Another major difficulty when fly fishing is dealing with the problem of crosswinds. These can cause havoc with your fly casts and can be very dangerous to yourself, your fishing buddies or guides. These winds can push a fly into your direction which could possibly put an eye out or embedded in your head, not a happy thought. My advice if in doubt at all when casting in windy conditions just pack up and go home as its just not worth risking a serious injury. Cross winds are a problem but we can alter the way in which we cast to deal with this so we can continue to fly fish safely. Lets discuss these changes so we can continue fly casting with crosswinds. (more…)
One of the major problems you will encounter when fly fishing is having to cast into the wind. At times it is impossible to get away from it. Say you are on one side of the lake and the wind is coming directly towards you. It is almost impossible to get your cast further than 10-15ft out in front of you or so it would seem. However with a few adjustments to your casting stroke you can make that cast further into the lake and get into the target location where the fish are feeding. (more…)
Do you struggle to get your flies out to trout that are showing just out of reach say about the 20-30 yard distance? If so you are not alone. I too was only able to make short casts that reached about twice the length of the rod away and struggled to get to those lying fish that always seemed to know where they were safe away from my reach. Well its not impossible to get your cast to reach 30 yards you just need to learn distance fly casting techniques. (more…)
Have you ever went to the river to try and catch a timid trout only to spook it time and time again because you cannot get you fly to the target area without disturbance? Then this cast is what you need.
Technically not a fly fishing cast but an aerial line mend the reach mend allows a lot of slack fly line to be introduced to the fly fishing cast so you can present a fly without any drag during the drift downstream. When learnt correctly it allows the fly fishing angler to add the mend to the fly line before the fly hits the water so there is no disturbance to it from that point on and you maximize your casting drift for potential takes. (more…)
Have you been to a river with a fast pool knowing it holds fish but unable to catch them as your fly line flows through the pool far too quickly? Or have you been to a river when the pool you are fishing is way too slow and you find it difficult to put any life into your drift with your flies? If the answer to any of these questions is yes then you need to learn how to mend your fly line to control speed.
There are 2 directions to mend a fly line during a cast upstream or downstream. Of these two direction you can either mend in the water or in the air. Most use the water mend as its easier but if fishing for easily spooked fish then the air mend means your line causes the least amount of disturbance and so increases your chances of hooking and landing fish. (more…)
Have you ever tried fishing with a shooting head fly line? It is different to normal weight forward fly casting in that there is extra weight set to the front on the line making it so the fly rod is already loaded and flexed without even having to put power into it.
This extra weight makes it easy for anglers to get extra distance in their casts but it not much good for delicate presentation as the weighted line normal drops with quite a splash. Even when fully controlled and cast correctly there is a lot of water disturbance when the cast lands so this type of fishing is not very good for fishing dries for brook trout. (more…)
How good are you at fly casting? Can you control your fly line and land you flies on a 1 foot target consistently. Can you change direction and cast to both left and right easily? If yes then congratulations you are a proficient fly caster and will have seen a marked increase in takes from trout and fish caught. If not then you need to put in the practice so you too can make better catch rates. This is where fly casting practice drills can become an important part on your road to being a better fly fishing caster and a more accomplished angler in general.
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What is the switch fly cast?
The switch cast is somewhere in between the roll cast and single spey cast. It is believed by some that this is a new cast but fly anglers have been performing it for hundreds of years. Its just become more prominent now as fishing suppliers have been targeting new markets by naming new switch rods.
The switch fly fishing cast is a more energetic roll cast made with one movement without the pivot of the upper body performed in the single spey so you cast in the same direction as you lift the line from. Sometimes its called the touch and go cast. You can find a bit more history on the cast here. (more…)
Have you gone to your favorite beat on a river to find the wind is howling downstream the direction you were intending to fish and realized you cannot fish that banking as you only know the overhead cast or single spey cast. Only knowing them means that would put you in danger from your flies. As I see it you have three choices go to the other banking, go home or learn how to double spey fly cast.
