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Discussion Starter #1
not discouraged.....what do you all reccommend.  Take a class......read books on casting (read a few)......find a flyfisher willing to teach?

I guess I should have practices on the grass before hitting the water....can i practice on dry grass? That seems to be the only kind right now....


Pondfisher
 

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OK, more details. Where were you, what did you use, how did you present it, what kind of tippet, etc. I am a believer in trial and error (time on the water), but treat yourself to a guide early on in your learning cycle so you'll catch some fish and keep your confidence up. Otherwise, you may get frustrated and quit.
 

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Practice, Practice, Practice!!

You can definatley practice in the grass but on the water is best. What difficulties were you having? Were your casts not working out right? Or were you just not catching fish?
 

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I think everyone that flyfishes here has tried and failed....stick with it young Jedi, it will come with practice ;)

lets see what everyone suggests....i will say read up on it, and try to fish with someone that has a bit of experience and good communication skills to help you along.

On another note, no one in my family fishes. i am more or less a self taught fly fisherman, so im proof that it can be done if you really want it. i was 11 when i got my first fly rod, and i read as many books as i could on the subject---and spent lots of time on the lawn with a rod in my hand. practice is key, it doesnt come automatically, a big part of casting is timing and muscle memory. i had to fish by myself, but after a few trips starting catching fish. its not rocket science, but can be a it more difficult to try to figure out than "conventional" fishing. hell, im still trying to figure it out, i dont think anyone ever really masters it...but to me thats the fun part, knowing theres still more to learn.
 

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Hang in there and trust me it gets better with time.  I recently had a gentleman at work as me if he could learn to fly fish in a single day.  I then proceeded to tell him that I have been fly fishing for almost 20 years and still have a lot to learn.  Normally I fish with a gentleman that has fly fished for over 40 years and realize I have a long way to go.  You never stop learning! ;D

I have never taken any classes on fly fishing, but I can say that casting is one of the single most important things you can learn.  There are a lot of great books out on casting, but hands on experience is probably one of the best things available to help.  Practice makes perfect and trust me not every fly fisherman out there can cast like the gentleman from "A River Runs Through It".   Besides you don't need "Hero" casts to catch fish - just a great drift. 

Don't worry if you didn't catch any fish your first time out because I can almost guarantee that we have experienced the same thing.  Nothing great ever comes easy and that's all I will say. O0 O0 O0
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replys.

Im using a 5-weight rod with floating line.....a 4X leader (9ft) and 5X tippet (12 inches).
I fished Watson Lake in Bellview. I brought my waders and waded out and attempted to cast parallel to the shore. First, all the books say to lay about 25-30 feet of fly line infront of you to start a cast...how is this done in the water. I assume you pull some line out manually and then use that weight to pull more...not sure. And since i did not have alot of line infront of me, my initial back cast was weak and I think I overcompansated with the forward cast. Basically the line shot out and crumpled in a pile a few feet infront of me.

Ive read that the majority of your power goes into the back cast, loading the rod. I never got that far. Its my first day and I am not dicouraged. I plan to practice tommorow on grass with a yarn fly.
If there are any flyfisherman in the Fort Collins area willing to help a newbie that would be cool. But again this was my first time out. Just gotta practice. Again thanks for the tips.

Pondfisher
 

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First off if you are getting the pile of line in front of you you are probably not waiting long enough on the back cast. Try just slowing down your casting. Also if you are having trouble getting the line out at first just pull it out of your guides. There is no shame in this. I still do it sometimes. Just get a couple off feet of fly line out and try casting that. Then start striping off the reel to add to your cast. I agree there is little need for the "hero" cast. I'd say 90% of the time there is no more than 12ft of fly line out when I fish.
 

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Also I live in Fort Collins as well and would be happy to give some pointers. I am by no means a great caster. Let me know when your heading out next. Did you look at the river behind watson? Is it still iced up?
 

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Rottal said:
I think everyone that flyfishes here has tried and failed....stick with it young Jedi, it will come with practice   ;)


On another note, no one in my family fishes.     i am more or less a self taught fly fisherman, so im proof that it can be done if you really want it.  i was 11 when i got my first fly rod, and  i read as many books as i could on the subject---and spent lots of time on the lawn with a rod in my hand. practice is key, it doesnt come automatically, a big part of casting is timing and muscle memory.

 
This couldn't be any closer to my venture in fly fishing. When I was 16 years old, I drove to Steamboat alone and slept in my truck outside a prime pike hole where I learned how to fly fish. nothing can replace just getting out there and doing it. I wish I would have had someone to show me the ropes, but i loved it and I just went out there and did it day after day. Thats why part of me, loves to give information to help yall out, but the other part of me says its more fullfilling to learn the good ole fashion way. I have never paid for a guide, but as my skills improved i found myself fishing with a lot of them and eventually became one at just 20 years of age. I certainly tried to pick everyone's brain as best I could, and attempt to utilize the tactics I had been told about. being a teen, fly shops and ass hole's in the industry made seeking information intimidating. that's why now everytime someone comes into the shop when Im working, I put myself inside that big eyed 16 year old kids shoes that I once was not so long ago.

