Fly fishing answers, striking time for rainbows, casting fault and roll casting techniques.

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Fly fishing questions page 7.

Questions can be about any aspect of fly fishing, fly casting, casting instruction, fishing in Scotland or abroad, fly fishing courses, fishing flies, etc. The following is just a random selection of questions that have been send by readers and answered by Ally. If you have a question that you wish to ask please do not hesitate to complete the form.

Questions:

Striking time for rainbows
Casting fault - line hits the rod
Roll casting techniques

Striking time for rainbows
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Question: When fishing dry fly for rainbow trout, how long should I wait before striking?

Answer: It's usually a case of quickly must you strike. To be successful you should have as little slack line as possible so that you can tighten up whilst the fish still has hold of the fly. Small fish are faster than large fish but when the fish turns to go down its time to tighten.

Casting fault - line hits the rod
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Question: Casting with a 9' or 9'5'' trout rod with more than 40 feet of line out front, and trying to keep the back cast on the same axis as the forward cast and stopping at about 1 o clock, the end of the line often collides with the rod tip, with less line out it flows over creating a nice narrow loop but to avoid collisions with the longer lower travelling line I have to tilt on the back cast or speed up and flick or break the wrist so the line clears the rod tip, is there a secret trick to getting a back cast to rise over that point on its own trajectory path? Sorry if I made that more complicated than it is.

Answer: Without seeing you cast it is not possible for me to be precise so I will give you a few suggestions.

1 - You can further accelerate the back cast by using a haul.

2 - You can use a plane other than vertical so that the line if need be can pass
below the rod tip - this also allows a longer straight line tip path and hence longer casts. As long as the tip is rising when you stop the rod the line will rise and you can go back as far as you like as long as you don't go down.

3 - You drift after the stop and this may help to avoid collision and it will also increase the forward stroke length, hence potentially more distance.

4 - There must come a point at which the line cannot be lifted high enough by the rod even with perfect technique and a precise haul if the line is simply "too long".

5 - With a WF line the head length may be around 40 ft and if you are trying to lift the line with the running line extended any distance more than a few feet it will probably not be successful.

Response: Many thanks, tried your suggestions and......problem solved, I was under the impression that I should be able to lift/false cast 40/60 feet of line with the same height and 'vertical loop' on the back cast, magazines and marketing hype! Once I got the timing of the 'drift' right I caught myself actually admiring my back cast! 

Roll casting techniques
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Question: I have been trying to perfect aerial roll casts with a 9'6'' rod, I got the sequence and the timing but I cant get much load for the final outward cast, more a sort of split second/jerk/haul explosion, I have tried smooth non stop 'Spey style' but my rod (Sage XP) barely bends, some casts work (Snake Roll) some are incredibly hard (Circle C) do I just need a softer rod?

Answer: There will be nothing wrong with your rod. Almost any cast can be made with almost any rod. A 9ft 6in rod should be able to Switch or Single Spey cast around 75 ft if your technique and hauls are good. I’m not sure if I understand the term “aerial roll cast”. If it is a Jump Roll or Switch cast there should be no stopping, the rod tip makes what is roughly a horizontal elliptical movement, the turn at the back throws the D loop and when the fly and leader kisses the surface the acceleration continues to complete the cast in an upward direction – a tangential movement from the top of the D. Circle C is actually two casts the Circle C part is dead easy and then you can stop before continuing with a basic Roll Cast in the desired direction. My DVD shows how to make these casts with a double handed rod – a single handed rod cast is the same and you can exchange the DH bottom hand for a single haul.

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Copyright 2007 Alastair Gowans AAPGAI and FFF Master and THCI, APGAI. All rights reserved.