To cast the fly.

To Cast the Fly

by Harry Salmgren

Essentially fly casting is a very enjoyable and pleasant exercise and
ought not to be made more complicated than it really is.

First, think of your rod as a "pendulum" in the air which -when moved- will produce line speed.

Second, it is up to you to decide to throw the line into a
controlled loop by halting the rod so that the line can straighten out.

Third, the loops are formed by the pause of the rod between strokes.

Take a comfortable stance with two rod-lengths of fly line extended behind you on the ground. Hold the rod grip comfortably with a "tennis"grip.
Bringing the rod tip forward in an accelerated motion will give the line enough speed to form a loop when you stop the rod tip in a forward position. You decide how you want to form a loop and by trying to narrow the loop you will develop more control over the process.
By getting familiar with the motion and by concentrating on
forming a narrower loop your casting will improve.. Think narrow loop and you'll get there!

After learning to throw a loop in front you can progress by learning to throw an equivalent loop behind you by casting backwards.

With practice you can learn to cast effortlessly while casting forward and casting backward.

-Casting sideways-
Later you'll want more control, and this will come by casting sideways, parallel to the ground in front of you, thereby letting the rod and loop move to the left and to the right of you, back and forth.
This practice also gives you an insight into the dynamics of a well performed cast.
You realize that you sometimes need something similar to a "racket swing" and sometimes a "hammer swing"
to exactly form the desired loop you are concentrating on. There is no need of specified casting arcs by the clock as between 11:00-14:00 or whatever. You can now grow into using longer strokes when called for, or shorter when those are needed. Because that's fishing practice.

At the actual fishing site you constantly need to adjust for wind, weather, distance and types of flies used.
The casting motion to form the loop you concentrate on will also depend on the rod and line combination at hand.

Narrowing it down

These factors mentioned, all have a bearing on your casting arc or motion. The loop is essential. To form it is the goal, and to think "make it narrow" will bring the rest of the fly line into a straight cast when performed.

-Ah, if it was possible to start all over again. To whip the loop forward for the first time. To see it throw the tailing line into a straightforward halt and to gradually become able to duplicate the motion -back and forward- with the mind concentrated on forming a still narrower loop.
Well yes, the familiar movements luckily bring all this back again, over and over, always when casting. What a joy!

See you on the waters,



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