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#12287268 - 06/10/17 06:36 AM Best "Practice" or Learning Fly Outfit? Need Help Please.
MUHerd Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 07/17/14
Posts: 21
Hey all,

I've wanted to learn to fly fish for the longest time. The problem is that I have a permanent condition that I was born with that caused my spine to fuse. I have little movement of my head. I can turn it and look right and left, but there is NO UP movement at all. So, I cannot, under any circumstances look behind me at the rod tip or the line to see if things are OK. If I am to ever learn to cast a fly line, I am going to have to do it by feel alone. Once that rod and line passes my shoulders, it's as good as invisible.

SO, I don't want to spend money on a fly outfit if I am never going to be able to learn to do it.

I'd like to get one of those practice outfits that lets people get their form down indoors if they choose. I wouldn't mind if it was longer cause I'll be doing this outside. I just don't know what to get. There's those super cheap fly fishing outfits that are in the stores like Dicks and Academy Sports, but I've been told that getting and trying to learn on a poor fly rod will do more harm than good. I don't know if that's valid or not. You guys and gals can tell me that, I hope.

So, if you were going to get something to teach your young son or daughter, or someone that has NEVER picked up a fly rod but wanted to learn, what would you get to help them learn?

Any suggestions will be welcomed and appreciated.

Thank you all for your help and time.
Larry

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#12287417 - 06/10/17 08:59 AM Re: Best "Practice" or Learning Fly Outfit? Need Help Please. [Re: MUHerd]
1960texan Offline
Angler

Registered: 11/09/15
Posts: 460
Loc: Knee deep in the Guadalupe.
Hi Larry, I'm just a beginner fly fisherman myself, but in my limited experience I can say that I can feel the rod load during the back cast so fishing without looking behind you is certainly possible. I'm using a fiberglass rod, a more experienced fisherman could probably tell you if that makes a difference vs using a graphite rod.

I've not had the chance to do it yet, but most fly shops have a casting clinics at least once a month, sometimes weekly. These are usually free, and will give you an opportunity to find out if this sport is for you without having to lay out cash upfront.

It's also a good way to try out different rods, and determine which one feels the best in your hand.

This is a great forum with lots of knowledgeable people, so I'm sure someone with more experience than me will be able to add to my limited information.

Good luck!

Will
_________________________

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#12287420 - 06/10/17 09:01 AM Re: Best "Practice" or Learning Fly Outfit? Need Help Please. [Re: MUHerd]
1960texan Offline
Angler

Registered: 11/09/15
Posts: 460
Loc: Knee deep in the Guadalupe.
Also, Orvis has a lot of casting videos online, they have been a big help to me.
_________________________

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#12287708 - 06/10/17 02:07 PM Re: Best "Practice" or Learning Fly Outfit? Need Help Please. [Re: MUHerd]
Linecaster Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 1150
Loc: Richardson TX
All the above advice is good.
You do not have to cast far to catch fish. I would say that a line weight heavier than the rod may help you to get the feel of the rod loading in the cast. It is not entirely necessary for you to watch your back cast, with practice you will get the timing right. If you want to fly fish bite the bullet get a rod and start casting. Watch videos etc and try to find someone to assist. Even videoing yourself and watching it will help.Where do you live, maybe a forum member is close by.
_________________________
In the beginning God created. Gen. 1:1
All things were made by him and without him was not anything made. John 1:3

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#12288615 - 06/11/17 12:56 PM Re: Best "Practice" or Learning Fly Outfit? Need Help Please. [Re: MUHerd]
TioPick Online   content
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/27/16
Posts: 97
Loc: Paradise on the Rio
MUHerd, you do not indicate where you are. I am sure that you may be able to hook up with someone.

Good time for this. Should be its own thread but... A little background. Up until now and I have not yet had a reason to change my mind, I would recommend The Curtis Creek Manifesto https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_7?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=curtis+creek+manifesto&sprefix=Curtis+%2Cstripbooks%2C225&crid=1UMKG9SRRGZ6I&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Acurtis+creek+manifesto It has "everything" that you need to know, especially if you know nothing. It is sort of comic book style and reads fast while other things you can bog down in. Next (some friends moved to CO, and I went through my stuff and this is what I sent) was Joan Wulff's Fly Fishing from a Woman's perspective. Personally I do not care what the gender reference is, I think this is one of the best possible books, period.

More recently I had a Eureka moment and realized I have been missing out on saltwater fly fishing. Salt water = Lefty Kreh. I have several of his books such as Saltwater Fly Patterns and Fly Fishing in Salt Water. In the introduction by Frank Woolner (whoever he is)Frank tells about meeting Lefty and being paired with him on a boat. Frank's buddies set it up telling Frank that this guy was a novice and don't show him up... So they catch a few fish (stripped bass on poppers) and then while Lefty is telling a story, he strips off all of his line and a helluva lot of backing, makes a false cast and shoots the line, lays the rod down on the boat and turns around to frank still telling the story while the line shoots out 120'. As you might imagine, in the saltwater context, Lefty is always talking about needing to be able to cast 90 or 100 feet.

