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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When making your sweep and then your D, for any water born cast,if you don't blow the anchor how much can the fly move from its original landing spot.Or is this not important. Or maybe I want to re position it. Could you clarify that for me? Thanks in advance. I am new and mostly a Skajit Caster. slack
 

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especially for the short lines I think the D loop will often move that fly to the correct position - if you place it too close to you, when you go into the sweep it will pull the fly away from you and in fact pull it into alignment in the direction of your cast - a bit more problematic if the set is too far upstream but often this will still work ok though if the fly and line do not pull into alignment, will take a bit more power to pull it loose and on its way
 

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JD
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Skagit Casting: my $.02

You can get by with only two casts (from each side) Double Spey & Perry Poke. And it matters not whether you change hands or cast cack handed. The DS is more forgiving in anchor placement. In fact, I prefer to bring the junction of head/sink tip up river of me, letting the current bring it down into position while allowing the tip to "dig in" This junction point, as I see it, is what Simon Gawsworth refers to as "point P" It, rather than the fly it self, is the anchor point. Unless the fly becomes hung on the bottom, it will be drawn around in line with point P during the sweep.

I am probably going against convention and breaking several "rules" but for optimum efficiency, I suspect I lay the line closer to me on a DS than most do, and start the sweep soon after point P gets past me. Of course, there will be times, when space requires adjustment to make the cast, back off the power to keep from blowing the anchor, whatever.

Anchor placement on the PP is more demanding as you cannot cast over the fly without creating the "bloody L" While the fly will come around to some extent, only experience will tell you what you can get by with. The faster the current is bringing the line back towards you, the less time you have to make the cast. Practice, practice, practice.
 

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fly fisher 'til it's over
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I was fishing above JD just last week, and his casting explanation is spot on. He swings the initial phase of his DS close to his body, rests his rod momentarily as the line swings slowly by (setting his anchor just as he explained), then concludes with a beautiful tight forward cast. No blown anchors.

JD's casts are beautiful to watch, and certainly worthy of videoing.

Smile JD................... you're on Candid Camera. :D
 

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An attempt to describe the anchor...

I don't recall any of the gurus of Skagit emphasizing the notion, but the anchor in Skagit casting is dynamic as opposed to static. It certainly moves (during the sweep) after it's initial landing or placement. Additionally, the word "anchor" easily misleads students by implying a state of non-movement that doesn't and shouldn't exist in a properly executed cast.

I like to think of the fly (after all motion relative to current ceases) as rising up through a tornado towards the surface if a sink tip is used, or pirouetting through a partial circle of some diameter if damp or dry (double spey used as illustration).

I've always thought the term "traction" would create a better mental picture when visualizing the function and strenght of the anchor--too much traction and the cast fails to launch the fly, too little and the cast blows out the anchor in a shore-ward shower of spray.

If I misunderstood the OP's original question, or got off-topic, I'm sorry--I just felt this to be an important point in the discussion whenever the topic of anchor arises.
 

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I don't recall any of the gurus of Skagit emphasizing the notion, but the anchor in Skagit casting is dynamic as opposed to static. It certainly moves (during the sweep) after it's initial landing or placement. Additionally, the word "anchor" easily misleads students by implying a state of non-movement that doesn't and shouldn't exist in a properly executed cast.

I like to think of the fly (after all motion relative to current ceases) as rising up through a tornado towards the surface if a sink tip is used, or pirouetting through a partial circle of some diameter if damp or dry (double spey used as illustration).

I've always thought the term "traction" would create a better mental picture when visualizing the function and strenght of the anchor--too much traction and the cast fails to launch the fly, too little and the cast blows out the anchor.

If I misunderstood the OP's original question, or got off-topic, I'm sorry--I just felt this to be an important point of the discussion whenever the topic of anchor arises.
A very good observation for the newly initiated. It took me far too long mucking around by my self to realize this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Fly and anchor movement

You guys are good, all very valuable advice. I think I have a much better understanding of what I am doing now. I live about a mile from a river and cast most days. Just when I think I got it, I throw a few crap casts. I make some good casts but I am not consistent. Can the tip of the line that was poorly place be somewhat corrected by the sweep or is it better to start over. Again thanks slack
 

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An opinion seasoned by experience

Can the tip of the line that was poorly place be somewhat corrected by the sweep or is it better to start over. Again thanks slack
Short answer to your question: Yes you can correct "on the fly", but...

Longer answer: While you are in the process of learning, you will be better served starting over once any step in the sequence is improperly executed. "Saving" a cast is not so much rewarding as it is a relief, and injury to the rod and/or caster is always a possibility.

