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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives
Baetis

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

Dorsal view of a Kogotus (Perlodidae) Stonefly Nymph from Mystery Creek #199 in Washington
This one pretty clearly keys to Kogotus, but it also looks fairly different from specimens I caught in the same creek about a month later in the year. With only one species of the genus known in Washington, I'm not sure about the answer to this ID.
27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Ubiquitous
Posts: 5
Ubiquitous on Apr 11, 2015April 11th, 2015, 6:42 am EDT
Hello all,

I've just taken up fly fishing, after some twenty years of sea and coarse fishing. I purchased a beginner's fly fishing set made by Martin - I've provided a link to the item description below:

http://www.amazon.com/Martin-Fly-Fishing-Reel-3-Piece/dp/B0012OSVM2

Thus far, I have been relying on YouTube videos- most of them made by Orvis - to teach me how to cast. I've tried the techniques outlined in these videos to some success. However, I find I still have to put in a fair amount of power in the cast in order to 'punch' the tip of the rod. The rod feels quite stiff; I suspect it's a medium-fast action rod. During practice sessions, I've also found that:

1) The casts have to be done at quite high speeds to get the line forming tight loops;

2) I am often having to perform too many false casts;

3) Sometimes the line, when released on the final forward cast, won't land in a straight line;

4) Hauling does not always seem to load the rod as much as expected.

After practice sessions, I find that I have some upper-arm muscle fatigue. Are these issues normal when starting with a faster action rod? What techniques would you suggest when casting with such a rod? Your assistance would be much appreciated.

Regards,
ubiquitous
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Apr 11, 2015April 11th, 2015, 8:18 am EDT
First off what weight line is the rod designed for and how long is the rod. If you are thinking you are making too many false casts that could be a sign that the line is too light for the rod and the rod isn't working to carry the line out through the guides on the power stroke.

Hauling does not always seem to load the rod as much as expected.


In my opinion if you are a true beginner fly caster you shouldn't be thinking about double haul casts. That cast is typically performed when you want to really lengthen the cast or you are in a situation with a strong wind in your face and you need to punch the line to get it to lay out in front of you. You need to get the fundamentals of the traditional, overhead, forward and back casts down so you can do them in your sleep. I wouldn't concern myself with trying to throw a lot of line at first. Just practice the overhead cast to with no more than 20' feet of line and a 7' - 8' tapered leader. Go out on the lawn, or to a lake, and practice for about an hour.

Remember timing is very important! You must allow the fly line to fully straighten out behind you before you initiate the forward cast. It is okay to turn your head, in the beginning, if that helps you to see when the line straightens behind you. After a while you won't need to turn around to see the line. You will kind of feel the tug of the line and recognize when the line is ready to begin the forward momentum.

Are there any fly shops where you live? If so you might go to one and strike up a conversation with either the owner or another customer and mention that you are new to fly fishing and would like to learn to fly cast correctly. Many fly fishers would surely like to give you some lessons.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Ubiquitous
Posts: 5
Ubiquitous on Apr 11, 2015April 11th, 2015, 10:55 pm EDT
Thank you for your reply,

Apologies for the delayed response as I live in Australia, and have just finished work. To answer you question, the line is either a 5wt or 6wt, and the rod is an 8ft 5/6wt. On Amazon, the product Q&A claims that the line is double taper, while other sites claim the line is weight forward.
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Apr 12, 2015April 12th, 2015, 12:44 am EDT
Since you are just beginning as a fly caster I would recommend the weight forward line. However if you are already using the double taper that is okay too. An obvious advantage to the double taper is that when one half wears out and starts sink all you have to do is reverse it on the reel and you have a new line again.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Apr 12, 2015April 12th, 2015, 12:16 pm EDT
If there is any way you can work with a good coach, one who knows how to cast well, and how to give good tips, it will be well worth the investment. You can learn to cast well from the start, and avoid developing bad habits that will take time to break later.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
TKB
TKB's profile picture
Pennsylvania

Posts: 24
TKB on Apr 12, 2015April 12th, 2015, 5:04 pm EDT
Send me a plane ticket to OZ and I'll have you throwing 50 feet of line in no time. Do you even have trout in Australia?
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Apr 12, 2015April 12th, 2015, 5:30 pm EDT
Tasmanian Tiger Trout?

