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I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Lori-Ann Murphy for many years. She is a terrific guide and all around fun person to know. She recently posted a casting tip that stuck with me. Her explanation of one of the mistakes many students and even good casters make is splendid advice.
Casting …..by Lori-Ann Murphy
The other day in my casting and fishing I became acutely aware that I was rushing my cast. This becomes evident when you don’t see what you want to on the delivery side of things. And this usually happens when we haven’t been fishing enough. We want to see a nice tapered leader turnover a balanced tippet holding the fly. Creep. That’s the word. We tend to “creep” our forward cast in anticipation of getting our fly to the fish. I imagine those of you float fishing to hatches with feeding trout might recognize the situation.
Al Kyte was a very important teacher in my fly fishing. Al was a basketball coach at UC Berkeley and also keen on fly fishing – especially understanding the cast. He studied Steve Rajeff and Lefty Krey. He came up with that on their short cast they had the same casting style. Which was very interesting because grown ups were having big fights over casting style as FFF now FFI found its way. In any case, Al taught me about “drift.”
“Just think about your rod tip moving back just an inch after your stop.” Moving the rod tip back as the fly line unfolds behind you after your stop is the exact opposite of creep. If we move our rod forward just a fraction of an inch sometime too soon – ugly cast. So go ahead and practice drifting with dry flies at first. Make sure you keep your tip in the same plane – don’t let it drop. Time slows down in this move. If you are hauling line – let that line fly behind you and then grab the line up by the first guide and pull hard with your line hand and keep your rod hand nice and relaxed with a proper grip to your snappy stop. When you are ready, move on to streamers and look out. By the time fall hits you’ll be deadly.
During this post Christmas, pre-New Year lull I started working on reorganizing my fly boxes. It is a semi seasonal ritual that I undertake as my days on the water guiding start to reveal the flaws in my previous attempts.
As I contemplated the various organizational options, my mind wandered off and started thinking about the flies I used the most often. Before that fleeting recollection vanished, I wrote them down here.
- Parachute Madam X
- Parachute BWO
- Parachute Pheasant Tail
- Japanese Beetle
- Golden Retriever
- Slump Buster
- Conehead Wooly Bugger
- Jig head Gold Ribbed Hares Ear Nymph
- Jig head Pheasant Tail Nymph
- CK Nymph
- Guides Choice Nymph
These are what I used in no particular order or frequency other than I grouped them, dries, streamers, and nymphs. The sizes, weight and colors varied depending on location and conditions. And there were other patterns that I used as location and conditions dictated a change from my “go tos.” But day in and day out, these were the patterns I turned to, because they consistently caught fish for my clients.