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Page 184

Where to Cast.

Here's where you shouldn't cast first: directly at the fish. Most beginners make the mistake of aiming their first cast so the fly falls directly on or over a fish or where they think a fish might be. Think about it from the fish's perspective: Out of nowhere drops an object directly into its field of vision, possibly with a bit of a splash, or with the line slapping the water as well. That fish won't stay there longmuch less take the fly.

Stillwater Fly Casting

An absolutely perfect cast directly over a fish might work well in still water if you are using a dry fly. But you stand the risk of overcasting, which will put the leader and possibly the fly line over the fish, and will definitely spook the fish.

If you see a fish, or the rise form of a fish, in a lake or pond, make your first cast deliberately short. Lay the fly down gently. If you're using a dry fly, let it sit. If you're using a nymph, let it sink, then bring it back with minute strips of the line. Allow wet flies and streamers to sink, then retrieve. Let a bass bug sit on the surface until the water disturbance dissipates before retrieving.

Extend the length of your next cast a bit and follow through similarly. Continue to lengthen your casts until you're putting the fly right over the fish. Remember that fish have large fields of vision, and a feeding fish will see a fly some distance away from it. If the fish doesn't take your fly, or if it moves off, look for other rises and work your casts gradually toward the fish. This method guarantees that you won't spook a fish or put it down by overcasting.

If you're not casting toward a specific fish or rise formsuch as when casting bass bugs in a lake or pondagain, don't try to hit the mark with your first cast. If you want to work the edge of a weedbed with your popper, aim your first cast so that the bug falls a few feet out from the edge. Retrieve, then cast again, dropping it closer. Continue this until you put the bug right next to the weeds. By following this routine you won't overshoot the target and tangle your line in weeds or spook fish with your heavy fly line.

Casting in a Current

Fish usually face upstream in rivers and streams, and your fly line, leader, and fly all start moving downstream as soon as they hit the water. Therefore, you must always cast above your target, whether it's a fish, a rise form, or a general area.

When fishing with dry flies or terrestrials, you should usually stand downstream of your target and cast up- and across-stream, so the fly lands above the target, with your line angling to the side and downstream of it. This way, the fly will float over the target

Fish Recipes

Fish Recipes

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