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Short casts / repositioning the fly

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Paul Arden
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Location: Belum Rainforest

Short casts / repositioning the fly


Post by Paul Arden » Fri Sep 04, 2020 8:17 am

Hi folks,

So here one of the essential skills is positioning the line prior to the shot taking. Generally this means 1-2m of fly line plus leader and popper. If there is a longer shot coming up (babies) it’s possible to close this difference by shooting out a few more metres in preparation (time between babies surfacing and adults). Ordinarily we align the layout to the target unless it’s a close range shot. I actually think of this as a “Mend” but of course it’s not a Mend it’s a positioning move.

Anyway Roll Casting doesn’t work well because it’s a popper and even if you can roll cast it the leader rarely lands fully straight. So it’s an overhead cast that is required.

And now we get to the point of this! Almost everyone who comes here struggles to do this properly and uses a wide arc and often soft power. Far better is to lift and then make both back and forward casts with a sharp and narrow wrist flick, this will fire the popper high on the backcast and down to the target on the forward.

And it made me think about where I learned this because it’s actually quite difficult to teach. I learned to control this using a 20 ft leader with a large cicada on a 4WT and casting with little more than just the leader. The Cicada being about the same size as the poppers I use. So as a teaching drill I would recommend putting on a long leader and a popper and get the student to pick up and lay down with the leader only. You absolutely must flick the fly under these circumstances! And of course that is how to make a short cast under normal circumstances as well.

Cheers, Paul
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