Staying home during the quarantine has its advantages. This is a great time to head out to the backyard and practice your casting!
All too often, we as anglers focus too much on picking the right fly or finding the right spot. But when you are on the water can you put the right fly in the right spot?
No matter how long you have been fly fishing, you should never stop practicing your casting.
Many consider this is a "must do" before any guided trip. The less time a guide has to help you with your casting, the more time you get to fish.
“Pick Up and Lay Down” Drills
This is a great drill to work on as a beginner. It is a four-part drill.
With 25'-30' of line out, slowly lift the rod in front of you to a casting position.
Sharply move the rod behind you, doing one back false cast.
Then with an equal amount of energy, come forward.
Slowly lower the rod and allow the line to lay down in front of you.
Don't worry about line management. As a matter of fact, don't have any extra line out. Put your non-casting hand in your pocket and focus solely on your casting hand.
This drill is also a good reminder that while learning to false cast is important, the more time your fly is in the air, the less likely you are to catch a fish! "Pick up and lay down" drills make you a better fisherman and use less casting effort.
Accuracy is very important. Place objects in the yard. It can be anything: rocks, your fly pack, or your wading boots. I like to use caution cones and I write the distance in feet on them. I also use hula hoops. Make sure they are at different distances from you. More importantly make sure they are in realistic distances from you!
Once you have worked on the basics, it's time to work on the harder tasks. Single and double hauls are a great tool to help make casting much easier for you. Arial mending can really help your presentation to the weariest of trout.
Think of casting practice as a workout. Break it down into sections. take breaks in between sections. Focus on the easy stuff in the beginning of the week and progress to the harder stuff at the end of the week. Then repeat next week.
Spend as much time with the fly rod in your hand as you can. Becoming a better caster will dramatically change your fishing for the better. Just remember,
when we can start fishing again, the practicing shouldn't stop! Practice makes perfect.
When the quarantine is over, Rich Dennison Fly Fishing School will be back up and running. If you need help, just give us a call to book a class.