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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at Dana's topics I see a lot more headings about casting. It seems a lot of us who have taken up the spey rod in recent years have become addicted to the casting part of it. I have always wondered why anyone would play golf. Now I know why. The load of the rod, the tight loop can be an like orgasmic experience. Maybe like hitting nice golf shot. Now when I fish I must constantly remember to shorten the cast. stand back on the rocks and keep the fly out of the heavy water. The casting part of it is great for the line and rod builders and the fly shops. The fishing part of it we could get along very nicely with just a couple of rods. Jerry
 

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Steelhead are cool!
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572 Posts
Wet Fly,
I agree with you. I find my self recently trying new rods and longer belly lines. It is alot of fun. I think I will stick with the two rods I have and shortbellies for fishing. I think Speybum is doing me a disservice by letting me try all those rods and lines.:D

Kevin
 

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Relapsed Speyaholic
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Wetfly,

Bingo. It is addictive and even those that bad mouth spey rods quickly come under its spell once they pick one up. And I will be the first to say that it is fun.

Having said that, I also know that in the last year or so I have tried to make a conscience decision to keep my mind focused on the fishing rather than the casting. This means letting the fly dangle longer, leading the fly to the beach even though it makes the next cast more difficult to set-up and not overcasting the good water. I find myself fishing runs twice more. Once to really fish it and the second time to let-er-rip.
 

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It has to be the casting.

I've found that concentrating on my casting keeps me distracted, which as we all know, is when steelhead like to strike. I've also found that cigar maintenance while casting keeps you from over-thinking your casting. Now if I could only . . .

Leland.
 

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EAT IT!!!
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Wetfly, good one!

When I am reading this site, or practicing, it is casting. On the water, I am fishing and all of the theories and what not mean very little. They are two seperate things, but obviously tied by the cast itself.

Sometimes when I am fishing and the casting breaks down (too often:rolleyes: ) I get back to the theory and focus on the casts themselves, but for the most part I simply try to get the fly in the water and fish it well.
 

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We are the cultural heirs of Dr. Skinner and the concept of operant conditioning. We all understand positive and negative reinforcement. The trouble with fishing for scarce and skulky fish like steelhead is that a typical cast/drift presentation provides no meaningful reinforcement. Your last cast (1000 casts) produced nothing: So what are you to think? Did you do something wrong, or are you doing everything right except overcoming the odds?
Casting, on the other hand, and especially spey casting, gives you immediate feedback; each cast is either a success or a failure. You know how you're doing, minute by minute. :tsk_tsk:
Yes, sometimes it is a mental effort to remember that our real goal is the fish.
 

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I agree that double handed casting is addictive. I'm addicted.

But the interesting thing to me is that even my single handed steelhead and Atlantic salmon fishing has ALWAYS been a casting game. The objective on much of our water is to make perfect cast after perfect cast, taking a couple of steps in between. It's a beautiful rhythm that is an objective in itself. If we do everything right, sometimes we're rewarded with a fish but we can even have a great day if we're in tune with it all and get no grabs.

Casting in most trout fishing is just a component, important, but we play a different game. The game of trout fishing is finding fish, stalking and matching the hatch to mostly feeding fish.

Of course, there are times when we're sight fishing to steelhead and salmon. But most of it is the casting game.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We got to support Speybum!!!!

Speybum is one of us and us addictive types are loyal to the cause. Jerry
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Spey, Is it the castin or the fishin?

Both, are good - double the pleasure.
 

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I try to separate the two when possible. When fishing I concentrate on fishing, don't want to have to think about my casting I want to think about fishing the fly and be in tune with the river. When I want to polish up the casting I take the fly off and replace it with some yarn and go to the pond or better yet the river and work on those things that are giving me trouble.

As a famous english writer and speymaster once said "If you want to learn to cast well, then stick to learning. If you want to catch fish, then stick to fishing". Some may disagree but I try to live by these rules when on stream, and I feel it has helped me more times then not. I think I enjoy the casting almost as much as the fishing and if steelhead never swam the rivers again that I fish " hope I don't live to see that day" You would still see me out there casting.

Brian
 

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Indicators Anonymous
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In the past couple years, I have been surprised as to how much more important casting has become then fishing. Obviously, I think our poor returns to many of the PNW rivers in the past years has fueled this.

But it also concerns me as I think innovation is lost. Yes, the latest greatest casts, lines and rods make waves every 6 months to a year but how often do you hear about a new technique or a new fly? Not very often.

There are a few that definately put fishing ahead of casting and one has quickly become quite the figure in our local community as of late because of it.

I hated learning how to Spey cast because I put so much time and effort into becoming capable of getting my fly where I wanted it effeciently, that fishing time (and thus caught fish) was lost.

I am far from a great Spey caster and I ain't pretty either but ever since I was able to put the fly where I wanted it when I wanted to effeciently, most of the time, I have started putting fish on the beach again.

