Fly Fishing Instructions


Fly fishing instructions for casting - what’s the mystery? If you’ve done any fishing at all with bait or spinner then you have a little muscle memory to retrain. This review will get you familiar with the process but my hard-learned advice to you:

Take a casting class!

My job is to tell you the inside scoop and to shelter you from some of the pain during the learning curve. Getting the basics of your cast down is paramount and casting classes are often free. If you can’t find a fly shop sponsoring a free class, pay for it gladly and do it before you learn bad habits.

Now for casting fly fishing instructions…

Remember the rod and reel you used with the thumb release? You learned to time the release of your thumb at the very moment the bait was swinging out to your target... and plunk!

In bait or spinner casting the weight is in the afore-mentioned bait or spinner and your arm powers that cast accordingly – you can muscle it. In fly casting, the weight is in the actual fly line and your rod powers the cast. You can strong-arm it all you want and watch your loops fall apart in the process.

LOOPWhen your line is in the air during your cast and resembles a candy-cane. If your rod tip is the power, the loop is the vehicle that takes that power and drives your fly to the target.

Now to get down to the specifics.

The Five S’s

1. SLACK – is your enemy. If your line is slack you have no accuracy and if you luck into a fish, you’ll never get it to the net. By the time you get the slack out of your line; a tight line is required to reel the fish in, it will be too late. Slack is the enemy of load and we want to load the line.

LOAD - is the flex or bend in the rod, created by the mass of the fly line. No load? No loops, no distance.

2. SPEED – Your casting hand is controlling the speed of the rod so that the line will load properly and bend against the resistance of the fly line. Your cast is slightly slower in the beginning and accelerates just before the stop in the front.

3. STRAIGHT – You are not casting in an arch, you are stopping and starting in a “V” and keeping your rod straight.


4. STROKE – Your casting stroke is determined by the length of the line you want to cast. Target 10 feet away? That’s a short cast – short stroke. 40 feet away? Long cast – long stroke.

5. STOP – You must take a nice pause at the end of your rearward cast and a full stop at the end of your forward cast. It’s all about t-t-t-t-t-timing.

Remember my first suggestion of good fly fishing instructions – you can read books and watch videos all day but to master fly casting you have to just do it and if you have an instructor by your side to coach you through it, you’ll get really good really quickly.

~ What to do when your cast is falling apart. ~

When I get frustrated with my cast I find my, “Serenity Now!” by focusing on three things. So if you forget everything else, remember Bend, Stop, and Tip.

Bend – if your rod isn’t accelerating properly it’s not going to bend – thus the bad cast. Speed it up and pause in the back.

Stop – if you're not decidedly stopping your rod when it’s vertical and when it’s about eye level, you’re not doing it right. Stop the forward cast, THEN lay down the line.

Tip - remember this: where your rod tip goes – so goes your cast. If you can’t figure out why you’re casting to the bush instead of the fish – watch your rod tip. Guaranteed it’s pointing to the bush.

More fly fishing instructions to look forward to; Shooting Line!

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