Whether you’re a fisherman, a bowhunter, or an NFL quarterback, length and accuracy are the key to success. An aspiring NFL quarterback that can throw long but can’t put the ball in the vicinity of his receiver will get cut before the guy without the big arm who has pinpoint accuracy. The guy that can throw long and put the ball on the numbers? He gets the multi-year, megabucks contract.

While there aren’t big dollars at stake, the same idea applies to fishing. Has this happened to you before? You’re on the shore or on a boat and you see birds working bait. You know that where there’s bait, there’s sure to be fish chasing it. Were you able to put your cast in the spot? Maybe you couldn’t reach it? Or maybe you had the length, but missed be a wide margin? Sure, you might get lucky and get a blind strike, but you know your percentages would be a lot higher if you could place your cast wherever you wanted.

This new piece from Field & Stream is written from the perspective of fly fishing, but knowing and extending your confidence range will help you catch more fish.

ChrisK_roosterAs for me, I can put my flies right in the bucket at least 75 percent of the time within X distance. I’m not making casts and hoping for the best. I can actually make good things happen.

The first and most important step to improve your fly game is to establish your range — I don’t care if it’s 50 feet or only 10. Once you have that down, you can do other things like wading quietly into position to cast within that zone. You want to fish from a place where you believe you can make things happen with one cast, rather than from places where you are hoping for things to happen with a dozen casts.

Photos: Chris Karwoski