If you absolutely need to see the effect of a poor setup, go ahead and finish the cast without trying to save it (wear safety glasses!!), and observe what the effect of the mistake was, then get right back to work doing it all the way you intend.

Great questions, by the way!
 

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JD
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I don't recall any of the gurus of Skagit emphasizing the notion, but the anchor in Skagit casting is dynamic as opposed to static. It certainly moves (during the sweep) after it's initial landing or placement.
You are correct. Out of all the vid's I have seen, I don't recall anyone mentioning the fact that the fly will indeed move during the sweep. One of the reasons I refer to "point P" as the anchor, as opposed to the fly itself.

Like a lot of these guys, I cut my teeth on still water. Most of the time, a crystal clear casting pond. You can learn a lot on a clear pond, especially if you have a spare set of eyes able to observe & critique what escapes your attention.

Years ago, Bob Paulie came up with "half out & go" as a reference for when to apply power in the casting of a sink tip. I never really went along with that, as it implied one will wait until that precise moment before making the forward stroke. Admittedly, some portion of the rear end of the sink tip will come off the water, sooner or later. However, being a disciple of the CMCL school, I myself focus on that aspect of the cast rather than worry about how much of the sink tip is out of the water when I hit the gas. Skagit Master I changed my DS cast. Still working on the PP.
 

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fly fisher 'til it's over
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Just when I think I got it, I throw a few crap casts. I make some good casts but I am not consistent.
Join the club! I sometimes get complacent or lazy too, and toss out a real dying quail that I hope nobody else sees. BUT, it sounds like you're very astute and attentive, and able to critique your own casts, which is admirable (and not easy to do). I'm getting better at that too.

I'm now paying more attention to each cast, being very deliberate in my motions and presentation, so that when I see a beauty sail out there, I know exactly what I did to make that happen so I can repeat it. Soon, muscle memory will take over, and it will become second nature. At least, I hope so.

I agree 100% with Yoda1 in that there's not a big value in trying to rescue a cast - in fact, I'd say the more you try to do that, the more likely you'll use that as a crutch, and rely on your skills in rescuing, instead of focusing on the moves that result in good casts. In the winter, when I'm throwing bigger, heavier flies, there's the back of my head that's at stake too, and although I can be pretty hard-headed at times, I know the outcome will not be pretty.

By the way, and somewhat related, I learned something as a result of reading JD's posts, and watching him the other day. I'm right handed (right hand up), and casting a snap T on river left, once you perform the snap, the fly is upstream, floating down towards you. When I pull the trigger, I'm not likely to blow the anchor because the line is moving back towards me. My problem is on river right with my DS. After I make the first move (think windshield wiper), and the fly is just below me, the line is flowing AWAY from me, and I'm very likely to pull the anchor. JD lets his line settle after the windshield move, causing it to dig in a bit, making his anchor more likely to stay put.

I spent time this morning doing just that on both sides, and it (being patient and slow) worked very well indeed. Thanks JD!
 

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JD
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Thanks for the allocades guys

But I screw up every now & then too. Typically, about half way through the run, just as I'm approaching the bucket. And then there are days when nothing goes right, and I'm really glad no one is around to see the crap casts. :whoa:
 

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Clarification requested

... the fly will indeed move during the sweep. One of the reasons I refer to "point P" as the anchor, as opposed to the fly itself..
Doesn't "Point P" move also? I'm guessing that you're using Point P as a visual reference for something that approximates (the probable position of) the center mass of your anchor at the beginning of the power stroke?

It is a complicated dance getting a consistent cast when the length and density of sink tip, leader stiffness and length, size, weight, and bulk of fly, not to mention water speed and flow, wind and a dozen other inputs vary the position and strength of the anchor. One major obstacle to success is casters believing the "anchor" is a singular thing with predictable repetitive characteristics. The only thing I can say for certain about it is that it represents a resistive force against which you can apply a slightly greater force in the hope of success!

Ben Hogan used to say that there is a single perfect golf stroke for a given situation, but a dozen perfectly workable ones. I agree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I cant tell you how helpful this information has been. At present, being only a Skajit caster, my go to casts are Snap T and Dbl Spey. My Dbl spey is the one that lacks consistency. At present I am a cack hander .Again I make some good ones but way to many poor ones on my DS. How much back hand is good? What I mean is, should the back of my top hand be facing the target when the cast is completed which seems to torque the rod and when it works it works or should I rotate the wrist during the sweep and D loop formation so my knuckles face the target when I finish. Sorry for so many Questions. I think this will hold me for a while. I did cast better today and so much of what you said made a lot of sense.
Again thank you all for your input!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am gad I found this site. slack
 

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I just went to beach to see what I do.My cack does start a bit back hand. And, continues to rotate and at end of cast my rod is resting in my open upper hand. And, all my power is with my bottom left hand..[more like a couple fingers]. I only steer with top hand[not really..it just happens]. AND,I DON'T DO A STOP!!! NOT AT ALL!!!..I KNOW MOST PREACH IT!!My bottom hand ends up against my right hand elbow and rodtip is pointing at splashdown. Horizontal to water. When conditions are right[wind,etc.] My fav cast is Snake Roll...but I do all same way. And I also do not put in a stop on any cast off the right side either!
 

