FlukUlele

Let's talk practice...

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Hi all - simply put, I'm looking for recommendations to make my practice time as productive and enjoyable as they can be.  So:

 

  • What do your practice sessions look like?
  • What drills do you use?
  • How long do your sessions last?

 

For background, I fish saltwater with a 9wt SH rod.  Generally practice in a NYC park local to me which is patchy grass so I'm using an old line to practice with so I don't destroy my good lines.  Love it when people tell me there's no fish in the park...

 

Thanks in advance.

 

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Like anything you have to define what you're intending to practice before deciding how. Last year when we were invaded with little micros I used that to practice strip striking. This season I'm practicing fishing with leaders designed for the flats instead of my usual 4-6' of 20 lb test. I practice tying knots here at my desk while doing teleconferences. Then when the season ends I like to go to a couple nearby flats in winter conditions to practice trying to cast into nuclear winds. That last one is the only actual casting practice I do per se, but on weekends I throw poppers to largemouth bass which really I look at as practice for fishing mangroves.

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My salt water fishing is mostly blind casting where accuracy is not too important but long line shoot can be. For that I have practiced key elements: High stop on back false cast to form narrow and good line loop. Drift which lengthens following delivefy cast and lessens tailing loop. Late haul which increase line speed best and also lessens tailing loop. And early and precise line release so that line loop run speed does not accelerate too much. Tracking is also what I try to get as good as possible while tilting rod as little as possible.

 

Esa

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I primarily fish a 2 handed rod and use a grass leader for practicing away from the water.   But I find it helpful when practicing with a single hand rod as well.  It helps load the rod much better than a std leader. There may be better examples of how to make a grass leader but I found this one with a quick search.  

 

http://freestateflyfishers.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=3274

 

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i practice maybe twice a week usually with my 8wt.

 

 

my drill is this

pick up laydown cast to about 35' a few times.

 

pickup, 2 false casts aim for target at 40'

 

false cast only with 30' of line plus leader, no haul finger locking the line.  look at the loop and work on form and loop control.

 

Then i put out 3 targets at 35' 55' 75' and i pretend they are fish going various directions and i just practice hitting around the targets.

 

and i get ridiculed by dog walkers and high school students the entire time which simulates tarpon fishing pressure!

 

 

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I bring a 9wt with me to the playground with my kids and target them with a piece of yarn.  Sometimes a dog, but I have to know the owner.  In any event, I try to place the fly right in front of them while they're on the move - great sight fishing practice.

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Practice can be of very limited value especially if a new guy or Gal unless you do it with an Instructor.

 

It is useful if you already have a good cast.

 

Best  place is on water preferably the ocean.

 

oly

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Have your best bud video tape your form, especially if no experienced caste is available.  " You can observe a lot by just watching " Yogi Bera 

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I have a similar routine to mightyrime's. Although I do it at a park in the heart of Los Angeles where the majority of the people around me have never even seen a fly rod. Also I like to take a few reps from every direction around the targets to get the wind coming at me from every possible direction - forces a lot of timing and style adjustments that can be helpful to get used to. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I practice a few times a week, rarely more than 30 minutes each session. This is normally with a 6wt outfit to avoid RSI problems.

 

Grass sessions vary in their focus: loop control, accuracy, line carry, mending, curve casts, back hand delivery, distance without haul.

 

On-water practice sessions focus on single hand spey techniques, roll casting and when they are about, rapid delivery to jumping mullet.

 

Cheers,

Graeme

Edited by Hirdy

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1
5 hours ago, mightyrime said:

and i get ridiculed by dog walkers and high school students the entire time which simulates tarpon fishing pressure!

LOL!

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My first year fly fishing the salt I practiced religiously in the park near my house in NYC, couple, three times a week.  After a couple months, I was breaking down my rod after a session and noticed deep grooves in my snake guides, like almost through the guide.  WTF???  Walking back to the house, pondering my dilemma, I noticed the dirt on the cars sparkling, so I swept some off on a finger and rubbed, voila, gritty, sharp, city dirt.  I had essentially been casting a rope file through my new rod, line was picking up the gritty dirt and filing through my guides.

 

I'm guessing this is particular to the scum we have floating through the air here in lovely ole' NYC or other big cities.  Cities where there is all kind of particulate in the air, like all those high rises getting tuck pointed, grinding all that silica out into the air, etc. . ..  So, if you do practice on grass, clean your line regularly, especially in cities, or better yet, find some water to practice on.  And as Mike suggested, practice with a knowledgable eye watching you, or you can easily groove bad habits. 

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