Fly Casting Errors
Here are a few techniques to use when you wish to scare off every fish on any flat you find yourself working. Let's look at some fly-casting errors.Casting Too Short
- If you make a cast that is too short the fish will never see your fly.Casting Too Long
- If you make a cast that's too long several results can happen, none of which lead to a hookup.
In extreme cases, the fish may see your fly line. This won't bother fish that don't see many fishermen, but pressured fish won't wait around for an explanation.
A cast made slightly too long causes the fly to approach the fish. Again, in lightly fished waters this may work. In heavily fished waters you'll get a good view of the fish's tail waving goodbye. Fish don't expect to see a minnow, shrimp, crab, or whatever attacking them. When that happens, they shy away.
If you cast too far into a school of fish, you will line the fish on the school's edge, spooking them. One spooked fish in a school usually leads to a spooked school.
When casting to a school, work the edges. Some companies such as AirFlo make clear-tip fly lines that help solve this particular problem. There's nothing like a good, accurate cast, though.
- Another casting flaw is what I call the splashdown. This is a cast that's just a little too accurate. You hit the fish on the head (or other body part) with your fly. In lightly fished areas or in deeper water this actually works sometimes, but with heavily pressured fish in the shallow stuff you've blown an opportunity. The opposite of the splashdown occurs when you lead the fish too far. Getting the Right Distance
Optimum lead distance varies depending on a number of considerations including the species of fish, the depth of the water, the current, how fast the fish is swimming and other factors, but if you lead the fish too far it will not see your fly. Sometimes an angler will lead a fish too far, then move the fly immediately after it hits the water. The fish never sees it, or is unwilling to chase it from such a great distance. A lead that's too far can still work if you leave the fly there until the fish gets near it.
Normally (where I do most of my fishing, at least) when you throw to a cruising fish you want to anticipate exactly where the fish will go (never an easy task), put your fly directly in its path, and leave the fly there until the fish is close enough to see it when you move it. Only then can you expect it to respond in what you consider to be a positive manner.The Solution for Casting Errors
The only way you can minimize these casting errors is to become a more proficient caster. Nevermind worrying about how far you can cast. Speed and accuracy are what's important in most flats situations. One great excercise to improve your technique is to get a few lids from five gallon buckets, set them on a lawn at various distances, and practice hitting them in sequence with only one or two false casts in all kinds of wind and weather conditions. Good casters will always perform better than those who are just okay.