Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

Idiots Guide to Fly Casting

Not sure where this is going, just make up a title and build something around it. It’s a bit like being lost, you have an idea where you want to get to but you won’t know if you made it until you get to wherever it is you end up, and then discover you went in the wrong direction and have a five mile hike back to where you want to be.

 I don’t really understand why fly fishers are not more interested in flycasting, after all it’s the basis of the whole thing. Do we fly fish for any other reason than that we find an asthetic pleasure in presenting a fly to a fish in such a way that they are fooled into taking something made from metal, fur and feathers. Let’s face it, there are simpler ways of doing it, ones that don’t require such a level of ability to get the bait to the fish.

 I know I managed for years to catch the odd fish without one formal casting lesson, and more to the point, any understanding of the mechanics of flycasting. I have mentioned before that every cast was an adventure, I soon gave up stripping lures because a) I wasn’t casting far enough, and b) I was having to cast every thirty seconds. I soon discovered that I could make one cast fish for ten minutes or more if I put a midge pupa on ( but only one midge otherwise I tangled up). I still caught fish and there wasn’t the anxiety of making repeated casts every few seconds. I may just be naturally talentless, who knows.  I’m not saying my fishing pleasure was any less, I just made sure the wind wasn’t blowing the line into me, it wasn’t blowing straight at me, there were no trees or bushes or fences behind me. Nope, a nice breeze from behind and no obstructions, and I was prepared to walk miles to find the perfect spot!. If I had bothered to learn to cast properly I could have spent many more hours with a fly in the water rather that wandering around trying to find somewhere where the wind was coming from behind.

 Was I, am I, the only fly fisher to suffer this? Surely not.

 I think what I am asking is, why don’t more fly fishers take casting lessons? Are most of them born with the God given talent to cast? Judging by some of the truly appalling casting I see on the banks then the answer is a resounding no. No one needs to false cast twenty times to make a forty foot cast, and then bugger it up by giving the final delivery a mighty heave that collapses the cast. Perhaps they feel the need for some vigerous exercise.

 Someone put up a challenge on Sexyloops a few years ago. Starting with only 20′ of line outside the rod, cast 100′ with only one backcast. With a bit of creative thinking it it’s quite do-able. So, getting your fly back on the water with only two or three falsecasts is what you should be aiming at. If you are on a small river you may not even cast one overhead cast all day, you just roll, snake or spey your way up or down stream. These are all cool casts to learn.

 I know there is a lot more to catching fish than being able to cast properly, but by God it helps.


May 16, 2009 - Posted by | fly casting, Fly Fishing, Flycasting instruction |


  1. title of the year !!! love it 😉

    Comment by marc fauvet | May 17, 2009 | Reply

  2. It is the old saying Mike “I can’t cast very far but I catch fish”.
    It would be interesting to know the overlap period of when did the flyfishing sport increased dramatically. Was it when the put & take lakes bloomed? If it was then you have the answer. It is amazing the amount of times I have heard flyfishers belly-ached that “this bloodiy lake has no fish in it”.
    Then all of a sudden me and my pals turn up cast a few feet further out and of course there they are (trout that is). But the amazing thing is that when slightly longer casting sometimes proves a point these guys just do not want to spend the £25-£30 for a lesson.
    I think that well stocked put and take lakes sometimes turn some fishermen into catchermen.

    Comment by Roger | May 17, 2009 | Reply

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