Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox


It has come to my attention that there are people finding this blog by chance and not understanding what it’s about, so this is by way of an explanation.

 We are fly fishers, thats to say we choose to project a virtually weightless object at a fish, most often a game fish like trout or salmon. This object is usually made up of fur, feathers and some silk, in various colours, sizes and shapes, generally made to represent a natural food item, natural to the fish that is, not us. We fish this object (which we will now call a fly) from anywhere from the surface of the water to many feet below the surface, depending on where the fish are.

 Because the fly is essentially weightless we have to have a means of propelling it out to where the fish are so we use a piece of string covered in plastic (a fly line). To propel the line we use a rod (fly rod). A fly rod is generally made from Carbon Fibre (Graphite) although some clever dick has recently made one out of a carrot (true). The fly rod is moved backwards and forwards (fly casting) by the fly fisher to cast the fly line, that creates the loop, that carries the fly, that catches fish, that ate the fly (there’s a song there somewhere).

 This is, essentially, the art of fly casting. We don’t use any other weight other than the fly line and this can prove tricky for a beginner, especially if they have been used to bait or lure fishing where the casting weight is provided by lead shots, spinners, lures or lead sinkers. They have been used to just angling the rod behind them, casting it forwards  and chucking the bait out. Fly casting is pretty well the only sport where you have to cast backwards (backcast) just as well as you cast forwards and it takes a while for this to sink in, but most get it… eventually.

 Now, there have to be some benefits for going to all this trouble to learn to fly cast apart from making you irrisistable to the opposite sex (which is one benefit that has never bothered me).

 You can present a dry fly (one that floats on the surface) delicately to that fish rising (taking natural flies off the surface) just over there. You can cast around corners (neat trick, that one), to that fish lying behind that rock. You don’t have to carry several hundred weight of tackle and bait around ( if you really try you can get it all into a fly fishing waistcoat). Above all it’s aesthetically pleasing to get a fish to take a fly you may well have tied yourself.

 There you go, that’s what this site is all about. I teach people to wave the rod that casts the line that makes the loop that takes the fly out to the fish. Simple.


April 13, 2009 - Posted by | fly casting, Flycasting instruction, Mike Heritage, Uncategorized


  1. Great summary Mike. You may want to consider putting in a hyperlink to this page in your About section, as over a period of time this page will travel down a bit too far for newcomers.

    Comment by Roger | April 13, 2009 | Reply

  2. If I knew how?

    Comment by Mike Heritage | April 13, 2009 | Reply

  3. I can do it if you like, Dad. Also, that last line made you sound like Barry Manilow. A bit.

    Comment by Stuart Heritage | April 14, 2009 | Reply

  4. I thought it was more Burle Ives.

    Yes, if you could please Stu, stick it where you think it appropriate, I might re-write (like the well placed dash?)the ‘about’, sometime. I’m sure I can do a bit better now I have had a bit of practice!.

    Comment by Mike Heritage | April 14, 2009 | Reply

  5. How can a younster even acknowledge the existence of Barry Manilow.
    You watch your record collection Mike.
    Tell him to leave you Lonnie Donnegan?? stuff alone.

    Comment by Roger | April 14, 2009 | Reply

  6. I know Rog, I blame his Mother!

    Comment by Mike Heritage | April 14, 2009 | Reply

  7. Mike,

    Great explanation indeed!


    Comment by Aitor | April 21, 2009 | Reply

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