model method(s) would include simplicity AND complete control for all lenghts of cast up to getting the whole head out. Guess that is what I meant more than “looks good”. Anything that smacks of “oh, just fake it up to that point ‘cause it doesnt really matter” is kind of violating the premise of what I acknowledge is a bit of a silly question. But it is a pretty unexamined one. Most instructors and other fishermen say “just do whatever, working it out a few strips at a time until the head is out”.

Plus we all know stories or have experience with people hooking up with half the sink tip out of the rod tip, and most of us also know at least one guy who consistently gets a lot more action out of a little line out than we do. I’d like to become one of those people.
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Last edited by Botsari; 05-07-2018 at 01:53 AM.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2018, 12:30 PM
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2 hand overhead if poss. i feel like at that distance (only a few inches of head out) accuracy and turnover is flawless. usually 3rd or 4th cast is spey cast.
only had a few fish that close, but some of the most memorable grabs.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2018, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botsari View Post
Couple of clarifications...if I really thought there was a fish at a particular spot, then yes, I would most likely take up a position a full head above it, at the very least. But that is cheating. I would still probably work the head out a yard or so at a time from that station if there was ANY chance of fish above the “special” spot.

I’ve tried at one time or another most methods. Would be cool if I hear a new one, but I’m wondering what people like to use and how committed they are to each method. Yes, the lift and flick does seem the simplest - fewest distinct movements. I guess I’d want the method to have an option to lay the line out straight at a controllable and variable angle if desired, not just sloppily poke out in a pile, since for such a short swing I probably would want it to be fishing right away, or what is the point. Of course if a poke pile was what I WANTED to do in a certain situation, for example to sink it fast in a particular spot before swinging, that would be OK of course.

So the model method(s) would include simplicity AND complete control for all lenghts of cast up to getting the whole head out. Guess that is what I meant more than “looks good”. Anything that smacks of “oh, just fake it up to that point ‘cause it doesnt really matter” is kind of violating the premise of what I acknowledge is a bit of a silly question. But it is a pretty unexamined one. Most instructors and other fishermen say “just do whatever, working it out a few strips at a time until the head is out”.

Plus we all know stories or have experience with people hooking up with half the sink tip out of the rod tip, and most of us also know at least one guy who consistently gets a lot more action out of a little line out than we do. I’d like to become one of those people.
I totally have a friend like this. He doesn’t get mad or even care if I’m casting farther, he just catches more fish!

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in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-08-2018, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, It’s extremely annoying! We had one guy in our group on the Deschutes a few year ago, who literally caught his first Steelhead with 10 feet put, on his first day of learning to spey cast ever, during a horrible period where nearly everyone got skunked for 4 days in a row.

Have you noticed a lot of the stories of people catching one with 10’ of line out the rod tip are about beginners? I used to think this was because it made the story more memorable and hence repeatable, but now I’m pretty sure they were actually taking that part of the swing more seriously and hadn’t gotten to the point where they viewed that part only as “a way to get the head out”.
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Last edited by Botsari; 05-08-2018 at 12:20 PM.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-08-2018, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botsari View Post
I think the only actual relevant practical issue may be that when fishing so close maybe you might want to avoid too much excessive disturbance of the water getting the line out. I guess also that for such a short swing you probably want the fly fishing the second it lands and not do it sloppily - to actually fish it!

at least makes it look like you have an actual plan?
My plan for fishing in close with longer rods/longer lines/big water and not wanting to disturb water in front that i haven't yet fished.
Start swing with short as practical out (leader and some line tip).
Swim dangle (keeping rod tip low) so rod is about 180 degree from where you are going to cast.
Note you will be casting upstream.
Dangle is now the water loaded overhead/sidearm backcast - forward cast line out and mend as needed. fly is now fishing.
Repeat. stripping off line either while mending or on dangle.
Eventually I get enough line out where a double spey cast makes sense. ripped up water has already been fished.
Eventually I like to either single spey or snake roll. then step down or walk down/reel up and start over from another spot.
but, there are lots of other ways that will work too.
it's only fishing and casting - not brain surgery.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-08-2018, 04:14 PM
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This is all good advice. I've done all of the approaches mentioned, but I've learned that starting upstream when possible, as Paddymc mentions, can work the best. This is because you can get your fly swimming into the bank more effectively at the right depth and speed, by the time it reaches your intended area. Moving upstream also allow you to be stealthy. This is especially important when you'e starting at the head of the run where you're fishing a soft inside seam. 20' out might be heavy rapids or current. You know the fish aren't resting there. They are on the inside of the seam and along the bank. Summary: Staying upstream keeps you from spooking the fish while also allowing your fly line to do its job more properly -- getting your fly to be in proper position at the right time.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-08-2018, 04:36 PM
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I like either overhead, or wee, tiny, tight snake rolls.

Largest fish I've landed to date on the Deschtes came from a run with low, dense overhanging brush, and a beautiful lie just a short distance out. A tiny, gentle snake roll sent about 4 ft of line, a 10 ft tip and 4 ft of leader, just far enough out to get the swing I wanted.
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Last edited by SLSS; 05-09-2018 at 01:59 PM.
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