Double spey fly casting is great for allowing you to fish downstream when you are faced with a strong downstream wind. In the single spey cast, roll cast or overhead cast the wind is likely to blow the line and flies downstream towards you and can make the act of casting very dangerous. It is much safer for you to use the double spey cast to enable you to still be able to cast and not give up for fear of being hooked by your own flies. For this demonstration we will suggest we are fishing from the left banking on a river to a downstream flow going right to left. This all performed by a right handed angler.
When we mention the word spey anglers are immediately put into a different world when only gentlemen fly fished on the great rivers of Scotland namely the Dee, Tay and the Spey where the cast was originally developed. They would think of 15ft double handed Salmon fly rods and large rivers for targeting large Atlantic Salmon.
Well that was all but true a few hundred years ago but today the single spey fly cast is used on many waterways all over the world and with many rod types and lines. In fact the single spey fly cast is a very versatile cast which can get you out of trouble when fly fishing in a river that is overgrown with bankside vegetation. The single spey is a cast to allow you to bring your flies from the downstream dangle up to a 45 degree angle out into the current for the next fishing cast in a river.
Ever stood on a platform fishing for trout and with your cast directly out in front of you a trout shows to your left or right?
As a beginner you only know the overhead cast so you can’t directly cast to it so you have to retrieve the fly line in by hand and start to false cast and turn out towards the risen trout which takes a few seconds or longer by which time the trout is most likely no where close to where it just showed.
So you now have time wasted changing direction and frustration has set in because of your lack of skill. This continues for a while until you give up chasing ghosts and either just concentrate on the water in front of you or pack up and go home. Now I know that later is a bit extreme but I have been there when trout have been jumping all around and not been able to get my flies into the target zone quickly enough.
That is when I decided I needed to learn how to cast so I could change direction quickly. That’s when I found the snake roll fly cast man its so easy to perform I was wondering why I hadn’t come across it earlier. So let me now also show you how to perform the cast so you too can change direction quickly and target that fish that has just jumped to your side. (more…)
In our last post we discovered how to perform the single haul which can be either in the back cast or forward cast to improve casting distance or help in difficult windy conditions. Now we are going to take it one step further and put the two hauls into one cast to create double haul fly casting.
The timing on this cast is a bit tricky but with a bit of practice you can master it and be able to shoot long casts out into wide pools targeting fish that your fishing buddies can’t reach. The basic principle has four stages where your hands are together, apart, together and apart again widely used in the UK where in the US its down up down shoot. You will see this in a minute. (more…)
Once you have mastered the basic fly overhead cast and the roll cast the next stage in the process is to learn how to add a haul to the cast to give it extra distance. This haul can be added in the back cast or the front cast, both will give extra load and line speed to your cast. The haul is basically grabbing the fly line with your other hand and putting a small pull on the line as the rod is loading this gives it an extra kick and allows the process of performing the cast a bit more power. (more…)
Once you have gotten used to the basic overhead fly fishing cast the next one to work on is the roll cast. The roll cast has been a favorite of river anglers for many years as it allows you to cast out your flies without the need to perform the backward cast before hand. This means in a river with a lot of bankside vegetation you still have the ability to cast flies to trout or other fish. (more…)
When people look at a skilled fly fishing angler they are usually amazed at how they are able to manipulate the fly line into tight loops and cast flies across a stretch of water to feeding fish. Most are put off learning the sport for fear of it being too hard to learn, others are excited by the challenge and there are all those in between.
I can tell you that fly fishing casting basics are in no way difficult, what they do require is practice and depending on your hand eye coordination that amount of practice will be different for everyone. Its no different to any sport the more you put in the better you will become and the more you will get back from the sport. With that being said it doesn’t mean you need to give hours each day to it. In fact once you learn the casting basics you can keep up your skills by simply getting out and fly fishing. (more…)