I was reading a piece over on Hatch last night from Chad Shmukler titled Short casts catch more fish.
Chad made some interesting points in his piece that got me thinking about the topic, so be sure to check it out.
“Whether targeting a single rising fish, trying to swing a streamer past a logjam, or drift a nymph past a big boulder in a fishy-looking riffle — a more accurate cast is the key to doing so and shorter casts are invariably more accurate than longer ones.”
Accuracy is key in fly fishing. In most all cases I can think of, shorter casts are always more accurate. When your casts are more accurate, your chances of a strike are exponentially better. Couple accuracy with the proper presentation and you’ve set yourself up for the most ideal hookup situation.
I don’t know about you, but my accuracy degrades quite a bit once I’m having to sling a much longer distance. Since most of my fishing consists of small streams and tight quarters, I don’t have to deal with long casts much. This is both good and bad.
It’s good because I know I’m more accurate and my presentation is much better on shorter casts. The bad part is when I actually have to cast long distances. I don’t have to do it much, so when I do, it can get ugly pretty quick.
Short casts are better simply from a physics standpoint. If you’re setting the hook on a 20 foot cast, versus setting the hook on a 60 foot cast, it just makes common sense that the shorter cast has the advantage in terms of landing the fish.
With all of that said, there are times when a longer cast is a must, or just simply the only way you’re going to get to the fish. In those cases, by all means, sling it the distance you need to.
But always keep in mind that shorter casts are almost always going to produce more fish. That has certainly been my experience.