How is your casting? Can you control your fly line and land you flies on a 1 foot target consistently. Can you change direction and cast to both left and right with ease? If you can you are a proficient fly caster and will have seen an increase in takes from trout and fish caught. If the answer is no then you need to put in the practice so you too can make better catch rates. This is where fly casting practice can become an important part on your road to being a better caster and a more accomplished fly fisher.
When the body performs an act often enough it becomes second nature to you. This is because your muscles store the act or movement in their fibres and can react on instinct to that task. This is the same for any fly fishing cast, perform it enough times and your arms can then perform it without thinking.
In fact performing it over and over will increase muscle, tendon strength and flexibility so you don’t become tired easily when your on the water. There is nothing worse than being invited to a great location to become exhausted and unable to continue fishing or worse still injured. This can be easily prevented with exercise.
In fact it is best to go out and perform casting practice any time when there has been a gap between fly fishing sessions. That way your first visit your casting will not be full of errors and you could feel uncomfortable. this in turn can mean your fishing can be more successful.
To make the most of your preseason, we recommend performing casting practice with both hands for a 30 min cycle each day for a week or so to get your arms and shoulders into the zone. When you get into the practice of pre-season workouts it will mean you won't be sluggish and you will be accurate in your casting.
Much like muscle memory workout accuracy is very important with fly fishing. The ability to land a fly inches from a moving fish can mean extra takes and catches those around you aren't. Start by putting out several small hula hoops, plates or football cones so that you have something to aim at onto a grass field or large lawn at different distances and angles to where you are standing.
Then practice casting into each hoop or target one after the other. Start by getting your distances correct for each hoop by casting to it several times then when you have them all worked out, mix it up by changing quickly from one target to the other.
It takes a bit of practice to get things working correctly but when you can do it on grass without thinking about it you will be able to do it on the water even easier. Then when the fish shows you are able to change direction and drop a fly right on its nose and woosh your in!
When you have breaks between your fishing this is also the time to practice new casts. Especially when trying to change direction should you use the snake roll or a single spey cast, maybe the snap T is better? The thing about it here, is what is best for you as an angler. If you are no good at spey casting but can snake roll easily then use that as your change of direction cast.
You can of course use this time to practice the casts you are not so good at or have just found out about but this is the beauty of fly casting there are no rigid rights and wrongs its only what’s good for you and of course what is safe and enjoyable.
As guides we have learnt many new casts on the grass first before taking to the river or lake to try them with the feel of the water drag. Its also important to test casts during windy days as well as calm, even more so if you are a Saltwater fisher, There are times when you will find it almost impossible to make a cast because of strong downstream gusts, side winds, or worse swirling wind which can makes thing dangerous launching big flies at high speed.
However if you put in that practice before hand there is no reason why you couldn’t still get a bit of fishing when others called it a day.
Don’t worry about distance,so many get so concerned about distance even obsessed. This may be because you watched the casting competitions which will not guarantee you more fish , often the opposite, accuracy and correct fly placement will catch more fish, and with practice and you will be able to cast longer and longer without having to work at it and you will also be able to do it with accuracy and importantly present the fly in the correct manner so as not to spook a fish, not crashing on the water with force. Accuracy over distance every time. You will be able to hook up more, catch and release returning them back to swim another day and keeping them wet.
Try turning your fly fishing practice game with your friends, a good idea if you can’t get out to fish.
Alternatively in the off season the use of a practicaster can help you keep your casting in shape and prevent the rust from setting in.
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