Articles With the Tag . . . casting

(VIDEO) Four Moments to Shoot Line

Part of what distinguishes fly fishing from other styles of fishing is retrieving line by hand. But then we need to get the line back out there. When should we shoot the line back through the rod guides? No one ever seems to talk about these options. But there are four of them.

We can shoot line on the pickup, on the backcast, on the forward cast and on the forward cast following the power stroke . . .

The Hard Truth About Why You Can’t See Your Dry Fly

“Your first job is to find some accuracy. You’ll see the fly every time, once you can hit your targets.” I nodded at the fly again. “There’s enough visibility built into that fly that you can find it quickly, as long as the fly lands where you’re looking . . .”

(VIDEO) Fly Fishing the Mono Rig — Casting vs Lobbing

Turnover is the fundamental difference between spin casting and fly casting. And all good fly casts, with fly line or otherwise, allow the line/leader to turnover in the air and then hit the water. That’s the difference between casting and lobbing. Without good turnover, we are simply lobbing the line.

Remember this: lobbing is limiting. And a good casting approach, with great turnover, introduces a wide range of options . . .

Fly Casting — Don’t Reach (with VIDEO)

But, what about that pretty magazine pose? What about those videos of nymph fishermen with their arms high and extended, reaching the fly rod out to maximum length? It’s silly. It’s unnecessary. And it won’t last for long.

Reaching is an unsustainable body position at any age. Reaching the arm takes power from the forward cast. And by keeping the elbow in a natural and relaxed position, casting accuracy and delivery options improve dramatically . . .

The Pros and Cons of a Longer Fly Rod

The Pros and Cons of a Longer Fly Rod

The fly fishing industry changes and grows. Advancing techniques and angler trends encourage companies to adapt and build new gear that suits those needs. Improvements in materials, like high modulus graphite, allow for the building of fly rods that were not possible...

Fly Casting — Five Tips For Better Mending

Fly Casting — Five Tips For Better Mending

Mending is a bit of a lost art in fly fishing. I meet fewer and fewer people with much skill for it. And in some ways, that’s just fine. I strongly prefer setting up the angles and  curves of my line and leader in the air, rather than mending after the line touches. I...

Fly Casting — Shoot Line on the Pickup

Fly Casting — Shoot Line on the Pickup

** NOTE ** This is a companion to the article titled, “Fly Casting: Shoot Line on the Backcast." These are related concepts, but separate skills. I like to finish my forward cast with a solid stop. The rod flexes and a tight loop surges to the target. With enough...

Dry Fly Fishing — The Crash Cast

Dry Fly Fishing — The Crash Cast

Casting styles change with the water. The same stroke that lays a dry line with perfect s-curves in a soft flat is useless in pocket water. As the river picks up speed, so must our casting. Effective drifts are shorter, so we cast more. Mixed surface currents greedily pull our built-in slack over to the next seam. So our casting matches the currents. It’s more aggressive. Faster.

But fishing rough or mixed currents doesn’t mean we give up on a good dead drift. And the best stroke for the job is one that I call the Crash Cast . . .

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Fly Casting — Squeeze It

Fly Casting — Squeeze It

With the hand on the cork, squeeze it at the end of the power stroke.

This small squeeze packs a big punch. Casting is most effective with small and crisp motions. And there is power in the squeeze as the rod tip is forced to flex and accelerate even more. Then it abruptly stops.

This simple technique provides the accuracy and power needed for next-level type of fly casting. . . .

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Quick Tips — Put More Juice in the Cast

Quick Tips — Put More Juice in the Cast

Keep it tight and crisp. Cast with speed. Be more aggressive. Build more momentum with the rod tip. The casting stroke should be snappy, energetic and sharp with abrupt and forceful stops between two points. I’ve used all of these descriptions and more to communicate the correction for the most troublesome fly fishing flaw out there — lazy casting.

Rods are made to cast. They are full of stored energy just waiting to be sent in motion. Put more juice in the cast. Use more power. Make the fly rod flex, and you’ll gain control, distance and precision in the presentation. I promise . . .

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Quick Tips — Thumb on Top | Finger on Top

Quick Tips — Thumb on Top | Finger on Top

There’s a reason for everything, right? It’s a truism of life. And that goes double for your fly fishing game. Most of us will never get the hours we really need to learn everything we’d like about the river. Trout fishing runs deep. Questions we ask of ourselves on the walk back after dark linger in our minds until the next time we hit the stream. Until then, we research — we read, watch and talk about trout on a fly rod, filling in the hours, days and weeks until our boots are wet again.

Sometimes, things like these quick tips might answer that nagging question in your mind. Other times, one of these tips might create a new question to chew on. Both are significant. Both are valuable.

When we hold the fly rod, should the thumb or the forefinger be on top?

I use both. There are good reasons for each hold, so let’s get to that . . .

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You Need a Good Trigger Finger

You Need a Good Trigger Finger

Fly casting has a lot of moving parts. Two sets each of arms, wrists, hands and fingers all work together to flex the rod and propel the line and flies to the target. There’s a lot going on. It can feel overwhelming — like sitting behind a full drum kit for the first time and realizing that all four limbs have a responsibility to do independent things.

In fly fishing, the trigger finger has one basic but very important job. All movement of the line should come through the trigger finger . . .

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