Fly casting takes practice and a simple understanding of Physics. When most folks learn to fly cast, they are told to move the rod from 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock. This arc will keep the line from hitting the ground forward and behind you.
Lefty Kreh, the greatest caster said, “It doesn’t matter what time it is if the end of the fly line is not moving!” He would tie a key to the end of his line and wave the rod like crazy just enough to not move the key. This was just a lot of wasted energy.
Once he made his point, he cast strong enough to move the key backwards and then make a perfect cast forward. The fly rod is a 9-foot-long lever. Your grip is where the fulcrum is. If you let the rod do the work, casting is easy. A key is way heavier than most flies. Proper casting will send the key easily.
Lefty would also point out that a fly is almost weightless. There is no way to cast a fly! Instead, you cast the heavier line. The fly and tippet simply go along for the ride. Throwing a rope is different than trying to throw a fly.
Many novice casters try to muscle their casts and end up with a pile of slack line. The rod is also flexible and needs to “Load”. This means that the weight of the line pulling back and bending the rod will increase the rods energy. This Kinetic energy, when released, will cast the fly for you. It is important to allow the line to travel completely backward or forward before you move the lever. Lefty’s suggested a short phrase to measure the timing. When I teach casting I say, “I like girls with cowboy hats!” Bring the cast forward on “hats”. When I see the casting begins to get sloppy, I ask the fisherman, “What kind of girls do you like? Suddenly their casts improve.
It is amazing how some fly fishermen make such a big deal out of casting. Keep it simple and remember Lefty’s Tips about Loading the rod, a flexible lever, timing, and letting the long lever do the work.
Cast simple and relax!
For more Montana Grant, cast to him at www.montanagrantfishing.com.