Angling Trade Survey: Who Really Cares About Casting?


I went down to the local river the other day and noticed a fair number of anglers on the water.  Interestingly, I noticed that every angler I saw was fishing with a strike indicator-nymph rig, even though there were some bugs flying around. One hundred percent. Nymphing is no doubt an effective way to fish, especially if you want to actually catch something, which is the key to its popularity.  Another important reason for its popularity, however, is that it more or less takes that complicated and often intimidating “casting thing” out of the equation. You don’t need to be a great caster to flip a weighted nymph rig upstream; with the right practice, I’m pretty sure an orangutan could do it.

Which leads us to the upcoming IFTD show, where we will be shown “amazing, breakthrough, revolutionary” new fly rods eclipsing that fabled $1000 retail barrier, and I cannot help but wonder if the real market of legitimate casters who can actually appreciate those things has shrunk, grown, or stayed the same.  You tell me…

What percentage of anglers do you think really care about casting?

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  1. I couldn’t really answer the survey above regarding anglers and casting. I believe the cliche pointing out the evolution of a fly fisherman from wanting to first just catch fish and moving on from there to more challenging and philosophical positions will always hold true. I’d like to see a survey asking beginners how they felt upon entering the sport. Then I’d like to see a follow up survey with the same people a couple or few years later. Might be interesting.

  2. Most of the trout rods sold being zippy wild 2-5wts as opposed to slow deliberate 6-7wts tells me all I need to know about the average angler, and industry marketing team.

  3. For bass in Wisconsin I can definitely say that a lot of people care about a good casting rod, and line – that’s more of a caster’s game. And then there’s the musky rod game and water loading that is “controversial”, so it’s just sort of a whole different set of issues here. And then casting for carp (what I do) brings a whole different set of issues, but casting and line choice matters a lot.

  4. It’s interesting – and revealing – that the focus of this survey is unquestionably trout. I’m coming at it from a saltwater perspective, and – very much akin to the other comment from the Wisconsin bass / musky / carp fisherman – down here on the coast, most of us care a great deal about casting.

    In fact, a number of us are deeply concerned about what appears to be (from our vantage point) a growing dearth of casting ability among the trout-focused crowds that tends to make life difficult for them (not to mention for their guides) if / when they do hit the salt.

    A handful of us are actively working on ideas to improve this situation. If the author of this survey is curious, drop me a line….I’d be happy to have a longer conversation about the current state of casting affairs in the broader fly fishing world, and what might be done to make things better.

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