How to Fly Cast
Fly fishing can be seen as much as an art form as a sport. It uses a simple reel that hangs down from the bottom end of a long, whip-like rod and holds a weighted line to cast artificial flies to catch trout, salmon and other fish. Fly casting can be the most difficult form of casting to master but can be a rewarding skill to learn. Here are the steps to follow in learning how to fly cast.
Strip off about 20 feet (6 meters) of line from the tip of the rod and lay it in front of you.While in the other forms of casting, you're casting a bait or lure, in fly casting, you cast the line in a manner similar to cracking a whip with a weighted tip.
Pinch the line ahead of the reel against the rod handle with your index and middle fingers.You should hold the rod straight in front of you as you do this, reel down, with your thumb resting along the top of the rod handle.
Raise the rod to eye level.This is about 30 degrees above horizontal, or the "10 o'clock" position.
Lift the rod tip quickly, flipping the line behind you.You should do this quickly enough so the line's weight and movement bend the rod. Stop the backstroke when your thumb points straight up.
- To make the line move faster, pull downward on it above the reel with your other hand as you lift the rod tip.
Hold the rod upright just long enough to let the line straighten out behind you.At first, you may want to look behind you to watch the line straighten out, but you can eventually feel a slight tug as the line straightens.
Sweep the rod forward while pulling your elbow downward.This will make the rod move faster, giving your forward stroke more power.
- You can again make the line move faster by pulling downward on it with your other hand.
Stop the forward stroke with a snap of your wrist when the rod returns to the 10 o'clock position.Your thumbnail should be even with your eye at this point; the snap should be sharp enough that you can feel the rod tip whip forward.
Lower the rod tip as the line straightens out to lay the line, leader and fly on the water.
- Practice your casting techniques away from the water as well as on it. Away from the water, use a fly without a hook or a small practice plug. Practice in an open area, away from overhead trees.
- If, even with practice, you find using a fly rod too difficult, you can also cast flies using ultralight spinning gear and water-weighted bobbers.
Video: How to Fly Fish- Beginner Fly Casting
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