FlukUlele

Let's talk practice...

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49 posts in this topic

6 hours ago, codyjorge said:

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. 

Where are you in LA???  I live in Redondo Beach.  

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Not to hijack the thread, but as someone still pretty new to fly fishing I was wondering if you guys practice with or without a fly. Practicing without a fly on feels different to me (maybe it's just in my head), and I have been thinking of tying on a beat up clouser I have with the hook cut off so it doesn't get caught on the grass.

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1 hour ago, vanburenboys said:

Not to hijack the thread, but as someone still pretty new to fly fishing I was wondering if you guys practice with or without a fly. Practicing without a fly on feels different to me (maybe it's just in my head), and I have been thinking of tying on a beat up clouser I have with the hook cut off so it doesn't get caught on the grass.

Definitely avoid a hook point, but a fly can be helpful.  I generally use a piece of yarn, just so I can see it.

 

The leader is what is important.  Fly line is designed to have a leader on the end of it.  

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If I'm going to lawn cast I cut an old fly at the bend, one that represents what I expect to use. If I'm getting ready to go tropics I probably want a decent size tarpon fly or even a crab fly on a tapered leader so I can practice turning it over in the wind. I found that if I practice with just yarn or just a leader, when I put on the much heavier fly and longer leader my backcast will tend to drop more than it did with yarn. Plus my cat really likes retreiving stripped crab flies...

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3 hours ago, vanburenboys said:

Not to hijack the thread, but as someone still pretty new to fly fishing I was wondering if you guys practice with or without a fly. Practicing without a fly on feels different to me (maybe it's just in my head), and I have been thinking of tying on a beat up clouser I have with the hook cut off so it doesn't get caught on the grass.

I tie flies specifically for casting...use a 1/0 hook, tie on some synthetic material in a bright green color (so I can see it easily even in the grass), clip off the hook at the bend, file down so it's not pointy where I cut it, and use that.  Yarn doesn't really simulate a fly well, I prefer the weight of a hook and some type of actual material.

 

I used to practice religiously, logging # of casts, etc, using targets, casting into wind...but since my son's racing career has taken over my life, I'm lucky to get 1 day a week in.  But like cpalms, I figure I'm ready for anything if I go out to my lawn, strip off my lawn and can double haul my way to a 30'+ cast (including leader) since most fish are caught within 35 feet anyway.  Kinda sucks as I used to be able to consistently hit the 45' mark on a good day :).

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I dont, because i have two young girls and the time i have is spent on other family things, usually its on the water but smallmouth are forgiving.

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3 hours ago, stormy monday said:

If I'm going to lawn cast I cut an old fly at the bend, one that represents what I expect to use. If I'm getting ready to go tropics I probably want a decent size tarpon fly or even a crab fly on a tapered leader so I can practice turning it over in the wind. I found that if I practice with just yarn or just a leader, when I put on the much heavier fly and longer leader my backcast will tend to drop more than it did with yarn. Plus my cat really likes retreiving stripped crab flies...

Sounds like a good way to practice your strip set!

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Dog walkers: "Catching anything, haha" "How's the fishing, hehe" "what's that thing?"

 

I practice at the local ball fields as often as I can. Especially if it's a time of year I'm not fishing or if I'm about to travel somewhere for fishing and need to dial in an outfit. Lots of pick up and lay down along a straight line (I use the sideline of the soccer field). The ball field is nice because the distances are marked. False casting along the straight line. Quick casting to targets. Watching my back cast. Really thinking about what I'm doing with the rod tip and where my loops are going. Working on my haul timing.

 

I recently hired a IFFF certified master instructor to give me a private lesson. I've been casting fly rods in fresh and salt for about 6 or 7 years and it was a great experience. I knew enough to be able to make the corrections the instructor suggested, so I could see a great improvement pretty quick. We went through a number of drills and I've tried to mimic what we did in my practice sessions. I still need to build new muscle memories to fix the bad habits I trained into my casting over the years. I highly recommend an hour with a pro. 

