JohnP

How often do you practice casting?

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And how do you go about it?

 

in my case there is a park lawn a very short walk away. I usually keep a 10 wt with an old line in the garage   
 

I’ll walk out and make some casts when I’ve got a free half hour. 
 

on average I’m practicing a couple times a month 

 

every few months I’ll take out a number of lines and just try them on different rods. I’ll note the line rod combinations that work for me. 
 

what about you ?

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Every time I go fishing. Unless I'm trying a plug out in a local lake I haven't taken to a field or park in at least 30 years. maybe living 2 minutes from a river and 5 from the ocean makes it a no brainer. Anyway, I'm happy that practice is game conditions.

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Since this work from home thing has started I go out in the yard and practice casting a couple times a week just to break the monotony of screen time and teleconferences. I have a bunch of lines all over the house so I'll grab a couple of them and try them on different rods to see if I have any epiphanies (none yet). On weekends I go out in my little tin boat on the lake and practice casting gurglers into tight cover from various distances. I mean I'm catching bass while I do it which is also fun, but I really think of it more as practicing my accuracy. I spend a lot of time trying to place the gurgler into and under the branches on my backcast in the wind because I hate fishing off my backcast but it's a necessary skill. It seems like every day in the salt this season has been fighting unfriendly winds, and if you do this day after day I think after a while it messes with your technique, at least it does mine. For me the practice sessions are an opportunity to remember how it's supposed to feel, re-synch the muscle memory etc. with the goal of being in a good zone for the fall run.

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A Lot... On average several times a week ... all year unless there is snow on the ground. Been doing such since I picked up a fly rod some 20+ years ago. I equate it / rationalize it ... to shooting buckets from the foul line in basketball. A hand, eye and body mechanics thing.

 

I'm also dialing in (practicing / matching) the best performing fly lines with different rod types that I have for prevailing fishing conditions temperature wise; Cold Spring, Tropical Summer, Temperate Fall, ... then Frosty conditions.

 

And as a previous gent said ... to get out of the house after sitting in front of a computer screen all day. I enjoy making a far cast that is as close to effortless that a fly rod & fly line will allow. It nice / satisfying when it all comes together. 

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Never.

I live 5 min from good to great fishing.

Practice is what I call the occasion I don't catch.

I took up 2H this spring and that required practice but haven't touched it all summer.Good for what it does but not a particularly adaptive way of fishing;offers no real advantage for most situations and a SH usually does it better.

Day-to-day SH casting? As previously mentioned...

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Couple times a week during the winter - I live on a pond - rarely during the season.

 

Best way to practice is to teach someone.

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Depends on what time of year.  Spring and fall I'm out 3-4 days a week.  Summer I fish more but practice maybe once or twice a week.  Winter I switch lines and try to get out at least a day a week and usually try to take advantage of some wind to get that kind of practice in.  If I'm going on a trip or prepping for prime time striper season it's 5-6 times a week.  For example, before Belize it was almost every day and I focused longer sessions when the wind was up above 15 kts.  Also, I would travel further to more exposed waterfront fields to practice.  For a trip to France with the known casts being sub 30' and tough shots under trees I picked up a new five wt and kneeled at the side of a building under a street lamp every night for a month.  Lots of side arm and the practice was absolutely necessary.  I worked out kinks that couldn't have been done for an infrequently (maybe never) technical trout guy.

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I lawn-cast a few times every week. Not practice, just fun. A couple of days ago two juvenile birds attacked a bushy hookless fly in the air during the cast and again on the ground during the retrieve. Hilarious!

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In order to effectively practice casting, you have to have a plan in mind... don't just go out there and try to cast as far as you can. 

You're probably just reinforcing existing bad habits.

Think straight line path, smooth acceleration, drift, follow through, loop control, haul timing, and accuracy. Always set up some sort of a target! Just going out in the yard and slinging line does nothing if you don't think about what you're doing. Making a few casts on the boat while you're looking for Albies isn't practice.

Always leave a rod set up and ready to go on hooks in the garage. If you have to go get a rod, get it out of the tube, put on the reel, string it up, and put on a yarn fly, you'll never do it. If a practice setup is ready to grab and go, you can accomplish a lot in 20 minutes.

 

 

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37 mins ago, BillHassan said:

In order to effectively practice casting, you have to have a plan in mind... don't just go out there and try to cast as far as you can. 

You're probably just reinforcing existing bad habits.

Think straight line path, smooth acceleration, drift, follow through, loop control, haul timing, and accuracy. Always set up some sort of a target! Just going out in the yard and slinging line does nothing if you don't think about what you're doing. Making a few casts on the boat while you're looking for Albies isn't practice.

Always leave a rod set up and ready to go on hooks in the garage. If you have to go get a rod, get it out of the tube, put on the reel, string it up, and put on a yarn fly, you'll never do it. If a practice setup is ready to grab and go, you can accomplish a lot in 20 minutes.

 

 


yes I have a target and spend most time landing on the target, but I move up and back 

 

also as others mentioned getting out there when the wind is not favorable is an important part of it 

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I used to practice a lot and document my regiment.  Targets, goals, whole nine yards.  Last time I checked I would put in upwards of 2,000 casts a week.  I don't anymore for a few reasons...1) I have too many other interests (shooting, bowhunting/shooting, dirt bikes, my kid's racing, etc), 2) I need challenging conditions - windy, into my casting arm conditions, and this only happens sometimes - calm conditions don't really teach me anything these days, and 3) I relatively happy with my casting these days in consideration of my other time demands.  Interestingly enough some of the best fly fishermen I know don't practice once they reached a certain level of proficiency.  Virtually none of the guys I know that do the fly tournaments practice anymore...my guide never practices yet he can (and I've seen him do it while I eat lunch on his skiff) easily present to fish quickly and accurately whenever he needs to.

 

I do however do some pre-season warmup in the spring before I head down for my annual Keys tarpon fishing which is my "kick-off" event for my fishing season.  Nowhere near as much as I used to but if the wind is howling I do grab the flyrod to practice.

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IMHO, and coming from an average caster......practicing casting is equivalent to practicing marital relations. Why practice when you can do the real thing?? Time on the water is my best friend. YMMV

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Only in winter, especially if I make a new purchase.... my yard isn’t big enough for casting without getting in the trees so I have to go to local park. I would also practice a lot before any Caribbean trips where I would be on a flats boat casting to Bonefish...Casting to Stripers from the beach Isn’t as challenging. 
 

During the season I fish like 6 trips a week and I’m 10 mins from the LI sound so I don’t practice. 

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1 hour ago, Stripsettter said:

Only in winter, especially if I make a new purchase.... my yard isn’t big enough for casting without getting in the trees so I have to go to local park. I would also practice a lot before any Caribbean trips where I would be on a flats boat casting to Bonefish...Casting to Stripers from the beach Isn’t as challenging. 
 

During the season I fish like 6 trips a week and I’m 10 mins from the LI sound so I don’t practice. 

I'm very fortunate I have enough property to practice right in my yard (I also have a bow range in my back yard as well...unfortunately NJ is too strict for me to have a firearms range thought...).

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