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take a look at these two clips of Mike McCune doing an off-shoulder circle.

The best description I can think of to help with Skagit casting and keep hand and arm motions to a minimum is:

Keep elbows tucked at your sides through the entire stroke - do not break your wrist on the sweep and end the sweep with top hand at or just below shoulder level. If you keep elbows tucked - there is only so far you can move your top hand - look at the position and see where this is directing the line - it is a perfect 45 thrust position.

For strong side casting - your top hand is facing palm up on the sweep - at end of 45 thrust, your wrist rotates slightly so your hand is now with knuckles facing forward and thumb pointing up - this is the out and around motion where you come around and over the top on the forward cast.

For off-shoulder (cack) the palm is facing down on the sweep up to when it hits your left shoulder - wrist straight - then do the slight writs rotation and come around over the top

Hope this helps - note on both sides the hand is facing forward on the forward stroke with thumb pointing up



 

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JD
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Point P

Doesn't "Point P" move also? I'm guessing that you're using Point P as a visual reference for something that approximates (the probable position of) the center mass of your anchor at the beginning of the power stroke?
When I do a DS, I only watch "point P" as It drifts down in front of me, the tip sinking to where it is pulling the last two or three inches of floating line under. Once it gets a foot or so past me, I start the sweep. From that point on, eyes are on target. IF all the stars are in alignment, point P moves very little, rearwards I suppose, enough to pull the fly into alignment.
 

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take a look at these two clips of Mike McCune doing an off-shoulder circle.

The best description I can think of to help with Skagit casting and keep hand and arm motions to a minimum is:

Keep elbows tucked at your sides through the entire stroke - do not break your wrist on the sweep and end the sweep with top hand at or just below shoulder level. If you keep elbows tucked - there is only so far you can move your top hand - look at the position and see where this is directing the line - it is a perfect 45 thrust position.

For strong side casting - your top hand is facing palm up on the sweep - at end of 45 thrust, your wrist rotates slightly so your hand is now with knuckles facing forward and thumb pointing up - this is the out and around motion where you come around and over the top on the forward cast.

For off-shoulder (cack) the palm is facing down on the sweep up to when it hits your left shoulder - wrist straight - then do the slight writs rotation and come around over the top

Hope this helps - note on both sides the hand is facing forward on the forward stroke with thumb pointing up



Good vids - Nice high-stops. I don't don't do cack-handed casts, but it looks to like the anchor (down to the fly) is actually 180 out to the target rather than pointing towards. It's what I do and so it stands out in the vids. Maybe I'm misunderstanding your response in post number 2?
 

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I cant tell you how helpful this information has been. At present, being only a Skajit caster, my go to casts are Snap T and Dbl Spey. My Dbl spey is the one that lacks consistency. At present I am a cack hander .Again I make some good ones but way to many poor ones on my DS. How much back hand is good? What I mean is, should the back of my top hand be facing the target when the cast is completed which seems to torque the rod and when it works it works or should I rotate the wrist during the sweep and D loop formation so my knuckles face the target when I finish. Sorry for so many Questions. I think this will hold me for a while. I did cast better today and so much of what you said made a lot of sense.
Again thank you all for your input!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am gad I found this site. slack
I'm a hack personally, though I have had some really smooth days here and there. Genereally DS and SnapT casts are my easiest and most consistently effective. At any rate, take the following as part advise, and part question myself of those with far more experience:

As far as back hand (top hand), I find that I use my top hand mostly as a guide during the sweep phase to line up the D-loop. Not much at all during the forward cast on a DS or SnapT. When you talk about rotating your wrist to orient the back of your hand or knuckles towards your target that sounds overly complex imo. I could well be wrong on this, but it would seem to me that a much simpler and more effective practice would be to simply watch the anchor/ D loop orientation line up on target and let your top hand do that key job in what flows most naturally and easily?

I do think you're on the right path in terms of putting so much focus on the anchor placement. Great things happen with a well placed anchor and the D loop lined up straight, and no matter how good your forward cast is it will not go so well if your anchor is poor. Keep at it
JB
 
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