Now, Me being a smart@ss, made a few comments here or there that were taken as possibly disparaging of Lefty. After a little discussion I was directed to Lefty's DVD, The complete cast. https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Cast-Pri...ords=Lefty+Kreh

I do not happen to have $50 at thee moment but I knew I needed more than what I have with Lefty's long casting so I bought Fly Casting Fundamentals (by Lefty) https://www.amazon.com/Fly-Casting-Funda...ords=Lefty+Kreh

I will still buy the DVD eventually but this really filled in some gaps. I already understood Lefty's 4 principles though I probably could not have listed them out. This is like understanding gravity even before you start school, much less waiting to learn about Sir Issac Newton.. You can't make a cast until you get the slack out of the line or as he says "You can not make a back or forward cast until you get the end of the line moving". Some of my earlier comments were talking about how far behind him Lefty makes long (back) casts. I even wondered if he would not have me make a running start like a Javelin thrower. OK, my basic power cast is not "wrong" by Lefty's teaching. 1. I am (was?) very strong and 2 I was doing the casting nearly vertical as in one of his ways of dealing with the wind. Some time I will have to measure my best power cast.

In the mean time 1. most fly fishing does not require long casts. 2. You do not really need to take the rod way behind you to cast. I take it that is part of his way of loading the rod. A good powerful punch (and stop) going back and forward get the job done. I have not trouble feeling the rod load behind me when the line straightens out... #3 You can turn your body 45 degrees or so or even cast cross body. It does not have to be all overhead, Lefty shows good side arm casting as well as roll casting. Get the last book I linked. It is worth every penny. Get with someone else. Turns out that my casting is not so much "wrong" as it is that I limit what I can do compared to what I could do by following more of Lefty's ways.

A piece of yarn on a dowel or part of a fishing rod is a practice tool but I think you need a pond or big grassy area (no hook on line) and flip the line back and forth. Even sidearm which holds the rod down into your field of vision, throwing a "punch" from your fist next to your body to your elbow next to your body can load the rod (if you are quick enough and stop abruptly enough)

Have hope and good luck.. Tio in Paradise on the Rio

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#12288680 - 06/11/17 01:45 PM Re: Best "Practice" or Learning Fly Outfit? Need Help Please. [Re: MUHerd]
RexW Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/24/02
Posts: 2999
Loc: Sherman, TX


The best advice I can offer is to start with a lesson from an experienced instructor before spending any money. You'll need to make some adjustments to the casting stroke to adapt to your abilities, but you can do this. Fly casting is not rocket science and there are multiple casting styles that are very effective. One or more of them will work for you. But, you should avoid anyone that is locked into the idea that there is only one way to cast. Depending on where you live, I may be able to suggest some names.

If possible, I would start with a lesson and use their equipment before spending money buying stuff.

If not possible, then my first choice is an 8'6" 5 wt rod with a 6 wt line. That is what I use for my student rods. A 9' rod will work too, but the original question referred to teach someone young and shorter rods are easier for younger students to use. Length is less of an issue with adult students.

You referred to the practice rods and they work and can be fun to play with, but getting a lesson first will help insure that you are practicing good technique and not just learning bad habits that will be difficult to unlearn later.

If you have specific questions. I'll try to help.

Just to add another thought, you mention that you can not look over your shoulder. That is where casting style will be important. Try to find a video of Joan Wulff or Macauley Lord. They use a casting style that is very upright and facing forward, without looking backward. M. Lord has run the LL Bean casting school for years.

Good luck!
_________________________
Fly Fishers International certified casting instructor

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#12289032 - 06/11/17 06:59 PM Re: Best "Practice" or Learning Fly Outfit? Need Help Please. [Re: MUHerd]
Smurfs Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/31/14
Posts: 2464
Loc: Fort Worth
In addition to everything mentioned above, if alot of movement is difficult for you, learn the roll cast. That takes little effort and with some practice you will be able to roll cast with your eyes closed, little effort and get it plenty far out.
Good Luck!


Edited by Smurfs (06/11/17 06:59 PM)
_________________________
Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God





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#12289431 - 06/11/17 11:36 PM Re: Best "Practice" or Learning Fly Outfit? Need Help Please. [Re: Smurfs]
robert hunter Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 06/14/10
Posts: 3724
Originally Posted By: Smurfs
In addition to everything mentioned above, if alot of movement is difficult for you, learn the roll cast. That takes little effort and with some practice you will be able to roll cast with your eyes closed, little effort and get it plenty far out.
Good Luck!
this for sure I catch 75% of my sandbass during the run roll casting. And that's a few fish! I always show friends that go with me for the first time during the run help to roll cast. I'm sure everybody as a kid basically practiced a roll cast with their water hose growing up to watch it loop across the yard. I would definitely suggest going somewhere or you could try several rods at one time before you pick.
_________________________




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#12289915 - 06/12/17 10:53 AM Re: Best "Practice" or Learning Fly Outfit? Need Help Please. [Re: MUHerd]
Meadowlark Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 2994
Loc: East Texas
Casting by feel may actually be the best way for several reasons...but it would help to have an experienced pair of eyes viewing some learning sessions.

