How difficult is it to become a good Fly Caster. Most of us take Fly Fishing lessons, watch YouTube videos and buy new products that are designed to make us a better angler. I recommend all of these options. However, let me delve a little deeper into the mythical perfect cast.
When we teach Fly Casting there are a few fundamentals that all of us need to adhere to. These are for beginner to expert Fly Fishers. The first and main principle is that the fly always follows the rod tip. Period. If your fly loops to the left or right, falls too far behind you, hits the water before your loop has unfolded, or generally just not moving toward the target then it’s time to change things up.
Too many people are focused on the target. Forget your quarry for the moment. Cast back and watch where your rod tip is finishing. This also opens up your body and is easier to pivot from your left foot to your right foot. Opposite for left-hand casters. Traditionalist casters won’t like this. Too bad. Your rod tip should still be pointing upward till around 2:00ish on a clock (I hate the clock analogy but it works). Then move the rod tip in a straight line or plane to the front cast. Again around 10:0ish on a clock. Practice this in your backyard and try to go as slow as possible. Going slower will help you bend the rod tip which gives you all the power you need to send the fly. Slowing down the cast will help prevent you from “pushing” the rod back. You should not be able to hear your rod moving back and forth. Slow it down and focus solely on the rod tip itself. See how much you can bend that tip with each forward and backcast. This is the key to power.
There are many other aspects to the perfect cast that we will touch on shortly. It’s okay to be technical and work on your cast. But to be a great caster you need to be able to “feel” the cast. It has to work without you giving it a second thought. Working on this first fundamental will lead you to that “touch”.