Acting is hard work and it takes a natural talent. The same goes for casting a fly. My very first audition to fly fish was a bit of a rotten tomato. This summer, my boyfriend and I went to a tiny creek in the Big Horn mountains. The creek was a hike to get to from the road and in some places it was less than a foot wide. It was a perfect place to catch some native cutthroats that my boyfriend was collecting for his cutslam. I will talk a little more about that challenge in a later post.
I was assuming my usual fly fishing duties that day; taking pictures, holding the net, and keeping the snack rations in check. We were getting ready to pack up once we were running low on jerky and daylight, when my boyfriend asked me if I wanted to try casting. Now, I have watched my boyfriend and my uncle and Brad Pitt (A River Runs Through It) cast their lines countless times, but I had no idea that it was so taxing. I grabbed the rod and flung the line down the creek and into some thistle… Thankfully I didn’t lose the fly, but it took a bit of weaving to free the line from the bush. My next effort was also a fail. I whipped the line above my head like a lasso which resulted in my boyfriend taking his rod back.
Since the incident of my first audition I have been doing my research on how to properly cast a fly by watching youtube videos. Here is an awesome one by Charter and Guide’s channel:
Before casting an angler needs to make sure his rod and line are a compatible weight. Next the angler needs to tie on a fly, again, another post. There are a lot of things to keep in mind when casting. First you need to have a good amount of line in the water, some experts say up to thirty feet. Next make sure your rod tip is pointed down to the surface of the water. Grab the rod by the grip with your dominant hand and the line with the opposite hand. Bend your elbow up for a back cast, which will force the line behind you then move your arm forward, still keeping the elbow at 90 degrees for a foreword cast and then stop, lowering the tip of the rod down again. The most important part of this process is to keep the rod tip in a straight path. Whether you are casting vertically or horizontally, the process is the same. It is also crucial to stop abruptly when back casting and forward casting so that the line can unfold and doesn’t tangle, though it is really difficult to tangle fly line. Thank goodness. Another tip: It’s not all in the wrist.