Allen has a terrific sale on the "Prelude" rod a med/fast action rod designed for the beginner. Comes in a 5 wt or an 8 wt and during the sale you can get one of each for the $79. Hard to beat that.

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#12290342 - 06/12/17 02:40 PM Re: Best "Practice" or Learning Fly Outfit? Need Help Please. [Re: robert hunter]
1960texan Offline
Angler

Registered: 11/09/15
Posts: 460
Loc: Knee deep in the Guadalupe.
Originally Posted By: robert hunter
I'm sure everybody as a kid basically practiced a roll cast with their water hose growing up to watch it loop across the yard.


Robert, that's the best I've ever heard anyone explain a roll cast.
_________________________

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#12296408 - 06/15/17 07:51 PM Re: Best "Practice" or Learning Fly Outfit? Need Help Please. [Re: RexW]
TioPick Online   content
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/27/16
Posts: 97
Loc: Paradise on the Rio
RexW.. of course an experienced instructor would beat someone who is just an experienced fisherman but anyone you can watch and will watch you beats trying to go it alone. About 35 yr ago when living in Tyler I got into fly fishing. I worked with a man from Sherman and he came out and was showing me how to cast. I noticed that his rod moved in a straight line except when right next to his head and then it had a curve in it sort of like Kilroy's nose hanging over a wall. Result was that his line landed with a curve in it. He was not previously aware that he was doing that and attributed it to having stuck a fly in his ear years before. Find a fly fishing buddy, folks are eager to help and you can cast their equipment before spending any money.
Tio

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#12296520 - 06/15/17 09:27 PM Re: Best "Practice" or Learning Fly Outfit? Need Help Please. [Re: MUHerd]
karstopo Online   content
Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 270
Loc: Brazoria County
Slower action rods like fiberglass are nice for casting by feel. Eagle claw makes one, so does Cabelas, others make them too. Many don't cost very much. I would avoid any fast action graphite rods if you are going for a cast by feel. There's a combo on Amazon that's pretty good, Wildwater or something. Whole thing is like $100 for rod, reel, line and a few flies.

Fly fishing is many things. It doesn't have to be hard or technical. It can be that, but it doesn't have to be. I've been getting into bow and arrow casts lately. My Cabelas fiberglass CGRs are great for that. No looking behind you as the cast is all in front. Bow and arrow casts are good for really tight and low ceiling spots. There are lots of fish to be caught with 20 foot casts.

Honestly, I never look behind me at my loops. If you can get where you feel the rod load, you are ready to fish. The rod is really a spring. Some are sprung tighter than others. The ones that bend only at the tip give you very little time to time your cast. Rods that bend deeper into the mid section give you a larger period of time to change from forward to backcast or vice versa.

If you want to have perfect form go for that. I really don't think it's necessary to catch some fish, but some enjoy doing things to the best of their ability. Take some lessons or not. Either way can work.

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#12296646 - 06/15/17 10:51 PM Re: Best "Practice" or Learning Fly Outfit? Need Help Please. [Re: MUHerd]
RexW Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/24/02
Posts: 2999
Loc: Sherman, TX
Tio, the original post mentioned physical limitations that may affect their ability to cast a fly rod, I stand by my comment that "the best advice I can offer" is to work with an experienced instructor before spending money on equipment.

_________________________
Fly Fishers International certified casting instructor

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#12297630 - 06/16/17 03:27 PM Re: Best "Practice" or Learning Fly Outfit? Need Help Please. [Re: karstopo]
MassAction Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/22/16
Posts: 82
Originally Posted By: karstopo

Honestly, I never look behind me at my loops. If you can get where you feel the rod load, you are ready to fish. The rod is really a spring. Some are sprung tighter than others. The ones that bend only at the tip give you very little time to time your cast. Rods that bend deeper into the mid section give you a larger period of time to change from forward to backcast or vice versa.


This is very true. The only thing I will add is that fly fishing parallels golf because the flight of the fly line can be traced back to a fault in your stroke. A tailing loop is only caused by a couple of potential faults just like a collapsing loop can be traced back to a specific issue. Work on the basics and then start trying to read what your line is doing and you'll be able to fix your faults when no one else is around to help.

And as karstpoo said, get out there and fish. It's too easy to get caught up in paralysis by analysis with all the gear. What's important is getting out and getting some flies wet. Worst case scenario, you lose a couple of flies to some tree limbs. It won't be the first time or the last!


Edited by MassAction (06/16/17 03:28 PM)

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#12298140 - 06/16/17 10:29 PM Re: Best "Practice" or Learning Fly Outfit? Need Help Please. [Re: RexW]
TioPick Online   content
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/27/16
Posts: 97
Loc: Paradise on the Rio
RexW, you are 100% correct that he should seek advice from someone that is qualified... otherwise he might turn out like me.. and I am quick to admit that my casting is at best "non-conventional" But we still do not know where he is and if he is close to anyone on here. You know of or how to find an instructor in The Valley? But as you also say, no need to buy anything before trying to cast. Personally I need to go stand in the water more instead of a chair in front of a computer.. Tio

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