Wednesday, July 16, 2014


1. Loading Move
2. Power Snap
3. Follow Through 

For the next several days while you are perfecting your grip and working on the hand and arm positions for the forward and back casting strokes, MEMORIZE these 3 phrases in this sequence. Be able to repeat them instinctually. 

Next week we will start casting with the Roll Cast. We will combine the 2 previous lessons with this sequence and make a perfect roll cast. You'll want to be able to speak these 3 phrases as you are doing them, so memorize them now and then we will put them to work.

Are you ready to start fly casting or take your casting to the next level? Call me. LET'S GET CASTING!

Thursday, July 10, 2014


You've practiced your grip for a few days and have learned not only how to position the rod grip in your hand, but you've also learned to relax the hand around that rod grip. The next step in learning fly casting or improving your casting is to focus on what you need to be able to do just with the rod hand and arm. Focus right here for a few days and when it's time to start casting, it will be oh so easy.

All we want to do now is focus on what happens with the hand and the arm when they stop for the forward cast stroke and the backcast stroke. There is a lot happening here and it is important to get each piece of this foundation correct to move to the next step.  So, focus on the details and will be worth it.

The 1st thing to focus on with the forward casting stroke is the position of the wrist. Notice that the back of the thumb (actually the 1st metacarpal) is in line or parallel with the forearm. The elbow is bent and mildly extended, though you are not reaching foreword. The rod butt will be parallel to the bottom of your forearm. The end of your thumb and your eyes are pointed towards your target. Make sure you always have a target. You have to be casting to something. Know what it is with every cast!

When you are making the stop for the forward casting stroke, you are simultaneously pressing the rod grip with the bottom of your thumb and rolling pressure to the bottom of the rod grip sequentially from the 5th finger to the index finger (this rolling pressure is what allows your fly line to properly roll over the tip of your rod and make a nice tight loop). Remember, you are stopping with the end of the thumb pointing right at your target. And, it is an abrupt stop and then a relaxed grip. Keep your shoulders square and keep your eyes focused on the target.

Right now, all you need to do is work on emphasizing these positions and gaining muscle memory with them. This part of the exercise does not yet involve casting or loading moves or follow throughs. You are teaching your brain and your muscles what it feels like to end right here.

The stop for the backcasting stroke involves another set of steps and positions. As with the forward casting stroke end position, this position also ends with an abrupt stop. The positions here are crucial to a good backcasting stroke and overall efficient casting
First, notice the top of the thumb (not the 1st metatacarpal, but the top of the thumb (proximal phalanx)) is now parallel with the forearm.

You are stopping the hand at the level of the temple or top of the ear (which ever is easier for you to relate to). The end of the thumb is pointing straight up now. If all of this is correct the rod butt should now be at a 45 degree angle to the bottom of the forearm. The upper arm has lifted (or arched really) up so that the forearm and upper are are at a 90 degree angle.

One thing that can help you know you are at the correct level is that you should still be able to see the end of your thumb with your peripheral vision. If you cannot your hand is likely too high or too far back.

When you make your abrupt stop for the backcasting stroke, all you want to do is just squeeze the rod grip. A quick abrupt squeeze to a stop and then relax. You have to relax after the squeeze to the stop so you are able to feel that rod load in the backcast in order to get ready for the next step. Sometimes when you are really focusing on all of these steps, positions, and angles, it is difficult to then relax that grip. But you have to focus on that too.

So, until next time, work on all of these positions for the foreword casting stroke and the backcasting stroke. Be precise. Pay full attention to each little piece. Don't worry about casting yet. We will get to that. For now, just build these proper positions and muscle memories.

Are you ready to start casting or improve your casting? I can help with that. Call me. LET'S GET CASTING! 

Saturday, July 5, 2014


As with all things, great fly casting starts at, well, the beginning. To get a grip on casting you have to start with the grip. An ideal grip allows the muscles of the hand to fully engage the rod's action
With the wrist bent down, the rod grip should rest lightly in your bent FINGERS. The HEEL of the hand should rest on top of the grip. The THUMB rests on the top of the grip with the pad flat. Notice there is space between the muscles at the back of the thumb and the rod grip.

Now, just spend some time holding the butt-section of your rod in this relaxed position. Get used to gently comfortably holding the rod with the proper grip. When teaching my daughter how to cast, I actually just had her walk and sit around the house holding the rod properly and relaxed. You want to build a muscle memory that is relaxed while holding the rod. This will allow you to feel and respond to the rod as it loads and unloads line.  A tight grip with you white-knuckling the rod will never help your casting.

Use this picture to help you visualize not only where the rod should be in your fingers, but also how lightly the rod should always sit in your fingers. Remember, the fingers, thumb and heel of the hand are on the grip to not only guide the rod, but to detect feedback from the rod. A death-grip on the rod will only hamper that ability.

So, the rod grip is resting lightly in the fingers. Now just take note of the position of the fingers, thumb, and heel of the hand with a proper grip. And don't forget to have a grip that leaves some space between the muscles at the back of the thumb and the rod grip. Also notice with a proper grip, the rod butt is parallel with the forearm. If you have a smaller heel to your hand, the rod may even rest in contact with your forearm in this position.

Again, just take notice of the position of the fingers, thumb, heel of the hand, and the rod butt from a top view.

Now, practice practice practice. Stay relaxed. And we'll have another CASTING COACH tip for the next step soon!

Fly casting is far more simple than you might think. If you're ready to start casting or improve your me. I have a variety of casting instruction options to get you going. LET'S GET CASTING!