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Become a Better Fly Caster This Winter

So I was just downstairs chatting in the fly shop with a couple of old buddies that are planning a big trip for this spring.  They just got done bird hunting near our lodge and shop here and decided to stop in and have a cup of coffee and BS about fly fishing. Both are looking for new rods this spring but anytime I start chatting about rods the conversation is eventually steered towards casting.  Learning to use your gear right is the most important thing!  It's not the arrow, its the Indian. 

Too many times I see folks that buy the best rod they can afford, as they should if you love fly fishing, but they don't put the time into learning proper casting technique and actually understanding the physics of the fly cast.  My personal experience is that most anglers lack understanding and attempt to focus on doing.

Today's Tips:

For conversation's sake let's say that we are talking only about overhead single hand casting. No spey, no roll casts. 

1.  Fly line can only go fast by PULLING it to speed.  Energy is generated only when the fly line is behind you.  Think about what it would be like casting a line without a rod.

2.  The back cast is the most important element of the cast.  If the backcast doesn't fully extend behind you then there is SLACK.  So for instance if there is 4' of slack (not uncommon) then the first 4' of your forward casting stroke is wasted simply bringing your line tight.  Then when your line comes tight all of a sudden it shocks the rod and often results in a sloppy tailing loop and an ugly cast.  Far too common!  It doesn't need to be this way.


Comments

Thanks Joe! I love your technique of splitting the cast into 2 parts and actually letting the backcast and forward casts land on the ground to see they are completely extended and straight. The 2 other things that have helped me with my casting are standing sideways to my casting stroke and watching both the forward and backward loops, as well as actually making backcasts, which can be very useful when casting from a boat while fishing. The only problem I have had with watching both my forward and backward loops, is getting to used to watching my back cast and losing sight of my target while doing so. I do agree that a little casting practice between fishing trips pays huge dividends on those trips. Hope you and your family are enjoying the holidays. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!
Hey thanks Mike for the support and feedback. Merry Christmas to you and yours as well!

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