Keeping Hands Close

TFO oval logoBy TFO

When making Skagit style casts, it can be easy to allow your hands to drift away from your body.

But, to make the most effective casts, it is imperative to keep the hands close to the body.

Keeping your hands close applies mainly to anglers using short heads (18 to 27 feet), on 11 to-14-foot rods.

Longer rods and long belly lines will require longer strokes in order to achieve the D-loop.

This idea of keeping everything close relates back to simple physics.

A mass held closely to the center of its rotation requires less force to control.

When arms become extended it will take more power to generate and control the rod and line during the cast. Also, the power generated by hip movement will not be lost. It will also help load the butt section of the rod, generating more power with less effort.

Nick Curcione of the TFO advisory staff demonstrates how keeping the rod close to the body on Skgait casts can generate more power with less effort. ©Brandon Powers, Temple Fork Outfitters.

Nick Curcione demonstrates how keeping the rod close to the body on Skagit casts can generate more power with less effort. ©Brandon Powers, Temple Fork Outfitters.

By keeping everything close, it will force the caster to be reliant upon the bottom hand–the hand that is the force behind powerful casts. By pulling hard on the bottom hand, the force exerted on the lever (the rod) will be in the proper place. Often anglers will try to “push” or “punch” the top hand, pushing force higher onto the lever, which causes a loss in power and distance.

This can also alleviate the stress which is put upon the shoulders of a caster.

Imagine holding a heavy weight, with arms extended directly out in front of you. Now bring that weight in close to your body. Isn’t that significantly easier to control now? Over time it will pay off and the wear and tear on shoulders will be much less.


Ed’s Tips: Casting at a Target

 By Ed Jaworowski

You wouldn’t shoot a gun without first selecting a target.

You wouldn’t go on vacation without a destination in mind.

So why do anglers cast flies without a specific target in mind?

An example of this is golf pro Jim Furyk. Furyk the 2010 PGA Player of the Year, insists upon always selecting a target for each golf shot, even when at the driving range.

By focusing on a specific target, like a small section of water, or school of bait, an anglers fly placement can greatly improve.
©Jim Shulin, Temple Fork Outfitters.

When practice casting without water, use hoops, pieces of cardboard, leaves, flowers–anything, so long as every cast has a target.

When fishing a stream, cast the dry fly at a specific foam bubble, or rock. On the flats or other skinny water (when fishing is slow), make an occasional cast at a dark spot on the bottom, imagining it’s a fish. When throwing bass bugs, try to land the lure on a specific lily pad. Even out on the open ocean, don’t just cast at the water. Let your eye select a specific spot where you expect the fly to land.

Each cast made is a practice opportunity that can teach you about direction, effort, speed, stroke length, as well as how and when to gauge your trajectory.

Which Glasses Should I Buy?


Selecting the proper color of lens can greatly impact an angler’s success on the water.

A quality lens can significantly reduce the amount of glare, while making it easier to spot fish and identify underwater structure.

©Brandon Powers, Temple Fork Outfitters.

©Brandon Powers, Temple Fork Outfitters.

That is why it is vital to have appropriately colored lenses for the conditions. But what if you’re fishing application changes? What if you start in low light, but the day turns bright and cloudless?

A view through a non-polarized lens. ©Left Kreh, Temple Fork Outfitters.

A view through a non-polarized lens.
©Left Kreh, Temple Fork Outfitters.

Carrying more than one style and lens color can also help avoid situations where you may feel like your vision has been sacrificed due to poor lens choice.

Lens colors:

Yellow lenses can be most effective in the early and late evening hours when the sun is low on the horizon. In these low-light situations the yellow lens can provide appropriate brightness and contrast. They can also be effective in overcast, rainy and other low-light conditions.

Amber lenses are the best color for those that want a great general purpose lens. Amber performs highly in a wide range of light conditions. Although, they tend to perform poorly in very low light conditions, they can be the best option if you are only able to purchase one set of sunglasses.

Gray and green lenses can be helpful when seeking to cut through glare. These can also help reduce strain in the eyes in moderately bright conditions.

The same view, but through a polarized lens. ©Lefty Kreh, Temple Fork Outfitters.

The same view, but through a polarized lens.
©Lefty Kreh, Temple Fork Outfitters.

For low light situations (early morning/late afternoons), rose or vermilion colored lenses can greatly enhance a stretch of water. They enrich the visibility of objects against green and blue backgrounds, making them ideal for fishing.

Ed’s Tips: Leader Configuration

By Ed Jaworowski

Leader configuration can greatly affect your presentation.

Cut off a No. 12 dry-fly; attach a No. 16 or 18 to the same tippet, and your odds of taking a fish may well diminish. That is the case even if the replacement is a better pattern, more realistic and floats better.

For example, say a 24-inch tippet allowed you to make a nice presentation with some slack in front of the fly to prevent drag. When you shorten the tippet and add a smaller fly, it will turn over more aggressively. The fly will slap down on the water and drag can result.

Going to a smaller fly calls for lengthening the tippet.

Going up a hook size means you should consider shortening your tippet.

A tippet that presents a size 18 dry perfectly, will have difficulty turning over an air resistant size 12. Therefore casting accuracy suffers.

Get into the habit of adjusting your tippet regularly when fishing different size dries. It’s an essential part of your cast and presentation.

Collegiate Championship to be held in Ala.

BoatUS announced last week that the Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship series has found a temporary home in Ala.

For the next five years, the collegiate tournament will be held in Florence, Ala.

The 2013 event will take place from May 20-24, on Pickwick Lake. 

Online registration opens on February 1, 2013 and all university-recognized clubs are allowed to register. Every club is guaranteed entry for one two-person team and no team will can earn more than three entries.

TFO is a proud sponsor of BoatUS collegiate events and wishes all anglers luck in the 2013 championship.

For more information on this and other BoatUS events please visit: