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Page 166

It's not necessary to crank the line back onto the reel after you strip it back in. Simply let it gather at your feet. Fly line is slick; it won't knot up. The only time slack line may be a problem is when you're standing in a river or stream and the current takes the loops of fly line downstream. Even this won't hinder your casts, unless the loops snag on some rocks or branches in the current. If this happens, simply shorten up on your slack by reeling in some line.

Casting Ills Cured

If you're practicing your fly casting and can't seem to get over one particular problem, the cause is often easily corrected:

If your line doesn't lay out straight in front of you, you're probably not putting enough power into your forward cast. Be forceful (but not overly so) with that last forward stroke.

If you're not getting enough distance, you may be rushing your false casts, particularly your last back cast. Make sure the line straightens out in the air behind you before bringing it forward.

If the line falls in front of you in heaps or curves, you are either rushing your back cast as noted above, or aiming your false casts too low. Cast high, above the target, and let the line fall to the water.

If the line is hitting the water behind you on your back cast, you're dropping the rod back too far. Don't go past 1 or 2 o'clock on the back cast.

If the line splashes into the water in front of you, you're dropping the rod too far in front of you. Don't go past 10 or 11 o'clock on the forward cast.

Alternative Casts

There are times when the basic overhead cast won't work, such as when you don't have enough room behind you for a back cast, or the current is running so fast that the water takes your fly line rushing downstream before the fly has a chance to go near a fish. These casts aren't difficult to make, once you can make a decent overhead cast consistently.

The simplest and probably most common alternative cast is the roll cast. This cast is handy when you're fishing a stream or a lake shore where your back casts would tangle in trees or brush growing at the water's edge, because fly line doesn't have to swing behind

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