Fly Fishing Tip: Are you casting too much?

Line Flash from casting your fly line

Fly Fishing Tip: Are you casting your fly rod/ fly line too much?
“Don’t cast too much, you’re going to spook the fish!”  These words often heard from fly fishing guides around the world.
The basis for this statement can be readily seen in the picture above.  What you see is “Line Flash”.  We see it in the picture as a reflection of light; much the way a fish sees it.  When a fish sees this through his window to the outside world he doesn’t recognize it as line flash but he does recognize it as something “abnormal”.  Those “abnormal” happenings are what spook fish be it a Heron, Eagle, Angler, Snake, Line Flash or your casts smacking the surface of the water repeatedly.  These all spook fish, especially the older, often bigger fish.
Unfortunately, we make many casts while practicing our casting on a lawn, pond or slow section of water.  We here at Murray’s Fly Shop are guilty of promoting this style of casting because when we teach casting in our classes, we make lots of repetitive casts.
This practicing often involves “false casts” or casts which don’t actually let the fly land on the water (or leader land on the grass) where the fish are.  The more you take this practice to the fishing arena, the more opportunity you have to spook fish due to “Line Flash”.
So, the next time you are on the water do your best to:
1. Keep False Casting to a minimum.
2. Get rid of the feeling that you have to make the perfect cast to present your fly to the fish.
3. If you must False Cast, do it off to the side of where you think the fish is to prevent the line flash from occurring immediately over its head.
4. While practicing: Practice making one cast, let the cast land on the water (or grass), then make another cast.
5. Should you feel the need to make multiple false casts to lengthen your cast, try adding a single or double haul.  If that doesn’t do it, you may need a different fly line (one with a different distribution of weight throughout the head).