Fly Fishing with Chris Dore

Your FFF Certified Fly Casting Professional, and Member of the New Zealand Professional Fishing Guides Association


Distance Schmistance.

Posted by Chris Dore on May 9, 2012 at 12:45 AM

I tire of hearing people bagging distance casting. "its not needed here in NZ" and most commonly "all my fish are caught within a few rod lengths" are common justifications. Well mate, thats because you can only cast a few rod lengths. And how do you go in windy conditions? You dont? I wonder why...






If your maximum cast is say, 40' and you come across a fish at 35' then you will likley struggle to land a decent, accurate presentation in the slightest of breezes. If a reach, or other slack line cast is required then thats a definate no go. However if your maximum cast is 80', then you could make this 35' cast with your eyes closed, no matter the wind. 80' is easily reachable for anyone prepared to put in a bit of homework.






Its like the marathon runner. He will comfortably run around the block without breaking a sweat. Whenever and wherever he chooses, in whatever conditions. I will let you make the connection...






I often find the self taught angler can reasonably expect, with practise to throw 60' with some semblance of form. With instruction, and an understanding of casting mechanics this can be brought up to 80' relatively easily. With regular, disciplined practice and further instruction. 100' is very doable.






To accomplish this you must have a decent understanding of rod loading and casting mechanics. Good form tracking, timing and delayed turnover of the rod, drift and preferably a decent haul.






Integrate these factors into your everyday fly fishing distances and watch how you dramatically reduce your workload for much better results. Accuracy, controlled line speed and the ability to perform presentation casts more easily will result, and the ability to throw wider or narrower loops faster, slower and on different planes as conditions dictate will allow you to fish a variety of flies no matter the weather. With the ability to increase your linespeed, wind becomes a non issue.






It was late April and i was fishing the mid mataura with Lindsay Withington, a nice guy and accomplished angler from Invercargil. We approached a large pool with a cracking drop off and a foamline running down the far, heavily willowed bank. Now only metres from our bank the river became too deep to wade, and yet good fish rose happily in the foam some 70' distant. Being comfortably able to throw this distance helped this day, as i presented my size 16 emerger into the foam with the required accuracy, and a reach mend to beat the near current.






Late april again on the mataura at Wyndham with ace Irish angler Ronan Creane. Fish were spooky in a rather sparse hatch in very calm, flat water. The slightest of wading disturbance disappeared the fish. Standing still and waiting resulted in some fish returning, but not many, amd certainly not the ones we desired.






Casting long with our dries from the bank reduced the disturbance drastically and brought fish to the net, sometimes from the far side of the flat some 60 - 70' distant. Delicate presentations were a must and this could not have been accomplished with 'the good old 35' kiwi cast' and even the most careful of wading.






So open your thinking to the benefits of distance casting. It will have a profound effect on your short game, and give you something to do on those days when you cant make it to the river. The better you can cast, the more fish you will catch. You cannot find argument with that. Check out for detailed casting instruction and the sexyloops board for a very helpful bunch of guys always willing to answer your casting questions, or contact me for internationally qualified (FFF) one on one, or group casting tuition.







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