Preparing to Cast

Stretch your fly line to erase “memory”

Gently…. Hold at arms length or with a partner & pull for several seconds, or
Drape across back and pull with both hands, or
Stand on line and pull up with both hands

Get line out onto deck of boat or in water if wading

Strip out as much line as you can comfortably cast. Cast it out.
Strip it back onto casting deck with line closest to reel on bottom of loosely coiled line on deck, or leave a long, single loop trailing behind you if wading.

Work at least 10 feet of fly line out of rod tip

Let line drag along side boat in a long loop

Hold head of fly in left hand, rod in right

When guide spots fish, point your rod and zero in

Toss fly into water on the side your fly line is dragging

Use water tension to load rod for a back cast

The Clock

Before You Start Fishing

Communicating With Your Guide

  • Point to several clock positions and call them out to the guide
  • Often the guides view of the clock is different than the anglers…he’s in the back of the boat
  • Ask guide to call out an imaginary fish “bonefish 10 o’clock – 50 feet”
  • Make the cast as you heard it
  • Compare notes
  • 50 feet can mean something different to you and the guide

Coming closer to understanding the finer points of direction and distance before you see fish should improve communication with your guide.

Casting Tips

  • Wait for the boat’s momentum to slow before casting
  • Once a fish is spotted and moving into casting distance, the guide will adjust the position of the bow so you can cast without hooking him
  • Never take your eyes off the fish once spotted
  • Lead cruising fish by 6 – 12 feet depending on depth and current
  • Allow your fly to sink to “eye level” or the bottom before beginning your retrieve
  • Cast very close to a tailing fish, he is focusing on a small area
  • Take your shoes off, it will help avoid stepping on the line

David Pinder Jr says, “The most common mistake is taking too many false casts. Take no more than 4 false casts to reach a fish, hopefully fewer. When a guide positions the boat and sets up on a fish, the amount of time the boat stays in prime position is about 6 seconds. That’s generally enough time for 3 or 4 false casts.”

From the Skiff