Regardless of whether you’re in fresh- or salt-water, having the ability to instinctively make a skillful presentation under difficult circumstances is the single most important factor that leads to greater fly-fishing success and enjoyment. A proficient casting stroke should be easy and effortless so that rod, line, leader, and fly synergistically combine to form a highly efficient loop that will smoothly unroll at the intended target/location regardless of whether you’re making a short cast or one of over 100’. That level of performance demands a fundamentally sound technique that will also function as a foundation for all types of one-handed casts including overhead, sidearm, Belgian, curve, mend, roll, speed, and others.
With the aid of Joe Mahler’s illustrations taken from my book Performance Fly-Casting, I’ll be offering short and easy-to-follow tips each month to help those who are interested in improving their fly-casting skills. Each successive monthly tip will build upon the previous one in an orderly sequence that starts with basic concepts and progressively advances to a highly efficient and practical technique. A few of the topics include: Loop formation; casting in wind; the speed-cast; the grip; casting problems; the pick-up; efficient double-hauling; techniques for effective practice; tracking; the different phases of the casting stroke; and others.
Although the overwhelming majority of tips will apply to all conventional fly-casting styles, there may be a few applications that might be interpreted as unique to the method I use – although I’ll try to avoid that as much as possible. Those individuals who prefer one of the alternative styles can simply cherry-pick any tips they find beneficial while others may wish to go all-in. That choice is entirely yours. Stay tuned!