Casting Tips

Nine times Australian Casting Champion, Peter Hayes believes a little bit of work and concentration on casting techniques makes a lot of difference when fishing. "Good casters get to cover more fish more quickly, and consequently get more chances" he says.


Restricted area casts

In fly fishing we are often presented with fish catching opportunities that require casts other than the normal overhead forward-back- forward false cast.

For me the greatest satisfaction in fly fishing comes when I make that seemingly impossible cast that results in the capture of a fish than many anglers find unreachable.

The following collection of what I call "restricted area casts', will I hope, bring many trout undone for you. Try to practice them a little and maybe next time you won't have to walk past that difficult to reach fish.

Roll Cast revisited

I've covered roll casts before, but as it is such an important, and useful cast, here are a few reminders.

Start the forward cast with the rod tip as far behind you as you can get it, reach back with your hand, and arm, as far as possible. The more length we can move the rod tip through on the forward cast the more power we can deliver. This is particularly important to achieve distance.

At the fully back position raise the rod tip to a height to suit the forward cast you need. A higher start point produces a high loop. A low start point produces a lower loop ideal to through under overhanging vegetation. Try a variation of heights. You will be amazed at how low a loop you can throw. Having said that, the further you need to cast the higher you need the rod tip.

At the extreme backward position and before the forward cast is made the rod tip must be stationary. Do not get this bit wrong or you risk cracking off your fly and producing that characteristic whipping sound.

Move the rod tip slowly and steadily forward before you put the final whammy or punch into the cast. While doing this try to keep the rod tip positioned well behind the rod butt. (Do not use your wrist to rotate the rod during this movement, save it for the last). Snap your wrist as late as possible. You will be surprised how much better the cast is the longer you leave it.

During the forward cast the rod tip must move in a straight line. Imagine the rod tip slides down a fencing wire strained between the target and the top of the rod in the backward position. The novice will find it difficult to achieve this straight line tip movement. A natural doming, or widescreen wiper movement is difficult to avoid and this will produce a larger and less powerful loop which generally ends in a heap a long way from the desired target.     

Another way to look at it is the rod tip should never get any higher than its start point during the forward cast. Keep it running downhill toward the target.

An important point to note.

During the forward movement of your hand, arm and rod, look at the loop of flyline hanging below and then behind the rod tip. The greater this loop, or another way of looking at it, the more line you can get behind the rod tip BEFORE you put the final whammy into the cast the more the rod will be loaded and the better, more powerful, the cast.

Bow and arrow cast.

This cast is very useful in small streams with riffles of brush to hide the angler. Use a relatively short leader say 9 feet maximum. With just a couple of feet of fly line out the rod tip hold the fly by the bend of the hook with your left hand. Pull some flex into the rod as you straighten your right or rod hand toward the target. Try to keep the leader and fly above the rod for accuracy. Lat fly toward the target. This is a remarkably accurate cast that has resulted in many fish for me. The downside of this cast is that it is only good for distances of up to say, 20 feet. Hence the need for the angler to be hidden.

Peter Hayes

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