Fly Fishing: Advanced Casts

   In the world of fly fishing the main thing you have to get right is the cast. You can use the basic casts most of the time, but then there are the “what if’s”. 

  • What if something is behind me?
  • What if I need to get it farther?
  • What if it’s under some branches?
  • What if it’s close and there are obstacles?
  • What if I just want to show someone fly fishing can just be fun too?

   These are just a few of the “what if’s” you’ll encounter in your endeavor to catch fish. Luckily you are not the first person to encounter these what ifs. Luckily some people showed other people how they did it and we inherited a plethora of casts from the ones who came before us.

   Sometimes they are called different things but the general idea of what the cast is will be the same. It’s a way to get past the what if’s and to a fish. After that, there’s a whole other set of guides for fighting the fish.

   For now, here are some more advanced casts, but some are actually easier to master than the basic cast. Trust me though, there is a method to the madness of fly fishing. 

[Most of the time.]

Slingshot or Bow and Arrow

   "This could quite possibly be the easiest cast in fly fishing."

It won’t get out as far as other casts but for close ranges and hard to get to places, this is the go-to. It’s also one of the easiest. This is not a joke. 5-year-old kids can pull this one off after just a couple of tries.

It’s not just an easy cast, it also works. When I say it works I mean you can catch fish like this. I’ve often considered teaching this first to people when they start fishing. It might help people get past the stigma that fly fishing is hard. It might show them that fly fishing can also be a lot of fun.

  • To start with, hold your rod in your normal hand and grab the line just above the grip with the other. 
  • Now pull back on the line till the rod bends
  • Aim at your target
  • Let go and hold your rod still
  • The fly should roll right out to where you aimed

   That’s it!

[ "If you're stressed while you fish, you’re fishing wrong." ]

 It might take you a little practice hitting the target every time but with something this easy, you’ll master it in no time. You can also experiment with different lengths of line. Shorter is easier but with a little practice you can get some pretty good distance with this.

    Just wait till you actually get a fish to run with your fly like this. You might forget all the other casts and just stick to this. You might that day anyway. The kids will love it though, and it gets them into fly fishing pretty early, and before it gets to the frustrating stuff. That’s what6 fishing is supposed to be about anyway, enjoying yourself, forgetting the things that make you stressed, and maybe even coming home with a nice meal. You use this cast, and you'll have a nice little story to tell too.

False Cast

    The name on this one is a little misleading. It’s not so much a false cast as a false landing. You do everything the same as in a basic cast except let it hit the water. Before it hits the water go into another back cast and get some line out. Then cast as usual.

    It’s really only used to gain distance. You can repeat it till you have enough line out to reach your target. You can also use it to get water off of a dry fly or to just reposition to a different area.

   If you can cast, you can false cast. Like everything else though it takes a little practice.

"Don’t feel bad, for too long, we won't ever NEVER do that again."

Steeple Cast

   Sometimes when we are fishing, we find ourselves in a position that doesn’t allow for a complete back cast because something is there. When we get into fishing mode we tend to look more at the stream and less at the bank. Until we go to make that first cast and as our arm comes forward the line doesn’t.

   We stand there with a completely bewildered look on our face. It’s like a deer in the headlight's reaction.

   I know my line went behind me. I know my arm came forward. What happened to my line after that?

Then the eureka moment.

 I caught a branch, or something else. 

   Don’t feel bad, for too long, we won't ever never do that again.

 After you get your fly and line and pride back in order, you can try casting from that spot again, but with a different cast. The Steeple Cast

  • Instead of bringing your arm back for a back cast, bring it straight up. Reach up and put your shoulder up too
  • Let the line unroll towards the sky
  • Drop your arm back down lust like a regular cast but out to the side slightly
  • Gently stop your arm as soon as it’s on target
  • Let the fly roll out and gently land

   If you, do it right it should keep you out of anything behind you and give you a good presentation. The only really tricky part is getting it to land softly,

   If you don’t gently stop your hand in time, it will cause it to smack onto the water and spook the fish.

So, practice stopping short on the forward cast, and you should be fine with a little practice.

   Are these all the casts available in fly fishing? Of course not, but they will give you something to practice and give you some more options on where you can fish and how you can get to them.

    The main thing to remember is to enjoy it. If you're stressed while you fish, you’re fishing wrong. Take a break, make a few slingshot casts to remind yourself, THIS IS FUN! Remember it’s not called catching for a reason. Enjoy the scenery, forget everything that stresses you. Breath. Just look where you are and what you are doing. You’re blessed, be grateful. Most importantly keep fishing.



Enjoy the outdoors, Life is out Here!

written by Benjamin Evans