Fly Fishing For Steelhead - Casting
Many fly fishermen over do the complexities involved with casting. Some want to make it
more important than it really is. Many think you must learn to cast a long way to catch fish
on the fly. While all of the above is true, there's always those guys that try to fish the
steelhead rivers of the Northwest Pacific and the tributaries of the Great Lakes who
simply do not have the skills they need to have. Most of the time this gets down to not so
much how well they can cast, but how long they are able to cast without tiring. There's
another important element to it that needs to be learned. You can waist lots of cast by not
knowing where to cast. Knowing the type of water to fish is also an important part of it.  

Most anglers think the only application for double hauling is fishing saltwater. While this is
true in some cases, there actually less requirements for a double haul in saltwater fishing
applications than there are in Steelhead fishing. You should at least be able to haul. It's
better if you can double-haul. One main reason is it lessens the amount of work involved.
If you get tired, you can't cast accurately. The more false cast you have to make, the
faster you will give out.

It's not always necessary to make a long cast but it is at times if you want to reach the
areas of the stream you need to reach in order to increase your odd of success. If you
can make seventy-five feet cast, you don't have any problem as long as you can do that
without tiring too quickly. This isn't to say you can't or won't catch a steelhead with much
shorter cast. You certainly can. This is only to state a goal you should try to achieve if
your physically able to. If your not, you shouldn't become discouraged. You should just
learn to make the shorter cast more accurately and just as important, learn to make the
different types of cast that may be required. A young man that's perfectly able to make
straight line cast up to a hundred feet and keep it up without tiring isn't necessarily going
to catch any more steelhead than on that can cast accurately but not over fifty feet.

In most cases, single-handed rods that vary from a seven up to a nine weight work quite
well for most Steelhead streams. Often weight forward, floating fly lines will work but it's
also true that sinking tip lines may offer an advantage at times. The multi-tip systems are
popular. They allow you to use different heads on the same fly line. You can vary the
depths of water your fishing without changing rigs or fly.

In some cases, when your fishing large you may want to consider using a Spey rod.  
There are rivers and places where they have some advantage over single-hand rods.
Spey casting lets you make longer cast with less effort, but only if you know how to do it.
Anyone considering Spey casting should practice and perfect the method prior to gooing
on a steelhead fishing trip. I guess you could learn if you happen to live on the stream
your fishing, but otherwise, you should learn the technique before you attempt to use it
on a steelhead trip. You will spook far more steelhead than you will have a chance to
catch if you attempt to learn on the water.

There's some advantages many of you may not be familiar with. You can't catch a
steelhead with the fly out of the water. Spey casting will reduce the time your fly is out of
the water. It will also let you mend the line much easier and better.

Regardless of the fly rod you use, be prepared to make a lot of cast. As I often say,
Steelhead fishing is hours and hours of making sometimes boring cast, interrupted by
minutes of sheer excitement. If your not willing to pay the price, physically and mentally,
you probably won't like it. If you do succeed, you will probably be like most steelhead
angles and go the rest of your life trying to explain why.
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