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An Overview Of Fly Fishing Methods

Fly fishing involves casting methods that are a world apart from the techniques used in other types of fishing. Each type of cast has a unique objective. Those objectives can range from how to position the fly on the water, drying a fly when it has been soaked, or the distance of the cast itself. Below, we'll describe a few of the most popular fly fishing methods and the circumstances in which they're used.

The Basic Forward Cast

To perform a forward cast, you begin by moving your arm back over your shoulder (similar to loading a football before throwing it). The fly line will travel in the same direction. When the line has become straight, move your arm forward over your shoulder. The forward movement should be done entirely with your forearm. This type of cast builds the energy of the line so that when you pull the line forward, the fly and line will travel an extended distance.

False Casting

Often, you'll see an angler "whisking" his line by moving his arm back and forth over his shoulder. The fly never touches the water. It's called "false casting." The objective isn't to throw the fly onto the water. Rather, it's usually done to either spend some of the line (to gain more distance), dry the fly if it's drenched, or to simply gain positioning for the cast.

The Roll Cast

Anglers use a roll cast when they're fishing in a confined space. At times, a fly fisherman will find himself surrounded by trees and shrubbery. Under such conditions, a forward cast may be impossible. A roll cast is performed by allowing a part of the fly line to rest on the surface of the water. The dampness in the line adds weight and helps provide distance to the cast.

Your rod should begin at the 10:00 position. Swinging your rod around your body should place it at the 2:00 position. At this point, the fly line should be lightly draped onto the water's surface. With a quick forward cast, you should move the rod to an 11:00 position. The line should initially travel upward (due to the rod's position), using the added weight of the water to carry it further.

Double Haul Cast

This type of cast is effective for throwing your line across great distances. It's also useful for casting in windy conditions. Many anglers consider the double haul cast one of the most valuable casts you can learn. Using both hands, you'll hold the fly line in one hand and the rod in the other. Pull about 8 inches of line downward. When beginning the cast, both hands should be inches away from each other. As you move the fly rod back, your line hand will follow your rod hand. Your line hand will release the line at the end of your power stroke.

Precision And Line Control

In all types of casting, line control and the precision of your cast is critical. It rarely comes naturally. The only way to master the various fly fishing methods is to practice them. The techniques of performing each type of cast have been designed to leverage the energy in the line and its trajectory upon release. Most veteran anglers suggest mastering the basic forward cast before attempting the others. Practice constantly. With persistence, you can become a proficient angler.