 

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And then there are the things you just can’t practice on the lawn. My lunch excursion today went to my favorite striper spot, which is only rarely accessible. 2 mussel beds separated by a 200 yd. x 400 yd. flat. You can only get to it 1.5 hours before low and have to get off quickly when the tide turns as the accessible bar disappears quickly. A 2PM low tide is perfect for a long lunch even though it doesn’t happen that much. Anyways on this tide it’s thigh deep and perfect for the BTT Ghost Tip where the flat drains to the ocean . On my 4th cast I got a mid 20s fish, which is as small as they come on this spot. Unfortunately a couple guys in boats saw it and quickly motored my way. Next cast brought a bigger fish, high 20s so I’m in a good sunny mood. Then the practice part…

I have some nasty eczema that flares on my hands and when it does it’s bad. Today it’s bad, so I had to wear a full glove on my casting hand. I was casting fine with it, but cast 6 brought a bigger strike. Much bigger. I strip struck and gave it a couple side jabs, so I felt good and it wasn’t long before the fish was taking line going across the shallow water. No issues there until it decided to run right back at me. No way I could reel that fast, and I couldn’t strip that fast with one hand, so I had to use 2. What I hadn’t practiced, and I’m not sure you can, is finding the line with a fully gloved hand ☹ I must have looked like the biggest spaz on earth on that flat, grabbing in all directions to try to find the loose line. 15 seconds was about all it took to lose a really nice fish. I have to admit it was fun having it on, but I’m bummed as I’ve had multiple 27”ers lately but this would have been the year’s first keepah. Seems like as many things as you can practice there’s always that one thing you didn’t lol.

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14 hours ago, mightyrime said:

Where are you in LA???  I live in Redondo Beach.  

Oh nice! I'm in the Fairfax area right by The Grove, if you know where that is. And my in-law's are in Huntington Harbor so I fish that area often. We must know some of the same guys... You fish locally much? 

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On the side of my house I practice my back cast and not drifting on the forward cast. I sometimes practice the double haul.  Not maximizing distance, but just going through the motions to coordinate the body parts.

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Lots of good stuff in here. Thank you.  Funny thing is nobody mentioned practice tools, yarn rods, etc. anyone using those at home?

 

Also funny that getting our b@lls busted is a universal thing, East Coast and West Coast!

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6 hours ago, stormy monday said:

And then there are the things you just can’t practice on the lawn. My lunch excursion today went to my favorite striper spot, which is only rarely accessible. 2 mussel beds separated by a 200 yd. x 400 yd. flat. You can only get to it 1.5 hours before low and have to get off quickly when the tide turns as the accessible bar disappears quickly. A 2PM low tide is perfect for a long lunch even though it doesn’t happen that much. Anyways on this tide it’s thigh deep and perfect for the BTT Ghost Tip where the flat drains to the ocean . On my 4th cast I got a mid 20s fish, which is as small as they come on this spot. Unfortunately a couple guys in boats saw it and quickly motored my way. Next cast brought a bigger fish, high 20s so I’m in a good sunny mood. Then the practice part…

I have some nasty eczema that flares on my hands and when it does it’s bad. Today it’s bad, so I had to wear a full glove on my casting hand. I was casting fine with it, but cast 6 brought a bigger strike. Much bigger. I strip struck and gave it a couple side jabs, so I felt good and it wasn’t long before the fish was taking line going across the shallow water. No issues there until it decided to run right back at me. No way I could reel that fast, and I couldn’t strip that fast with one hand, so I had to use 2. What I hadn’t practiced, and I’m not sure you can, is finding the line with a fully gloved hand ☹ I must have looked like the biggest spaz on earth on that flat, grabbing in all directions to try to find the loose line. 15 seconds was about all it took to lose a really nice fish. I have to admit it was fun having it on, but I’m bummed as I’ve had multiple 27”ers lately but this would have been the year’s first keepah. Seems like as many things as you can practice there’s always that one thing you didn’t lol.

Sorry you lost that one but brings home a great point.  Thanks for sharing.

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12 hours ago, FlukUlele said:

Also funny that getting our b@lls busted is a universal thing, East Coast and West Coast!

And international.

 

Cheers,

Graeme

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