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Join Bennett-Watt and learn 5 Basic fly casting Principles from Billy Pate.
Tags:Fishing Lessons with Billy Pate 5 Basic Principles,bennett watt,billy pate fly fishing lessons,fishing tip,fly casting billy pate,fly casting lessons,fly casting principles,fly fishing,sports fishing
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Male Speaker: I'd like to start out with the five basic principles that form the foundation of my system and then move on directly to the double haul, which is often thought of as a postgraduate course of fly casting.
Using my five basic principles, you'll be able to move swiftly through this advanced stage because these principles decrease the possibility of making bad cast and they'll improve your accuracy and power.
Finally, I'll explain other special techniques, such as how to get your cast off quickly to a fish like a moving tarpon on the flats, and I'll also concentrate on overcoming wind problems.
Remember, technique and timing means much more that strength. Okay, let's start with the basics. Two, we'll do with the back cast, and three, with the forward cast. It's difficult to make a good forward cast unless you've made a real good back cast. With that in mind, compare flat casting to spin casting with which you may already be familiar. When casting the spinning rod, the weight of the lower carries the cast to the target. You are using the energy from the rod to gain greater distance.
In fly fishing, the fly is so small and light and wind resistant, we can't use it to propel the cast. So we use the weight of the fly line to carry forward the energy of the rod and make possible to cast. The first 30 feet of your fly line has a bigger diameter than the last 70 feet and it's the weight in this first 30 feet that propels your cast.
So, make sure that you've got at least 30 feet of line outside your rod tip to make your cast. The first 30 feet of line is directly correlated to the specific size of the rod. An eight-weight line fits an eight-weight rod. If you have more than 30 feet of line out of the tip of your rod, there will be too much weight for your rod, plus, you'll have the additional problem of having more line in the air than you can comfortably maintain.
Before we get into the basics, for those casters who are beginning, let me just give you two or three little hints.
First is on your grip. Hold it more or less like this with the thumb on top of the rod, holding right straight down the rod. Then I want to show you what we call a strip. This way, we strip the line over the index finger of the rod hand while making short pulls with the line hand. This makes your fly move along like this and look alive to the fish.
The next thing I'd like to show you is a simple roll cast, because this is the way we get into position to make a lot of our cast. We bring it back low; slow up and over fast; low, slow, up and over fast. This gives this a line that's tight; we're only about a foot above the water and we don't have a lot of slack. You see if I'm starting from up here, I don't get much pull, but if I start from down here, I can get a good long pull on it. So that roll cast lets us get into position properly.
The other thing is, make your strokes snappy; stop, snappy out. Snappy up, snappy out, just keep those few things in mind as we go along with the basics.
I'd like to start with the most important idea you're going to learn in this tape and probably the most unconventional. We're going to start our back cast low; we're going to pick it up without bending the wrist or the elbow. The elbow will have a little bit of bend in it, but it maintains that relative position during the back cast.
Then we're going to throw the line up high, 45 degrees behind us and we're going to stop it at 1 o'clock, that's 1 o'clock. Now, what does that mean?
Think of a clock superimposed against me here, 6 o'clock will be my feet, 12 o'clock will be my head, 9 o'clock is directly ahead this way and 3 o'clock is back this way. So let's try that cast again. We're coming up, 1 o'clock, stop and go forward. 45 degrees, 1 o'clock, pause and go forward.
When you bring your arm up, stop it at 1 o'clock. If you're holding the rod as high as possible, your bone and muscle structure will automatically stop the rod about 1 o'clock, exactly where it should.
For you experienced casters, what I'm really doing here is adjusting my casting plain from level to about 45 degrees like this. Watch this ordinary cast and then watch it at 45 degrees; I've changed my casting plain from here to here.
The biggest problems in casting that far are caused by taking the rod back to 3 o'clock or so. My method prevents that from happening. If you go back past 3 o'clock, you're going to be casting like this. In other words, your line is going to be making a motion like that instead of going straight to the target like that.
Okay, before we go further, let's go back to the beginning of the up stroke. We're stripping in the line, we have the rod pointed toward the fish and we're holding it real low in case the fish takes, we've got all that room to hitting with. If I've got the rod sitting way up here, I have hardly any room to strike my fish with.
The other reason you want to hold it low is that when you get ready to pick it up to make another catch, you've got a lot longer back stroke if you come from near the water than you do if you start your cast way up here. So you have much more power in your back cast when you're starting from down near the water.
Again, here's my cast done properly in slow motion.
Now, watch Kelly make this cast. This is a conventional back cast, with the rod hand about even with the head. This brings the back cast backward in a more or less lateral plane. And this position is very easy to break your elbow or your wrist backwards, which lets the rod go back to 2 or 3 o'clock and this will result in an inverted U cast with not much distance.
A very experienced caster can stop this rod at 1 o'clock, using this cast, but often lets it slide too far. With the back cast I use is almost physically impossible to go past 1 o'clock.
So, by following my technique, we're eliminating the possibility of the most common error in fly casting. But the advantage of my back cast doesn't end there. There are two more advantages to this back cast. Throwing your line up to 45 degrees behind you, instead of level behind isn't a conventional cast, it keeps the hook out of the trees on the bank or if you're on a boat away from the guard and you're fishing companion's there.
Further, another thing this high back cast will do is widen your casting horizon, go 180 degrees from about 90 ordinarily, watch this, high, up here 90 degrees. I'm coming back toward you, I'm coming up high and I can turn it here.
Now, watch what happens if I make this to a lateral back cast. I'm going back here, about the most that I can do is here; I'm coming back in here about the most that can do is here.
So, by making the high 45 degree back cast, I've doubled my casting horizon for any fish that maybe in that area.
Okay, basically, what we've done here is increased our casting horizon from about 90 degrees to horizon of about 180 degrees.
Let's go to the second important principle of the back cast and this is not unique just to my system; it's an important method in any system, and that is, when you make your back cast, stop one, two, three, before you make your forward cast. Make your back cast, count one, two, three and start your forward cast. One, two, three, forward. Up, one, two, three, forward.
The reason for that is, to let your line straighten out behind you, before you start your forward cast. One, two, three; if you don't do this, you'll use a lot of your energy just straightening that loop out behind you and you'll lose some of the power of your forward cast. Watch it again, one, two, three, forward; up, one, two, three, forward.
The two principles that I've explained here for the back cast are much more important than anything that I'll teach you on the forward cast. If you master them you are a long way down the road toward becoming a great caster, and these two basic principles are very simple. They eliminate bad errors; they increase your accuracy, your distance and your lateral range. They keep your fly and your hook out of the stream bank, out of trees, out of your guide there and out of the casting platform.
All of this is accomplished by a properly executed back cast at 45 degrees, pause, go to the target. 45 degrees up, pause, go to the target.