“Fix your Back Cast: Direct your fly line.”
Does your back-cast hit the water? Wish you could have your fly land a little softer and spook less fish? Use your thumb!
Your thumb can be used to direct your backcast… and the fly. If your thumb stops going down, the line will go down. If you point your thumb up, the line goes up. Simple.
The same is true on the forward cast. If you’re fishing for spooky bones in calm water, try a sidearm cast and turn your thumb “up” at the end. This will direct the fly line (and fly) up a the end of the cast and allow the fly to flutter down, as opposed to flipping over and splashing down.
HOMEWORK: Try directing your fly cast (and fly line) 1) down, 2) straight out and 3) up…. by focusing on where you point your thumb at the end of the cast. Practice until you can direct your flyline (and fly) at will.
Stay tuned as we pick apart some of the most basic fly casting errors, one at a time!
Fly Casting Basics: Straight Back, Straight Forward
Let’s focus on the DIRECTION of our casting stroke. For this weeks REVup Challenge, try to work on casting straight back, and straight forward, rather than around a curve.
Head guide of Fish Bones Fly Fishing in the Cayman Islands analyzes the difference between the standard “loopy” overhead, 10-to-2 casting stroke and a slightly “side arm” stroke.
The classic overhead casting stroke tends to throw the flyline down on the backcast and forward cast, forming a large, inefficient loop.
By contrast, a slightly side arm immediately directs the fly line straight back, and then straight forward, parallel to the water surface. This produces a stealthier cast (for spooky bonefish) by turning the fly over parallel to the water, rather than kicking down at the end of the fly cast and splashing down. A straight line will also get more distance in the wind, because a tighter loop is more aerodynamic.
This is because focusing on “side arm” encourages the caster to keep his elbow down, rather than raising it on every backcast. Keeping the elbow low is a critical element to good flycasting, as it helps us track the rod-tip (and fly line) along a straight path.
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Fly casting is: a slow, gradual acceleration to a sudden speed-up-and-stop.
~ Lefty Kreh
Join the REVolution. REVup your casting and REView the fundamentals. This is the first in a challenge to myself: one casting video a week (52 for the year) focusing on the fundamentals of casting a fly rod. We’ll look at basic casting principles, mechanics, common faults and even mobility issues. These will be drawn in part from the plethora of casting woes I witness as I daily guide anglers to tailing bonefish on the saltwater flats of Grand Cayman Island. Over the years I’ve had to learn how to quickly diagnose an angler’s cast, ignoring most of the issues but focusing on the biggest problem so we can go fishing. This forum will allow me to elaborate on some of the problems upstream and downstream of the major issues like wrist-ing, raising the elbow and failing to stop the rod.
We all wish we could be better casters. Let’s take the challenge and work on it.
WindKnot the Angler