As for casting, it will come with time. Am I a perfect form caster, absolutely not! But by gosh, if I'm piking and I need to shoot 90 ft of line I know I can do it. Part of my venture in guiding, is defining what I do. Its hard for me to tell someone how to cast because for me, it all just came together over time through trial and error. Now that I am becoming a more informed angler, I'm beginning to refine my cast and remove uneccesary movements. Bottom line though, I would spend more time worrying about fish, presentations and termonology rather then casting. The cast will naturally form and no two casters I have ever known do it exactly the same. Its a form of personalization and a further reinforcement to the age old cliche "theres more then one way to skin a cat."
 

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Pondfisher, I had the same problems and questions you did when I first started. I couldn't hit a semi truck if it was 12 feet in front of me. I went to Bobby Hix's store when he was on Santa Fe and said "can you show me how to cast a fly rod"? He took me to the park across the street and in a matter of an hour, he had me casting. Once I got past that main obsticle, it was a matter of experience on the water. Everytime I hit the stream, i got more and more confident.----Good Luck!
 

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I'd recommend taking a class, there are always free ones out there. Its always better to have someone showing you and then correcting you as you screw up. :p
I only see one on the event schedules I have:
Description: Fly casting techniques and problem solving.
Date: March 18th, Saturday
Time: 12:00pm until finished
Contact: Mike Willis
Tel./Email: 719-597-9200
[email protected]
Registration: N/A
Store Link: Colorado Springs- Sportsmans Warehouse

When the weather warms up Blue Quill Anglers have a free saturday clinincs alot, so may alot of other fly shops.
 

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Pondfisher,
You have heard this before, if you have invested in the equiptment, stay with the investment and invest in a guide for a day. You will learn more than trial and error. I am the cheapest person alive, and struggled trying to learn the basics on my own. The guide was well worth it. I would suggest going with a guide this spring, then practice and pracitce, then get a guide around July to refine what you have been practicing.

Also, practice tying your knots during this cold, windy, days. I will practice my knots while watching Fishing shows on Saturday mornings (Terry Wickstrom). Better learn now than being frustrated on the river/pond.
 

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If you went fishing, you did not fail, you succeeded.

Practice
Practice
Practice
As you pull the line back behind you, watch until it is all the way back and straight before pulling it forward.
 

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Pondmaster,
When you go out to practice casting, try this:

1 Imagine about a 7-8' high wall 3 or 4' in front of you and same in back of you.

2 Imagine your rod *tiptop* moving *parallel to the ground* as you false cast back and forth and avoid hitting the walls with your rod.

3. Keep your eyes closed.

I'd bet $.35 you get the feel of casting within an hour, tops.

Wait. Make that $.45! ;D
 

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All the advise is good...head to your local fly store and rent videos from experts like Gary Borger. Rent them on casting and practice casting. And rent them on fishing, so you know how to catch fish. They really do help.
 

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For new flyfishers the best starting point is going where you have nothing to hang up your backcast and where you have lots of opportunities to catch fish. If there are not many fish where you're fishing then you don't really know if you're doing it right. Places like Dowdy Lake in the Red Feathers area are perfect. It's easy casting and you WILL have action. John
 

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The great thing about fly fishing once you finally figure out how to cast, you then have to figure out line control or you will miss alot of your strikes, then you have to figure out nymphing and then.... :p
 

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A lot of shops offer free casting clinics, which have really helped me. On a slow day, they may even take you out in the parking lot right then - Angler's All did that for me and the guy was really helpful. I've made it a point to try to find out what causes the types of problems I frequently have - ie, a pile of line in front of me at my feet, a whip-crack on the back cast, etc. It really helps me to be able to see a problem in my casting (which I do about 90% of the time!) and have an idea of what is causing it.

The Federation of Fly Fishers has a search page on their site for casting instructors. I don't recall the web address, but you can Google it if you're interested.
 

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I'll second the suggestions that you visit your local fly shops.  If you tell them that you need help, they can often help you out right away, or they'll suggest a time that is slow when they can have someone give you a few quick pointers.  Angler's Roost and St. Pete's in Fort Collins both offered to help me gratis when I needed work on my double haul.  If they do help you out, help them out and buy some tackle at their store.

I'll also second the note about casting.  I've been going out on nice days this winter and working on my double haul (with my 9-weight).  Yesterday I threw my whole fly line for the first time ever!  yes, it was downwind in a light breeze but all 105 feet of line went sailing out!

Now to work on accuracy...
 
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