Most anglers want to be better casters. Whether you’re just beginning or have been fly fishing your entire life, there’s always room for improvement. The greatest casters on earth will tell you the same thing.
The greatest anglers on earth will also tell you that casting is not fishing, and thus great casting is not required to catch fish. We couldn’t agree more.. But it certainly helps.
Want to be a great fly caster? Here are few things the best have in common.
- They’re able to cast effectively in all planes. While great casters may have a preferred style of cast, when the situation arises they’re able to cast effectively in all planes. From straight overhead, to sidearm, to off their opposite shoulder, great casters can deliver a fly from more than one plane, depending on the fishing situation.
- They can change the shape of their loop on command. Tight loops are great.. Most of the time. But believe it or not, there are situations where a super tight loop is not desirable. Being able to regulate the size of the loop on command is a mark of a great caster, and pays dividends in real world fishing scenarios.
- They never make the same false cast twice. False casting should have a purpose. If each false cast is not aiding in either changing the length or the direction of the cast, odds are its wasted time that your fly could be in the water or presenting to a fish. Great casters never make the same false cast twice and neither should you.
- They watch their backcast when they practice. By nature, a good backcast is equally important to a good forward cast. However, there’s an ugly stigma in fly casting that you should never watch your backcast. Bologna. Sure, we wouldn’t recommend taking your eyes off your target while fishing, but we’re talking practice here, and watching your backcast is key to improving it. Look behind you while working on your cast.. The greats do.
- They don’t practice casting when they’re fishing. It goes without saying, great casting comes with practice. Lots of practice. However, the best casters know the best place to practice isn’t on the water where distractions (ahem, like fish) are present. Use your time on the water to fish, and dedicate some time off the water to work on your cast. You’ll become a much better caster and angler that way.
Do you do all of the following? If so, congrats! Odds are you’re a great caster. If not, try working on the above to transform your casting game from good to great!