This week, Jennifer addresses a common question about the casting stroke...
Q: How can I add length to my cast and be sure to turn over my leader? Do I need to change my stroke?
A: Think: Short line, short stroke, long line, longer stroke. The length of our casting stroke is a function of the length of the line being cast. Each time we change the length of our line, we need to adjust the length of our stroke. A correct backcast position will vary depending on the distance of the line being cast on both a single or two-handed rod. Thus, there is no fixed backcast position such as "10 o'clock and 2 0' clock ", but rather a principle of 180 degrees.
The best way to help roll out that line & leader is to have a positive stop on the backcast and again in your forward stroke. Raise your line off the water with a smooth, consistent lift to your 1st key position and STOP; allowing the line to fully straighten behind you on a single-hand rod, or fully form a "D loop" on the Spey.
The timing of where we apply the power in the fwd stroke is critical. The goal is a smooth acceleration to a dead stop. In the 2nd stop, try squeezing the rod cork right as you stop, and focus on watching how the line goes out in the air before following it down to the water.
My biggest teacher/obsession when I'm casting/fishing is focusing on what that line is communicating to me when it sails in the air over the water and what it looks like the moment it lands.
Learn to study that line so you can; make changes to your alignment, gain speed with the application of proper power in-between those 2 critical stops, and the result will be added distance and a positive leader turn over with each cast...& hopefully, the very best fly presentation possible!
If you would like a little one-on-one lesson time to help refine any of these skills, shoot me an email to;
And remember, Fly fishing is all about YOU controlling the fly line, not the fly line controlling you!