If you cast dry flies with the finesse and precision of an artist’s brush on canvas, you may be in for a bit of frustration casting say a conehead double bunny or Dolly Llama. After getting wet you may think such streamers weigh the same as a bunny, and your sweet, refined as virgin olive oil dry fly motion, is at best ineffective. At worst it might even be dangerous. The sheer weight of the fly throws everything out of whack including that timeless, effortless feeling of fly fishing.
The difference here is the #20 Adams is essentially weightless and the essence of this cast, is the more satisfying than ice cream, tight loop. You are really casting the line, and as the forward cast straightens out that beautiful Adams lays out like a line of poetry, soft, gentle yet perfect. But casting the dumbbell eyed rabbit streamer takes more of a sledge hammer mentality; finesse gets you nowhere, that is until you change your motion. Breaking it down further, when the back cast straightens out the bunny abruptly stops and its weight causes recoil throughout your rigging, thereby sabotaging the increased velocity of the forward cast.
It might sound sacrilegious but the pursuit of the holy tight loop is actually detrimental in this instance. The secret is to slow and lengthen your cast, no more flipping paint off the brush. Instead of abruptly stopping your fly, you want the change of direction to be as slow as possible while still having enough momentum to actually cast. Once the streamer is headed forwards its weight is your friend. To help you do this, exaggerate your casting motion in both directions. Forget the 10-2 o’clock mantra and move your hand further in each direction until you find that timeless rhythm and you will find that same feeling again. You will know when you are working with your rigging. Perhaps not as fine as a paintbrush on canvas, but hooking that once a day feeding lunker might make up for it.
To help even more shorten your leader ,7.5’ is fine, and if you can over rig your rod with heavier weight line. Or move up to a 7 weight or so rod.