Mar 13

A word on casting… but not from me

I was watching a video of a guy fishing in Cuba. Love Cuba. Beautiful place and the fishing? Please.

However, hated the guy’s casting. It was painful. Jerky. The opposite of smooth. I was almost offended.

You ever had a Bahamain guide borrow your rod and cast, effortlessly, the whole damn line? Yeah… I have. Humbling.

Here is a Caribbean guide with some pointers (and yes, that is Davin, from Flatswalker).


Dec 12

Rajeff, casting, wind, Andros

Yeah… likely worth a watch. Tim Rajeff on casting in the wind in South Andros.

Oct 12

Muscle Memory

Many, many moons ago I was a guide for a single season up in Northern California at Clearwater House on Hat Creek (now Clearwater Lodge on the Pit River). As part of that experience there were fly fishing schools we put on occasionally and I clearly recall the then owner, Dick Galland, talking about casting and muscle memory. He said it take 60 hours of doing something before it is firmly established in your muscle memory at which point the action becomes second nature, easier. Another figure you may have heard is that it takes 10,000 hours of doing something to become expert at it.

I don’t stand a chance of being expert by that yardstick. “Good…” now “good” seems a decent target to hit.

The trick is that muscle memory does not judge if you are casting well or poorly, so just as muscle memory can help you cast with more ease, it may not actually improve your cast, ya know, unless you are casting correctly.

When you repeat mistakes again and again, you build a muscle memory with those mistakes. That makes those mistakes even harder to overcome later.

There is a flow, a feel to the saltwater cast, the double haul, that looks effortless if the rod is in the right hands. We’ve all see those casters who have an ease and grace to their cast. They spend a tenth the amount of energy and get twice the results. They’ve been doing that for a long time, their bodies do it automatically. The action has been cached in the very fiber of their beings, recalled without thought.

If you only cast when you have a fish in front of you, the odds of you ever achieving proficiency are almost nil. To be able to pull out the big cast when you need it I would wager the angler who has to actually think about the cast is the one who will fail more times than not. It is the angler who can tap into the body’s internal memory banks, who can automate the cast based on hundreds and thousands of such casts in the past who will hit the target, and by hitting the target will get the grab, feel the tug, hear the reel scream, cradle the hefty fish and watch it disappear back into watery oblivion.

So, go practice. Practice without fish in front of you. Get to a casting pond or an empty field. Cast and cast and cast and try to have those casts be as well constructed as possible. Get an instructor. Get a friend who casts better than you do. Record your casting and play it back and see what you actually look like. Correct, amend, improve. Cast in the wind. Cast over your off shoulder. Lay out your back cast. Cast and cast some more.

The guide will say Bonefish, 70′, 1:00 and you will spring into action without thinking and everything will lay out perfectly because you’ve done this a thousand times before.

Me, casting.




Jun 12

Capt. Clint Kemp casting

Here’s a little video that features Capt. Clint Kemp from Black Fly doing some casting.

He’s pretty good at this stuff.

Notice how high his hand is when he starts his haul.  That’s important.  The further up you start the haul, the more haul there is. I had that tip down in Cuba… I think from John Hudgens. It works.



May 12

Rajeff on casting down at Andros South

Yes… Tim Rajeff talking about casting in the wind and the various situations you face out there. Some good advice in this Deneki bit.

Check it out.

In saltwater you need to deal with 4 distinct wind situations – in your face, at your back, from the left and from the right – and Tim takes us through some quick pointers on how to deal with each of those situations.  Have a look!

Rajeff, a man who knows casting

Mar 12

Tory does some casting

Pointed out by Davin at Flatswalker… Knowledge.

Of course, Tory is a guide at Andros South. I know that beach. The Slack Tide bar is about 40 feet to the right of the camera. Love that place.

Mar 12

Flatswalker does the Double Haul

Davin over at Flatswalker not only has a pretty fantastic blog (one of my consistent favorites), but he also has some knowledge to drop.

Pretty cool.

Mar 12

Haul your butt over to Deneki

I saw this post about helping your double haul and thought “Yeah, people should probably see this.”

So… I’m sharing it with you good people.

Tim Rajeff giving double haul tips. Get ye to Deneki to check it out.

Aug 11

Backhanded Cast

I saw this post over at Deneki about backhanded casting.  I agree.  It is a great skill to have. I wouldn’t have gotten my Grand Slam in Belize if I didn’t have a backhanded cast.

One thing I noticed in South Andros was that my backhand cast is actually better looking than my forward cast.  The loop is tighter and seems to lay out flatter.  I don’t really know why, but my backhand cast is a thing of real beauty.  I’ve been trying to figure out why and trying to make my forward cast more like it, but I haven’t cracked that code just yet.

Anyone have that answer?

Apr 11

Casting in the Dark

There are a lot of things going on at Bonefish on the Brain’s Main Office these days.  Not all of them are totally awesome.  Sometimes you need an escape and I have a little one just down the road.

At the end of the street is a school and that school has a nice, big, grass field.  Tonight I went down there with a 7 wt. and a bonefish line and I cast.

I tried to feel the flex in the rod.  I watched my rod hand.  I watched the back cast.  I tried to pay attention to where my body was carrying tension and then I tried to relax that area. This isn’t supposed to be a feat of strength so noticing where you are tense is a good way, I think, to tell where you are doing something wrong.

Haul back… haul forward… haul back… haul forward…

The mechanics of it are my own Tai Chi.





I tried to make the casting strokes with as little effort as possible.

I’ve never cast a full line.  You hear people talk about doing it, but I’ve never been one of them.  So, tonight, I tried.

I can’t do it.

It would appear I can hit about 88′ with some degree of consistency on a lightly windy day.  The funny thing was that I could hit about that far regardless of trying to put extra pep in the casting stroke.  My normal casting stroke pretty much delivered the same cast as the one I tried to really pound.

Sometimes applying extra effort does not yield results.

In fact… that is probably most of the time… and that probably applies to more than just casting.

So, there ya go.  When the going gets tough, go to the elementary school and do some casting… just make sure the kids aren’t there.


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