Fly Fishing Encyclopedia

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CASTING

When we started our fly casting lessons we had the line lying nicely on the lawn. It was easy to pick it up and get it moving. But if the line is buried in the water this pick up becomes impossible. We need to get the line out of the water before we start the pick-up. With your rod pointing down to the water so that the rod and line are in a straight line, gently move the rod from pointing to the front to pointing to the side and then pointing at two o'clock behind you, drawing the line out of the water as you go. The tendency is to lift the rod tip upwards and this is just what we want. You should end up with your upper arm horizontal and your forearm and the rod in a straight line pointing at that two o'clock position. If you get your retrieve right, this action should bring the rest of the line and your leader out of the water. Now an over arm roll will bring the rod back down to the nine o'clock position and the line will follow it in an arc to lie on the surface. This technique should be all that is required to lay the line back onto the water when fishing at close quarters.

The biggest problem that the novice has to overcome is the innate desire to use the wrist in all of these actions. There is nothing more certain to mess the sequence up than a floppy wrist! So let's sort that problem out. Hold your rod ready for casting. Now get a friend to snugly tie your rod to your arm just above your wrist - it doesn't have to be too tight. Sounds ridiculous - but it works! A handkerchief or similar piece of cloth will do the trick. The idea is to be able to hold the rod in your hand but not be able to move your wrist. It is effectively locked in place. You can buy a little gizmo that locks onto the rod and then straps round your arm - but  I think a strip of cloth is just as good - and you should only need to use the technique a few times to help you get the idea of what it feels like to hold your wrist stiff. Now go through the casting exercises. You'll be amazed at how it all works for you.