You see it all the time on both still waters and rivers, fly fishers doing five, six or more false casts before getting their flies into the water.  Still water fly fishers are especially guilty, busting a gut trying to cast as far as they can, it’s both hard work and frankly on most days no more effective than casting a comfortable 15yards or so.

 

Okay, there are good reasons why sometimes we have to false cast, changing direction, judging distance, drying a fly etc. but the vast majority of fly fishers false cast much more than they need to.

 

Still water anglers fall into two traps, firstly usually trying to cast too far and secondly pulling too much line back in before recasting. Simply don’t try and cast too far and leave enough fly line out beyond the rod tip so with a lift off and one false cast your flies are back in the water.  “Ah” – I hear you say but by not pulling all the line back we are reducing even more the distance our flies are fishing, not really so,remember your flies are still fishing as you raise the rod before lifting the line off the water and how many times do you get a take at that point, I call it a “blind” induced take.

 

One of the key skills of fishing a river is keeping the line as short as possible, the golden rule is the faster the water the shorter the line and with a short line on most occasions there is no need to false cast, just lift of and place the flies where you want them to fish next cast, it’s as simple as that.

 

I always tell my clients that in forty five years of fly fishing every single fish I have ever caught has been in the water, I have yet to catch one in the air!