When we get into this fly fishing game we
soon discover that there seems to be a whole
lot of things about casting we don't completely
understand. The truth is we may not have even
reached the point that if we heard the answers
we would know what the questions were. But little
things like that do not get in our way and off we
go, whacking away at the streams and ponds with great
delight. We fish a lot, cast a lot, catch a fish on
occasion and have a wonderful time. That's the way
it's supposed to be.
Then we read something or bump into some well-meaning
individual and discover we have been 'doing it all
wrong!' Be not dismayed, you have not been doing
anything wrong at all. As long as you were doing
the best you could with what you had to work with,
gear and knowledge, you were doing just dandy.
"But," you say, "I want to get better!"
Relax, you will. It takes time to learn some of this
stuff and correctly apply even part of it. That is
the fun, the allure of all of this. Fly fishing is
an ongoing learning and discovering avocation. If
you ever run into someone who claims to know all
about it, run like hell. Little or nothing can be
gleaned from a fool.
However, you say you want to improve some. Alright,
by now you have heard or finally learned that your
fly line makes a terrible amount of commotion on
the water if you just rip the spent cast up and back.
Somewhere it is written, "just get the line moving
first," and that will keep the surface explosions down.
Neat, so just how are you exactly to do that? Let me try
to take you gently by the hand here and help you
unbolt your training wheels.
When you start the rod back and start the back cast
(lifting the line from the water) give the rod tip a
gentle little shake back and forth. It doesn't have
to be violent, in fact it will be in direct relation
to the amount of fly line on the water. The more line,
the harder you shake the rod tip.
The idea here is to get little wiggles of line going
down the slack from the rod tip to the water. As they
run out the line just lift it from the surface nice
and smooth as a babies bottom. There are other ways
to accomplish this but for now, play with this one,
I have for over sixty years now and am getting fairly
proficient at it.
~ James Castwell