Trying to learn how to cast a fly can feel impossible to a beginner. The awkward nature of the motion plus the intelligence of the fish themselves can certainly do that to the best of us. Fly fishing is not an “easy” sport, though it is a very rewarding one. If you are willing to be patient and learn some basics, you can become a great fly caster yourself. Just remove the pressure and follow some simple steps to improvement. Here are five hints to help you get started:
Don’t give up
The vast majority of people that attempt fly casting give up after a short time. Some don’t even make it to a second fishing trip. The reason for this is because it is a tough sport to master. Even guys that have been fly fishing for decades make mistakes and learn something every time out. Allow yourself the time to develop into a fly caster and you will get there. Don’t be quick to give up.
Fly cast often, even at home
Most anglers don’t take the time to work on their casting unless they are in front of a body of water. This is a mistake in fly fishing. You have to work on your technique and most people don’t have access to a body of water all the time. Spend some time out in the yard practicing your overhead cast and your backcast. The water can be your stream full of grass and you can find yourself lost out on your favorite trout stream—all without leaving your back yard. Put in the time at home and you will be prepared when the fish are out in front of you for real.
Understand the light casting method
When the fly lands softly on the water, you have the chance to land a big fish. If you splash the fly on the water, you are going to have an empty frying pan that evening. Mastering this soft touch on the end of your fly rod is one of the basic keys to fly fishing effectively. The key is to not fish from side to side. Instead, master perpendicular fly casting from a solid shoulder width base. This will help you to develop the soft landing that you need from your fly.
Master basic positioning by studying
Reading up about basic fly fishing technique is the simplest way to master fly casting. Most of the time, there is more than one way to do something. Fly fishing and casting is no different. Though the basics are fairly straightforward, you should always remember that comfort and position should be side by side. If you are lacking in either, then your fly casting will be off. Keep a close eye on how the fly reacts when it lands to know if you are getting it right. Also watch for accuracy and distance.
Know your fish and where they are at
If you know the body of water you are fishing in, find out what is hitting and at what level. Different fish have different behaviors at different times of year. Because of this, you can’t find every fish with the same fly casting method. Some are deeper and you have to sink the fly, while others are going to be seeking out a surface fly. Knowing your water and your fish will give you a huge edge on how to fish on a given trip.