Fly Casting Experts vs. Fly Fishing Experts

Fly Casting Experts vs. Fly Fishing Experts

Bernd Ziesche | Wednesday, 19 September 2018

For some reasons there are always some fly casting experts who love to point fingers on those fly fishermen not being experts in fly casting yet. Of course there are also expert fly fishermen who love to point out, that they are not good in fly casting, but do catch a lot of fish. I believe there are pretty good reasons to improve in both, fly fishing and fly casting.

Let's have a look at typical statements coming by fly casting experts:

Joan Wulff said:
"If you don’t know where the fish lie but can cast well enough to cover all the water with finesse, you are likely to solve the mystery and catch fish. If you know where they lie but can neither reach them or present the fly naturally, you are not even in the game”.

Lasse Karlsson said:

"Under normal fishing conditions, I often end up with having to cast further than I can. Pesky fish showing themthelves further out than I can reach. Always been like that, but a good drive to become a better caster."

Not much to disagree with both, Joan and Lasse.

It's just that I have been in many fishing situations, in which the fish were out of my casting range at first and then came right into my casting zone later on. In my experience I always had the best chance to catch especially big fish when they came truly close. That was, because it was right here with the short casts where I had the highest control over my presentation of the fly. Also I often could seee the fish and my fly well when having both just in front of my rod.

A fair number of expert casters I have joined fishing usually didn't wait for the fish to come close first, but started presenting their fly with their longest casts right away. That szenario took place especially when blind fishing trying to cover as much water as possible. Problem is: The longer your cast gets, the higher the chance of overlining and spooking several fish with just one cast will be. Yes, those fish aren't catchable aymore, no mater how good you may present your fly afterwards. So starting with short casts to me is a must do, always!
Besides that still it can be a very clever strategy not to shoot any long casts but staying in short range casts and wait for the fish to come in closer. That way the risk of overlining several fish entering your casting zone will be kept smaller. This took me a hell lot of time to learn that. In fact I didn't learn it when blind fishing but when sight fishing in the tropical water. Of course the same things often happen under water when comparing crystal clear water with less clear water (where you can't see the fish)!

Now I am of course not saying that you shouldn't work to improve your fly casting skills. In fact it's opposite. Mastering to fly cast brings in a lot of fun to your fishing and it brings additional oppurtunities. All I am saying is that becoming an expert fishermen takes a lot of time either. In my experience it takes significant more time as does becoming a proper fly caster.

In no doubt covering all water in short time with long casts is far off being the smartest strategy in a fair number of fishing situations! Having a break and watching the water before starting to fish the short to medium distance range again easily can result in more fish being caught in the end of the day.

Besides that I truly believe there are many excellent reasons to improve both your fly fishing and your fly casting skills. Just keep in mind that catching MANY fish is much more than mastering long casts. No reasons to argue about the value of each skills. ;) 

Oh, by the way fly fishing for asp (where incredible strong takes on thin tippets are common) I worked on finding a proper solution for a shock absorber.

Thanks a lot to Peter Elks for pointing me to the "Aussie plait" fishing knot. Probably the most difficult knot I (now) learnt to make. Took me several hours to get that knot into my leader for a first time. That knot does give extra stretch to the leader to some degree. For sure a difficult, but pretty excellent knot. Lots of proper youtube videos about how to tie that knot are available.

Thanks a lot to Will Shaw for pointing me to this fantastic stuff:

fly fishing shock absorber

The Power Gum has a fair knot strength and comes in clear "colour". It's easy to tie a surgeon's loop at each end and then add the shock absorber between the fly line and the leader. Casting goes excellent and it stays all day long. This is a brilliant solution in order to be able to fish thinner tippets allowing the fly to move significant more natural and especially sink faster!

During the past 7 days I was fishing a lot, if not always. Couldn't have been any better. ;)

Great fishing week to all of you!

All my best


Some pictures again... ;)

P.s.: For those of you believing fly fishing for carp not being real fly fishing anymore: Don't worry, I of course landed all carp on dry fly upstream! ;)

fly fishing bernd ziesche