Understanding the fundamentals of casting is essential for productive fly fishing. You can have an ideal situation where a big hatch coming off the water and fish feeding, but if you can’t cast to the right spot, you most likely won’t catch fish.

While the internet is an tremendous way to disseminate information, it is not the best way to learn fly casting. I would highly recommend taking lessons from an instructor in your area if available. Videos and books are also available for purchase or they may be available from your local library.

Fly casting is not rocket science, but there is a science to it. All it takes is practice once you know or feel the proper techniques. This web site will present the basic principles of the overhead and roll casts. Most other casts are variations of these two types of casts.

I can’t overstate how important it is to practice casting. You can practice just about anywhere you have room and it doesn’t have to be in the water. Practice in your backyard or at the park. You can use a parking lot but that can be a little rough on your line. Clip the hook off a fly, tie it on, and practice.

Overhead Cast

The overhead cast is the basic fly cast. The fly line is lifted off the water in front of you, brought over head and behind you, and then cast forward again in front of you. It’s as simple as that. However, the trick is to do it as efficiently and effortlessly as possible and still be able to land your fly in the desired location.

Roll Cast

The roll cast is a simple and extremely effective cast. It is primarily used when obstructions like trees or bushes prevent you from using the back cast. It is also used in strong winds. With your line tight in the water, lift up your rod vertically to a point just beyond your ear (some call it the one o’clock position) and then do a firm forward cast. The line will make a loop and land in the direction you point your rod.