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Use The Frisbee Cast in Tight Fly Fishing Situations

Imagine this - you are tight up against one bank, with all sorts of vegetation hanging out over the bank and the water.

You cannot move out into the stream because you will 'put the fish down'(let the trout become aware of your presence, and scuttle for cover).You can't do a roll cast, because your back is literally up against the bushes. The other side of the stream is no better, with the same over-hanging vegetation, under which the trout are lying.

Just the situation for trying the Frisbee Cast

First position for Frisbee Cast

Ok, here we go. First turn your body so you are facing slightly down-stream, with your up-stream shoulder facing in the direction your target. Allow your fly line to drift down below you till the line is straight, your rod in line with the fly-line and rod arm fully extended at lower chest height, in-line with the rod. Your wrist is slightly bent, but with the thumb in line with the rod.

The rod-tip should be just above the water.

Second position for Frisbee cast

Now, very slowly, very slowly, especially if you have a heavy nymph on, begin to pull your rod arm across your body, bending at the elbow so the fore-arm is travelling straight across your chest. When you feel the fly-line come off the water start to speed up, but speed up slowly.

Third Frisbee cast Position

As your rod arm crosses your chest, allow your wrist to bend so the rod continues to move across and parallel to your chest. All this time the rod-tip should be close to the water.

Frisbee cast position 4

As soon as your elbow is in a straight line with your shoulder and target, break all the casting rules.

Final Frisbee cast position

Accelerate your fore-arm towards your target, and just before it becomes straight, give the rod a big powerful wrist flick, making sure the flick ends with your thumb pointing at chest height above your target, or lower if you are trying to fire a cast under some shrubbery.

That is it - pretty much like throwing a Frisbee. It is all in the last second flick of the wrist. All the rest is slow, real slow.

In fact if the cast is not working for you, I will bet all money you are not moving the rod slowly enough till it comes time to give it the big flick.

Three things need stressing:

This cast does not rely on loading a rod around an arc or curve.
The rod at the end of the cast "unrolls" when you come to a stop.

This cast only works when your arm crosses your body to point downstream at the start of the cast.

You can achieve excellent accuracy with this cast, and because of this I often use it when I need to drop a fly just right, even if back-casting room is not a problem.

The down-sides:

There is a problem that can arise with this cast - fly line twist. Every time you use this cast you can put one twist in the line - after 5 or ten casts this can become bothersome.

But it is an easy fix, take off your fly, and indicator if any, and let the line out in 3m (12') lengths into the current for 30 seconds or so. The line will quickly untwist itself.

Unless you are using foam flies, this cast will drown a dry-fly quite quickly.


Viva wet fly


Article written by Tony Bishop


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For Better Fly-fishing Casts -
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You might think that after 60 years flicking a fly-rod I would be able to cast properly - unfortunately it is not so.

Sure, despite the fact that I was self-taught, I can get my fly out somewhere near where I want it most times, but too often when I really need to get it to where it needs to land I duff it up and watch the fish I was aiming to catch dart off to where-ever fish go when spooked.

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