Fly Fishing

Piscifun fly fishing reels

Fly-Fishing - Casting the Fly


First Published in Harper's Magazine - April 1885

Fig 2. represents the bend of the wrist when on the back cast, and Fig. 3 on the forward cast. Note the location of the thumb.

The position should be an easy one, and the body and the unemployed arm should be kept perfectly still. No habit is worse in casting than unnecessary contortion of the one, or flourishes of the other. Not only is it exceedingly awkward, but it is injurious as well, since it is motion rather than the mere sight of an object that demoralizes the fish.

The coach will pay particular attention to the back cast, for if this is mastered, all else follows. It is the secret of success. In practice the end of the line, when behind him, should in no case fall below the level of the caster's head. Everything lower than that should be regarded as a fault. Nothing in fly-fishing so promptly grades an angler as a high back cast when circumstances permit its use. To him who possesses it, the highest development of the art is possible. The secret of this is to throw the rod but little beyond the perpendicular.

The coach must also see to it that the caster by no means begins the forward movement of the rod until the line has extended behind to the limit of its length. This will be found to necessitate a slight pause between the backward and the forward impulse.

The coach will therefore watch the line, and when it has extended its full length, give the word "Now". It will require a little practice on the part of the former to give the word at the proper moment, and on the part of the latter promptly to respond; but this will soon be overcome. Remember, the impulse is to be derived almost exclusively from the wrist.