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whip and creating wind knots or popping the fly right off. Remember: Just put more energy into your casts without opening up your angles or changing your timing.

Although you should strive to put the line on the water in a straight, even line, there are times when you may actually want loops or wiggles to form in the line. A controlled slack-line cast lays the line down in even, consistent loops, with the leader and fly at the end of it (unlike a sloppy cast, in which the fly may fall behind or on top of the line and leader). So why would anyone want to lay down a fly line full of loops and wiggles?

The reason is drag. When fishing in a current, the heavy fly line moves downstream quicker than the comparatively lightweight leader and fly. The leader and fly eventually get pulled downstream faster than normal, and at a different angle. This causes the fly to look quite unlike natural forage, flowing along with the current. The angle of your cast to the current will delay drag to an extent, but at times you need to impart extra slack to the fly line, which increases the amount of time your fly can drift without drag.

The S-cast creates this kind of slack in the line. There are two ways to make one, and both are easy. The first method is to wiggle the rod tip at the end of your final forward cast, just before the line touches the water. This puts a number of curves into the line, which the current must then straighten out before dragging on the fly. The larger the angle you wiggle the rod tip, the bigger curves you get.

The second S-cast method is to shoot your final forward cast with more energy than needed, then abruptly check it. This causes the line to jerk back and fall in loops upon the water, also prolonging a drag-free drift. If you need larger loops, pull the rod back a bit just before the line lights on the water.

Make an S-cast by wiggling your rod tip at the end of your forward cast (A), or by checking your final forward cast (B).

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