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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A "bad" cast is obviously an objective term, but I'm curious how you folks manage after your "bad" cast while you're fishing a run or pool. For me, a lot of the times, a "bad" cast would be blowing the anchor, throwing a tailing loop, or landing the tip/leader landing in a spaghetti shaped pile, etc.

How do you proceed with swinging the fly to the hang down. What do you do on your next cast?

Just thinking about how I can maximize my efficiency and productivity with limited time on the water
 

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Tailing loop or spaghetti pile: I usually haul it in immediately and check to make sure my fly isn't fouled.
Blown anchor that lands ok: I will strip in about half way and show the "fish" that have already seen my fly a different view (faster and broadside). I don't want a bad presentation drifting all the way down to water that hasn't seen my fly yet.
 

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I fish it out and then check the it, especially with a tailing loop. I’ve hooked fish on bad casts enough over the years to keep the faith.
I fish it out and then check the it, especially with a tailing loop. I’ve hooked fish on bad casts enough over the years to keep the faith.
 
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I see if despite the bad cast, my swing is good or not. If good = let it swing and continue down the pool. If bad, try to correct it rapidly to get that good swing; if successfull = let it swing and continue down the pool. If a bad cast and unsuccessfull tr correcting it rapidly to get a decent swing = haul it in and recast to fish the water properly. If at any time (good swing or bad swing) I think I might have knotted my leader, I pull it in and check.

Just my 1.2 cents (american funds).
 

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If it’s not to length When it lands I strip it in and go again. If it’s to length then I fish a sloppy cast out.
 

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What bad casts? Mine are just ”alternative presentation strategies“ Sometimes you have to think outside the box, show them something different :LOL:
Exactly this! 😀

Embrace the imperfections.
A cast that piles up a bit can be mended so that you on that cast get down real deep.
Wind and/or misplaced anchor might force a cast to be angled differently than you’d like, and will give that certain cast a slower or faster swing, just roll with it.
 

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What bad casts? Mine are just ”alternative presentation strategies“ Sometimes you have to think outside the box, show them something different :LOL:
Yup you know... That winter ''straight slow in,'' that true classic from the greased line days '' broadside'' and that crazy '' SUPER J sink tip first, with the fly straight swimming lead eyes first, 20 mph down river,'' all main stays from the spey,hoh,sauk,humber,skagit, and the cascapedia, :cool:
 

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It depends on your definition of a bad cast, and I am gonna be one of the few on here probably who says bad casts don't catch fish. You can get lucky with a bad cast that results in a fish, but it's never going to be consistent; consistency is what allows you to consistently catch fish . My though process is I always want a clean turn over, otherwise things don't sink or swim consistently. Whether or not you strip in, is all subjective to your skill level and what you find acceptable. To me, I will only strip in a blown anchor if it falls short and doesn't turn over. However, if it falls short and does turn over, I will usually allow a controlled sink by slowly letting the line slip through my fingers. I would not just dump the line and let it sink, because then I balls up under the water and again, doesn't sink consistently. I strip anything that doesn't turn over back in, and give it another go. Just my thoughts, good luck, and tight lines man
 

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I think there is a big difference between a visually pleasing “good casts” and good fishing casts, they aren’t always the same thing. When dry fly fishing for trout you start to learn that more often than not, that piled up cast is what buys you time on the drift. A perfectly laid out cast doesn’t fish the right way in a large percentage of holding lies.
You obviously need to know how to turn over a cast correctly but you should also pay attention why the line piles up so you can duplicate it.
Even with limited time, if you are fishing a dry line anyway why not put on a surface bug and watch what actually happens during the swing on your first pass. It’s the only way to truly know what the bug is doing. Certain things are unveiled as well, how what was a perfect angled cast further up in the run actually swings really weird in the tailout etc.
Tailing loops, collisions with the leader, and fouled hooks won’t fish right, but I’d definitely pay very close attention to that piled up cast and how it swings on the dry line. Especially after a mend when casting to a slow pocket adjacent to fast water. It’s your friend in a lot of spots we’ve been talking about privately.
 

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That's exactly when I want to lay a cast out perfectly. But for steelhead. For a wet fly I don't care too much. A bit of a pile up will allow the fly to sink. For skating though, I want as best turn over as possible. the sooner the fly is waking the better. If I have to mend or wait on current to come tight then I'm wasting a swing(or part of). At least the start of it, especially if it's at a cut bank or under brush.

Dan
 

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That's exactly when I want to lay a cast out perfectly. But for steelhead. For a wet fly I don't care too much. A bit of a pile up will allow the fly to sink. For skating though, I want as best turn over as possible. the sooner the fly is waking the better. If I have to mend or wait on current to come tight then I'm wasting a swing(or part of). At least the start of it, especially if it's at a cut bank or under brush.

Dan
We are talking about the same thing. But it’s hard to see that UNLESS you have a dry fly on and can actually watch it. The dry fly is purely to learn what the good cast is.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Lots of great information and discussion here, thank you!

Leader pile/slack doesn't bother me too much, as long as it's roughly in the right spot/distance. As others have mentioned, I'll generally do a slow pull mend to straighten everything out and let it sink a bit.

If it's a short cast, but everything has straightened out fairly well, I'll let it swing as is, then recast from the same spot and hopefully get all the line out on the second cast.

If it's a real mess, I'll try to strip in any slack and mend until I get the line straight enough to swing, then checking for knots and fouling when it comes to the hangdown. I don't like the idea of picking up and recasting a line mid swing. Seems like a lot of splashing, noise and movement over the fish, but that's just my thoughts
 

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I once attended a seminar taught by April Vokey and Travis Johnson. In separate presentations they offered conflicting advice: April: "If you make a bad cast fish it out." Travis: "If you make a bad cast redo it." I think it depends on where you're fishing, and what kind of water you're fishing in. Another guide I fish with on the North Umpqua insists that you redo a bad cast, even if it's marginal. That said, I hooked one of the largest steelhead I've ever encountered on the Skeena, on the absolutely worst cast I've ever made. A real "spaghetti pile." I was stripping line in to redo the cast when it began streaking upstream and the fish jumped. A couple of head shakes and it was gone. Simon Gawesworth once told me, "Sometimes steelhead don't care how well you cast." He should know. There is casting and there is fishing, and the temptation is often to try for those beautiful, long tight-looped shots--especially when you have an audience you're trying to impress--when the fish are actually a shooting-head's length away, or less. I actually caught more steelhead when I was first learning. Of course there were more fish then. When I got better I started throwing casts way beyond where the fish were actually holding. I've since wised up. A little. :cool:
 
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