Fly Casting - Part One - Distance

Anytime you cast and catch a fish you can rightfully say that you made a
"Perfect Cast". The cast accomplished its one and only purpose. You cast the fly
in such a manner that you were able to present it well enough to fool the fish into
thinking it was the real thing.

Unless you are competing in a long distance casting competition, the one and
only purpose of the cast is to get the fly into the right position for you to make a
perfect presentation. The "Perfect Presentation" is what makes the fly drift along
the surface, mid-depth or near the bottom as it were a real adult fly, nymph, larva
or pupa. Any presentation that catches a fish is a "Perfect Presentation".  If you
are trying to accomplish anything else when you make a cast, you are not fishing,
you are engaged in some other function that you have falsely associated with
casting a fly.

Some self proclaimed fly fishing experts (and some that the rapidly fading fly-
fishing publications have called experts) would like for you to think that casting a
fly is a very complex and difficult to learn skill. It is not. If you are new to fly fishing
and you start out with the preconception that learning to cast is going to be a
long, drawn out complex process, then you are fooling yourself.  Learning to cast
is fairly simple.

To begin, when anyone makes a long cast, they must straighten out the fly line.
You can't make a long cast with slack fly line that ends up in any other shape.
You must straighten the line out. With only a few exceptions, when you make a
cast to cast a trout and you straighten out your fly line, you have just make your
first mistake. This is because unless you are fishing a streamer, or you have
made the cast directly up stream, or directly against the current coming
downstream, you will get instant drag. If you do cast directly upstream, you have
just cast your line or leader, one of the other, over the fish you intend to catch. If
you straighten your line, leader and tippet and cast it at even a slight angle from
directly against the current, you will begin to get drag from the time the fly lands
on the water.

The point I am trying to make is that you should cast your fly at an angle to the
current, or up and across the current, and that you should not straighten out you
fly line, leader and tippet. The idea is to have some slack in the leader and tippet
when it hits the water. This will allow the fly to drift drag free and give you the time
you need to mend the line to continue a drag free drift. In other words, the
objective is not to make a long cast, but to make an accurate cast with some  
slack in your line.

There are several types of cast that accomplish this. The pile, reach and curve
cast are some of the names of the type of cast I'm referring too, but I don't want
to get off on technical terms or names any more than is necessary. You want to
make a cast that lands the fly on the water in such a manner as to not create
instant drag. That's the number one basic requirement of the cast irrespective of
whether you are fishing a nymph or dry fly.

Attempting to make a long cast is a mistake in most all the types of cast you will
need to make fishing small streams. That means attempting to make a long cast
is the wrong approach in most all cases.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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