Fly Fishing

Piscifun fly fishing reels

The Art of Fly-Fishing Page 2


With the thumb and the fore-finger of the left hand grasp the line above the reel, stripping a couple of feet of it. Raise the rod with a gradual quickening motion until the tip of the rod passes backward over the right shoulder and back of one's head. This will raise the flies from the water and, as they rise, the resistance of the water will take up the slack of the line which has just been stripped from the reel. Rising from the surface of the stream line leader and flies will swing over and behind you in a manner similar to a coach driver's whip-lash. Continue the motion of the rod in an elliptical course which will bring the tip forward and to the left until the tip lies again before you-at an angle of about 25 degrees. Then let it cease its motion. By this time if the cast is properly made, the line is out straight ahead of you and the flies have dropped on the surface of the water at a point 2 feet ahead of the spot where they lay before making the cast.

The trick in making this style of cast is to have the line straight out behind you at the same instant that the rod is at its furthest backward position ; for if the forward motion is made before the line is straightened out, it will snap like a coachman's whip and good-by leaders and flies. In practising have a companion watch you and shout "forward" at the very instant when the line is at this correct position for the forward cast. A little practice with a watcher to warn will enable you to know intuitively what is the correct time to commence the forward motion of the rod.

Keep the right elbow close to the body. Let all motion be in the forearm and wrist until flies almost touch the water. Use as much as possible the elasticity of the rod to shoot flies and line forward. Keep the rod tip at an angle of 25 degrees until the flies almost touch the water. Then lower it gently just sufficient to allow the flies reaching the scarface without splash, if the cast is not long enough, strip a couple more feet of line from the reel and proceed as before until the cast is long enough to suit you or you have as much line out as you can manage.

The position of the rod and the actual path of the flies through the air, from the time of leaving the water until touching it again, will be readily understood by referring to Figure 2.

Rod position while casting the fly

No. 1 is the first position of the rod with the fly resting on the water, No. 2 shows the rod at the end of the backward motion, and No, 3 in its position just before the fly drops to the surface of the water. The path of the flies themselves, from the time they rise from the water until their return to it, is indicated by the dotted lines, the fly moving in the direction of the arrow.

It is not always possible to be able to make this kind of cast without danger of entangling the flies in the brushwood back of you and it is often desirable to be able to drop the flies under a projecting bush or tree. For dropping under an overhanging obstruction flipping the fly as described when first getting it into the water is a good scheme. The method of making this "flip" cast will be readily understood by referring to diagram No. 3, showing relative position of rod and line and the dotted line indicating the path of the flies through the air.

Flip cast avoiding overhanging obstruction

From American Game and Food Fishes. Jordan and Evermann.