What if you could improve your cast to fish hook up ratio? Unless you just like standing in a river waving a stick, every angler we know would jump on that opportunity. Several things stand out when you look at a good angler vs. an average angler. Good anglers maximize their time on the water covering the water effectively. While it’s not all about numbers of caught fish (remember it’s still really about the experience) we do want to increase our success ratio. Casting accuracy is one of the primary ways to accomplish that goal. Here are several thoughts on improving your casting accuracy.
First, no matter where you live you can practice. We often joke with our fishing clients about their lack of practice. You don’t have to live on a river or lake to practice – although it doesn’t hurt. Chances are you live somewhere near an open space of at least 60 feet (30 feet for the forward cast and 30 feet for the backcast). This can be a parking lot, park, local reservoir, or just your backyard. Beware if you do this in a public setting get prepared to meet some interesting individuals, most of whom will have some ‘smart’ comment about what you’re trying to catch (our favorite reply is ‘grass-carp’). Also if you practice on gravel or pavement make sure to get a fly line that you don’t mind ruining. Gravel and pavement will gradually damage the line. If you need a practice line most fly shops will give you a demo line for free or very cheap at the end of the season.
Practicing correctly is crucial; if you practice poorly it won’t help you a bit. Make sure that you’ve got a good foundation if you’re still in the learning phase stop by your local fly shop and get a lesson or read up on any of the numerous books/videos on the topic.
This is going to be a continuing topic so check in next week as we’ll be posting some casting games and some of the most common mistakes we see.