Sometimes I think I sound like a broken record.
But casting is such an important part of fly
fishing I just can't help myself.
Your casting may be just fine for your local fishing.
It may not be beautiful or classy, but it gets the job
done. Most of us didn't have private instructors, or
live where organized classes were given - or even had
a good fly fishing buddy to mentor us. We are mostly
self-taught, by trial and error (mostly error) and
getting a fly on the water instead of in the trees or
shrubs behind us was a major victory.
I wish there were more good videos available for learning
how to cast, but sadly, there is really just one which
JC, my husband, and I recommend, Joan Wulff's Dynamics
of Fly Casting.
Being able to cast well (pun intended) opens up a whole
world of possibilities. Different fisheries,
new fish, lakes, oceans, spring creeks, exotic locations
for bonefish, tarpon, peacock bass, sailfish - anything
What brought this to mind was an email this week from
Octavio Araujo, who is a partner with Peter Gorinski in
Fishing. He sent some information on their
new season, including an article on fishing for
If you think I'm tough, read this:
Practice your casting
While peacock bass fly fishing may not demand
perfect presentations, you will do better if
you have the following qualities:
Cast comfortably a 9 or 10 wt rod and big fly
at distances above 55 feet.
There you have it from someone else! And it's
true. The better you cast the more fish you will
catch. Why? Because you aren't thinking/worrying
about your casting. It becomes 'automatic'.
There is one part of Octavio's message which you
may not have tried or considered. Using your
backcast as the 'presentation' cast. What if you
are fishing on a lake and the wind prevents you
from fishing? Could you position yourself to
use your backcast instead of a forward cast?
Or if you are fishing a stream and there is just
a little opening between trees for a backcast?
Could you face the trees, make your cast through
the opening and use the backcast as your 'cast'?
Cast quickly at that distance range and more.
Cast with a minimum of false casting and effort.
Being able to quickly change casting direction.
Being able to make good presentations with your backcast.
Some level of precise casting, specially if the
water is a bit high.
You will catch more big fish if you can cast far.
Casting a big 10 inch streamer is quite different
than casting a slim 3 inch fly. So it's better
if you can practice your casting under that condition
before the trip. It's also wise to learn how to cast
and change directions quickly so you can place your
fly in the action. That's where casting with the
backcast helps a lot.
"Buck fever" is also a major difficulty for less
experienced anglers. You must focus on remaing cool
and cast calmly to that big peacock busting on
baitfish in front of the boat. I often say it's
way better if it takes you a few more seconds to
place the fly in the right spot than rushing too
much and totally screwing up the cast by placing
the fly a few feet from the boat in a pile of fly
line. Remain calm and catch that fish. Or at least
as calm as it gets in that situation.
We have had situations fishing the saltwater where
the wind was from our right and blows the cast and
fly into the angler. The solution? Turn around and
use the backcast as the cast. The wind is then
blowing the line and fly away from the angler.
Good idea even if you use barbless flies.
Spring is here, seasons are open or opening and the
one thing you can do to really improve your fishing
is: Improve your casting!
For anyone attending the Central Washington Fish-In,
or the Idaho Fish-In this fall - JC and I are always
very willing to help folks with their casting. We
don't charge for casting lessons - or tune ups - at
these events - and we are really pleased to be able
Give yourself a real gift. Improve your casting. ~ The LadyFisher
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post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!