I will start of by admitting this cast is not especially graceful looking but it does a great job of loading the rod without needing a false cast. It is surprisingly useful so it should be something you a familiar with, especially if you fish deep or heavy indicator rigs. A water haul is basically a cast where you use the water tension in your backcast to load your rod. Imagine you are fishing from a drift boat with a 9 ft deep indicator rig. Double hauling this set up is more than likely going to result in a massive tangle, or you might not even get to that point because your first backcast could end up in a tree behind you.
With the water haul, you want to strip the majority of your line in, to the point where your indicator is almost touching the rod tip. You then want to basically smack your cast down straight behind you (still imagine you are fishing from a boat for this example). It isn’t going to look pretty but that doesn’t matter here. You want the entire rig to land in the water behind you. Then slowly lift your rod tip up, break the surface tension and get as much of your rig as possible out of the water, then in a smooth yet slightly aggressive motion, come forward with your cast. Here you want an acceleration period followed by a sudden stop where you almost flick the rod forward. Imagine you are flicking paint off the end of a brush. This not so graceful movement should propel your rig to the desired spot without risking a birds nest of a tangle or unnecessary false casts.
You can do this when wade fishing as well. Here you want to let the current do most of the work. The pull from the current is the tension you are using to load the rod. Then you want to do the same process of slowly rising your rod tip before you cast. It will take a little getting used to but once you have the confidence executing this cast, you will find all sorts of different situations where it is applicable. You will also notice your flies spend more time in the water versus in a tangle or tree.
For the more visual learners, check out this video from our friends at Orvis. NOTE: If you’re viewing this in a newsletter or a reader, click here to be redirected to the video on our website.
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