After reading this article it would appear that trout are piscis non grata in Australia.

http://theconversation.com/rabbits-of-the-river-trout-are-not-native-to-australia-14115
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Apr 12, 2015April 12th, 2015, 5:35 pm EDT
1) The casts have to be done at quite high speeds to get the line forming tight loops;

2) I am often having to perform too many false casts;

Sounds like you are trying to throw too much line. Trout fishing is primarily a short range game where accuracy and control rule. If you are fishing the salt, or lakes, distance casting may be required. If the latter, find Lefty Kreh's book, "Longer Fly-casting". In either case -sheer time- is required. Getting hands-on instruction can steepen the learning curve some.

3) Sometimes the line, when released on the final forward cast, won't land in a straight line;

Control. Smooth transitions. Timing. Power in the back-cast since we aren't used to throwing backwards. Start by working a short line.

4) Hauling does not always seem to load the rod as much as expected.

As Matt suggested, don't haul -it'll exacerbate your flaws, esp #3.

Hopefully you are enjoying the process; fly-casting sure is fun in its own right. It'll take some time to get proficient. Adding presentation and fish to the game is deeply satisfying -but you'll earn it.
Ubiquitous
Posts: 5
Ubiquitous on Apr 12, 2015April 12th, 2015, 11:30 pm EDT
Thank you all for the responses,

Indeed there are Trout (both brown and rainbow), and Salmon in Australia, introduced by the British. These species are only found in the cooler southern states, such as Victoria, the state in which I reside. Unfortunately we also have a problem with Carp and English Perch (redfin) competing with native fish populations.

Saltwater fly fishing is also quite popular here, where there are many predatory fish, particularly in the tropical north, which provide great sport.

There is a place near where I live where I can get fly casting tuition, so I'll look into it. I think my fly line is also due for a clean, as surely the friction from dirty fly line impedes casting.
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Apr 13, 2015April 13th, 2015, 3:24 pm EDT
Unfortunately we also have a problem with Carp and English Perch (redfin) competing with native fish populations


Before the British came and colonized Australia and New Zealand there were no trout or salmon of any kind so therefore the fish are not truly native.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Ubiquitous
Posts: 5
Ubiquitous on Apr 13, 2015April 13th, 2015, 11:38 pm EDT
"Before the British came and colonized Australia and New Zealand there were no trout or salmon of any kind so therefore the fish are not truly native"

I wasn't suggesting that Trout or Salmon were native. I was referring to native fish species such as Murray Cod, Golden Perch, Australian Bass, among others. Interestingly, Trout and Salmon are regularly stocked in various impoundments, while Carp are regarded as a noxious species, which must be dispatched if caught.
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Apr 14, 2015April 14th, 2015, 6:04 am EDT
Oh, I misunderstood you. Got it now. Are all the trout in Australia stocked hatchery fish? Are the many big trout I see in pictures in NZ wild and self propagating?
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Ubiquitous
Posts: 5
Ubiquitous on Apr 14, 2015April 14th, 2015, 7:37 am EDT
Trout and Salmon are released into various lakes and impoundments each year. Many of these then move into connecting rivers and streams where populations can become 'wild' and self-sustaining. The fish can reach decent sizes, but not as good as what one would find in NZ (which are wild). There's more information in the link below:

http://www.depi.vic.gov.au/fishing-and-hunting/recreational-fishing/fish-stocking

The same thing is done with a number of native species. Drought is a big problem in my state, where at their worst lakes can reach below 10% capacity. Salmonids and native species often suffer the most under such conditions, although water levels are fairly good at the moment. Hopefully this remains the case for some time.

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