Fly fishing is different from the conventional methods of fishing in quite a few ways. The main difference arises from the fact that the lure that you use in this technique has little to no weight. On the other hand, when fishing using some other technique, your lure has weight and thus your casting style is different. Since the fly that you attach to the end of your line does not have any weight, there is no way it can pull the line behind it.
Before getting into the details of how to cast the fly rod, it is crucial to bring your curiosity to an end about why it is called fly fishing and why the weight of the lure is so little.
A Bit about Fly Fishing and the Lightweight Lure
Fly fishing has earned this name because the lure (or call it bait) looks like a fly. If you have seen a few fly fishing baits, you must be shaking your head in disagreement and you are right to do so. It does not always look like a fly. Instead, it can be the shape of many other insects and sometimes even seeds. However, the discoverers of this technique had to use one name and they went with a fly. The bait is often made out of synthetic materials and might even have artificial feathers on it to look like an insect.
This synthetic bait can float on the water or even sink into the bottom. Visiting a store that sells them will give you a better idea of the many different shapes and forms of baits that are available.
The next important thing to know is why anglers use lightweight lures in the first place if it requires them to learn a completely new technique. Anglers and authors of fishing-related books admire the whole fly fishing experience. They believe fly fishing is not all about catching a fish but also about an experience.
As for the synthetic and lightweight bait, it allows fishers to catch a variety of fish. Large bait might not be attractive for a small fish. On the other hand, a small inch or half-inch sized bait is attractive for nearly all the different types of fish.
How to Cast a Fly Rod
Casting a fly rod is a technique that might seem simple at first but requires some practice before you can perfect it. It is not difficult, but there are certain elements that seem easy but aren’t. Follow these steps to learn how to cast a fly rod.
– Hold the rod like you hold a TV remote i.e. your thumb on top.
– Never pull or push the road in a curved path. The tip of the rod must travel in a straight line.
– The height of the rod from the ground while casting back and forward does not matter as long as it travels in a straight path.
– Freeze your wrist and elbow, and let your shoulder do the work.
– Start your back cast with your rod in a lowered position.
– Do not try to imitate whipping because that’s not how fly casting works.
– While lifting the rod from lowered position to start your back cast, use your forearm and keep your wrist steady.
With these things in mind, it should be easy for you to master the technique of casting a fly rod.
1. Understand the Basics
You have to use the weight of the line to throw it into the water to your desired distance. The bait does not have enough weight to carry the line with it. Secondly, the rod has to be flexible and you can feel that by holding it. Feel the bend in your hands, also known as feeling the rod load. If there is no bend in the rod, it is not meant for fly fishing. As a first time learner, you should also avoid the temptation of throwing your line 80-feet right from day one. Start with a 20-feet cast and work your way up from there.
2. Follow the Three Steps to Cast a Fly Rod
Here are the three major steps that you have to learn to fly cast like a professional:
The Back Cast
Back cast is like starting the engine of your vehicle i.e. you can’t drive the car until you start it. The forward cast and how far the line goes depends majorly on your back cast. You start by lowering the tip of the rod on the ground. Make sure at this point that your forearm is in line with your rod. Pull the rod behind your back in a straight line.
This part lies in the middle of the forward and back cast. You might not notice this while looking at a professional fly caster but there is a pause before you shift the momentum of the back cast into the forward cast. The purpose of the pause is to let your line unwind behind you.
The Forward Cast
Once you have paused enough to let the line unroll, it is time to move the rod forward in a straight line just like you pulled it back during the back cast. The idea here is not to jerk your forearm in an attempt to make the line travel a long distance.
3. Practice and Get Better
You are bound to make mistakes in the beginning, but they will go away with practice. Here are some common mistakes that most beginners make.
• The fly snaps off, and the main reason is that you are not giving proper pause between back and forward cast. There is a difference between casting a fly road and whipping.
• The fly line either touches the ground or sinks in water behind you. Slow and low-energy back cast is the main culprit here. The other reason might be you lowering the rod behind your back when in fact you shouldn’t.
• The line coils and curls in water, and the cause of that is the flick of the wrist which is not even needed in fly casting.
Fly fishing is not just a way to catch fish but an art as beautiful esthetically as it is satisfying and enjoyable. It is different from conventional fishing but at the same time addictive once you get the hang of it. Use the method mentioned above to polish your fly fishing skills, and keep practicing to be the expert angler who can transfer this talent to his posterior.