Distance Fly Casting 110-115’

Distance Fly Casting 110-115’

Paul Arden | Tuesday, 6 June 2023

I’m trying to upload this video from a different Battleship anchorage. It will be very exciting for me if I manage to upload from here, because this will 99% mean that I will be able to give Zoom classes from here too… and wow that will be something, because this is excellent fishing territory! In fishing terms that will be like Christmas and my Birthday rolled into one… hang on… that probably wouldn’t actually very good… maybe just like Christmas or my Birthday. So pretty good. This is Snakehead and Gourami territory and realistically the most remote place that this may or may not be possible; I’m a good 15km down the lake, very close to the fish farms in fact. Damn the phone has overheated. That was unexpected and so I’ve stuck it in the fridge.

Anyway let’s talk about fishing in a minute and talk about this video first. 110-115’. That’s a very serious 5WT distance cast and really is advanced level fly casting. The things that go into this are all technique based and IMO having these core abilities really ups your game when it comes to taking challenging saltwater shots. While it’s nice to go beyond this, and I would definitely encourage learning the stopless backcast technique, which will be in the next video, learning flycasting to this 110-115’ level, really gives you open water casting skills that simply mean that you can take longer shots in the wind. I think that is the primary fishing benefit to distance casting. Ie being able to easily make a 80’ shot into a headwind. That really is a game changer in terms of what you can or can’t do on the front end of the boat or while wading the flats.

To go from 100’+ to 110-115’ is a serious jump. It takes dedicated training, and of course a good coach, particularly one who has taught competition casters, will make this process easier - but it is still very challenging. If I look at my students at the moment, out of 20 almost half are now either in or are pushing this as their next boundary. It’s where I would like to take them all, because I think these are core advanced skills, that I know will help them, particularly in tropical saltwater. And who doesn’t love that? :D 

The next video is important too, not so much for breaking the 120’ boundary, which really is a milestone of which you can be very proud, but in fact for the ability to take 70-80’ backhand shots into quartering headwinds. Anyway that’s what’s coming next. But it’s something that I think so important, that in my courses I start teaching aspects of it much earlier than this.

Well done Nick for winning the BFCC 5WT distance competition last weekend with a 130’ plus cast! Very interesting to read that three casters threw over 130’. James, Bart and Nick. There was a time when the number of people who could throw 130’ you could count on one hand. In fact when I first got into distance casting there was no one! It’s nice to be able to show, teach and explain these techniques, that we have been figuring out, developing and teaching for slightly more than two decades. And whichever way you look at it; it all comes down to technique.

A video that I will definitely make in the future, is on how to take these techniques and turn them into shots. For me, taking shots is the absolute highlight of fly fishing. If there is any reason at all to learn high level fly casting skills, it is to be able to take shots. It’s always handy to be an advanced level fly caster; it will make your day more enjoyable and almost always more productive, but if you are out there taking shots, particularly in the wind, and your technique isn’t up to what is required, then you are going to have a very frustrating day!

Damn… I’m going to have to move the boat!


OK I’m back in Elephant Bay, still fairly remote but not as remote. I give many zoom classes here and this was one of my moorings during lockdown!

The fishing has been tough recently. Very few snakehead babies around, although there are termites and  that means gourami. There was snakehead free-rising activity a few weeks back but that hasn’t really got into full swing yet. So I’m balancing fishing, coaching and my triathlon training. Which is all good fun of course. My swimming is really coming on and I’m loving that.

Have a great week!

Cheers, Paul