Our Man From Canada


Chris Chin (Proulxville, Quebec) - August 2, 2010

I won’t get a chance to fish much this season. I will however make the most of the days I have on the water!

One of the highlights of the season will be a stint on my home waters with Liliane’s Girls! I offered a weekend of fishing to the Gals at Christmas so we’ll be up on the water in early September! Now to get them ready.

All of them are rank beginners. They have never cast a fly rod so lessons are set up for late August. I’m getting rigs ready for them and working on strategy to teach them to cast. This won’t be the first time I’ve taught beginners to cast and fish. In reality, if you are relatively relaxed and not too over anxious, casting a fly line is actually really simple.

The basics:

We cast the line not the fly. This is a problem with bait fishers who switch to fly rods. To get the line to cast, the rod has to load (bend). So the question is; “How to load a rod?”

Start with your rod tip low to the water and the line straight out in front of you:


In this way, water tension against the line will start loading the rod the very instant that you start to lift. It will also help you to set the hook more quickly if need be!

Lift your rod towards the back cast in a smooth acceleration:

You want to avoid ripping the line of the water! A smooth acceleration will help.

STOP your ROD over head!!

Here, Liliane has stopped her rod overhead and is waiting for the line to straighten out behind her.

After a good solid basic back cast, the forward cast is just as simple! Remember to stop your rod!

So why do we need to stop the rod?

Well, imagine you have painted (again) the house and you’re cleaning the brushes. Soaked in water, you want to flick the water off the bristles. To do this, you shake the brush around. But think about it. The water flicks off the brush when you STOP the brush and Shoot the water away. Same thing with a fly rod (Thanks Deanna for the teaching aid!!)

So there are 3 simple basic steps to get the fly line up:

Start with your rod low to the water;

Lift with a smooth acceleration;

Stop your rod overhead.

Some of the basics that are overlooked: (as always, in my honest opinion)

This is supposed to be fun and relaxing. (So relax and have fun)

We can't throw a fly 65 feet (try it), we cast the line, the fly just goes along for the ride.

Only line speed can load a properly balanced rod. (That is to say, make the rod work as it was designed to).

This is supposed to be fun and relaxing.

Wet flies can float and dry flies can (will) sink.

If you're having trouble timing the casting stroke with 45 feet of line out, pulling out another 15 feet of line won't usually help.

If you’re tired, rest a bit, this is supposed to be fun.

When technical casts start falling apart, go back to the basics and start over again.

This is supposed to be fun and relaxing.

Have fun. Casting practice may seem weird at first, but it’s also a good way to practice the basics, without the panic of trying to cast to a rising 2 lb brown 10 feet farther than you comfort zone!

Christopher Chin, Proulxville Quebec

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