However, I still think about casting way too much and I will not stop until I can cast a two-hander as well as I can a single-hander. Hopefully that day will come.
 

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This topic is near and dear to me, I often chide friends about being "casters", yet the truth is that in order to be a fisherman - you need to be a caster as well. By this I don't mean that you must approach casting as a sport, but you master the critical techniques - so as to be able to put your fly over fish - no matter the conditions. To some this means perfecting one style, to others it is trying to learn as many styles as possible, but the bottom line is fly in front of more fish = more hook-ups! The ability to cast well is not a substitute for "fish sense" but it is certainly a valuable aid.

Personally, I try to keep my practicing and fishing separate. When I am on the river I have difficulty staying focussed on casting practice when there are fish to be had. However, when you have one of those days when there is just no fish Mojo happening, what amounts to practice casting does bust out. Or as is often the case on these no-Mojo days, the just plain fun of casting takes over and you can let-er rip just for the hell of it!

Then again, necessity is the mother of invention. Sometimes conditions beyond your control take over. On the remaining trips I have this spring I will be forced to "work on my casting " as I fish - due to injury. I have been forced to wear a restrictive brace on my right wrist, it virtually eliminates the forward snap of my top hand on the cast (hmm - I wonder how that condition developed?). This is going to force me into the underhand style.

While I have played around with it, I have never seriously attempted to use the underhand cast while fishing. Now I will. I hope that all the different styles of casting I have played with, especially my recent delving into the short head styles will pay off as I am forced to use yet another style - just so I can fish!
 

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Kush,ever use DMSO?

or ,i've been told MSN ? at the health food outlets,,do a search about the stuff,,then decide if you want to try it,it's worked for me in the past,,as for`conditions beyond your control' hehee, i fished in some brutal winds monday,,probably made a hundred casts,,,none were `correct',as far as tecnique,,but i proved to myself i could do it,,fish it,cast it,,,;)
 

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DMSO

Kush and all others. DMSO can cause problems as it penetrates the skin and carries other materials with it. The DMSO needs to be very pure for use on humans and the skin over the site of application needs to be clean, no oils, creams or soap residue to be transported into the joint.
 

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Castin' or fishin'?

When I first took up double-handed casting , my castin' was in a word "disastrous." Attending the first spey clave, I saw the need for me to seriously look at instruction and practice. My instruction came from two major sources: Derek Brown's video and spey clave demonstration. I was farther frustrated when I actually spent time attempting to cast while fishing. I wanted to fish but CASTING got in my way. So I decided to have practice time away from fishing time. Now I spent 20 to 30 minutes every other day perfecting casts and casting skills. The reward has been when fishing I no longer concentrate on casting but rather on "fishing the fly" at fish.
 

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For me, anyway, the main attraction of casting is manipulating (and sometimes controlling :) a long line in the air. One of the things I really enjoyed about spin-fishing in the surf was watching lure and line gracefully arc and then seeing the line slowly drop down to the water on calm(er) days, and fly lines are a lot more interesting to watch than that.
 

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I'm confused. The theme of most of these posts on this thread suggests that when one is on the stream you are either casting or fishing. Aren't we doing both: one casts, then one fishes. Nothing wrong with paying close attention to each cast from a technical point and then strive to make it the best cast possible. Once the fly lands, now we begin fishing. It's that simple---what am I missing here?
 

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When casting badly I have no confidence in my fly catching a fish because I feel like a second rate salmon angler that, frankly, does not deserve a fish. However, when I get my casting strokes correct, and the fly is landing perfectly in the water ready to swim round in the current, I fish with the confidence that a fish could take the fly at any moment.
Odd, I know, but that is why I think casting is important.
However, this does go against experience, as sometimes I have made atrocious casts and caught a fish.
As others have said, how you fish the fly in the water is the most important factor, but casting is how you get your fly to a particular spot in the water.
 

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I am sorry I can't give the man credit, but I think his name is Bachman, and he said something in the Sandy River video that made a lot of sense. Basically he said that of all the fisherman he has guided only a small percentage catch the bulk of the fish. And the factor which separates that small group from the masses is CONSISTENCY OF CASTING. These guys are very methodical and their casts are predictive: they throw the same cast over and over again as they move down the river--- and they COVER THE WATER. A steelhead sitting there in the river sees this fly at 16feet, 14 feet . . . and it's ticked off by this intruding 'entity' and when that entity passes by its nose, probably BAM! However if the angler is all over the place with their casting, well, it might be a poorer outcome. Again, the best possible cast over and over, fish it well, if not successful in the catch, we can admire the cast. To me the cast and the fishing are inseparable on the stream, you just don't do your best without the other. Wonderful business this two-handed fishing! And the venue isn't too shabby either!!
 
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