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Beginner Fly Fishing Techniques - Casting The Fly

Feb 19, 2008
I was put off of fly fishing for years simply because I thought it would be too hard to learn. There is so much hype about casting a fly with a fly rod, different actions and movements that it all sounds too complicated for the poor beginner. Well the art of casting a fly is in truth really quite simple, and with a few beginner fly fishing techniques just about anyone can do it.

With fly fishing your aim is to cast your fly and have it land naturally on the water so that it attracts fish. The main problem with this is that you have no weight on the end of your line to propel it to where you want it to go. Instead you are using a heavy main line with a short piece of very light line attached, onto which you tie your fly.

This means that you use the weight of the line itself to make the cast, and this involves letting out line a little at a time, then casting it behind you, casting it forwards, letting out more line, casting behind, bringing it forwards and so on. This is called false casting and allows you to build up the cast until enough line is let out to land the fly where you want it.

With a small amount of practice this will get easier and easier. Start off small by trying out your casting on an area of clear grass, in a field or a large garden, there is no need to use a fly or hook at this point as it could become snagged or injure someone.

(1)Let out about twenty feet of line in front of you, stand nice and loose and point the rod in front of you so that the rod and line form a continuous straight line.

(2)Hold the rod with your thumb resting on the top of the handle. During the cast you will only be moving your wrist and forearm and not your shoulder.

(3)Trap the line coming from the reel under a finger and raise the rod to about ten o'clock, then flick the rod backwards to pick the line up off the grass, and propel it behind you until it is at one o'clock

(4)Stop the movement sharply, and your wrist should be pointing straight up with the tip of the rod behind you still at one o'clock.

(5)Now you have to pause slightly to let the line straighten out behind you until you feel a gentle tug (this is when the line is fully extended).

(6)Sweep the rod forward and down, lowering your elbow at the same time. As the line unfurls release the line trapped under your finger.

(7)To increase the length of cast flick the rod back again and while trapping the line under your finger pull a few yards of line off with your other hand, cast the rod forward as before and release the trapped line.

You are now fly fishing. You may be a bit awkward at first, but with a little practice you will look and feel like a professional. These are just your first basic steps to fly fishing, by picking up a few more beginner fly fishing techniques you will soon learn all the secrets and tips of the fly fisherman.
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