Fly Fishing Tips for Success

Most serious anglers have refined their techniques over time and experience in order to improve their catch.  Reading up on new techniques and products are also good ideas, and so is listening to other angler’s stories.  However, it is still good to remember the fly fishing basics.  Anglers have been catching fish with the basic rod and line for centuries, so going back to the fly fishing fundamentals or the ABC’s of the sport will go a long way in improving not only your fly fishing technique but your catch as well.  So, what are those fly fishing basics we have forgotten? 

Getting the Cast Right is Crucial

One of the most important fly fishing basics is the cast.  The cast is probably the most talked about topic among anglers.  A cast that is too forceful will cause the line to hit the water hard which startles the fish.  Even experienced anglers have a hard time switching from a typical cast to a good fly fishing cast.  What usually happens when you fish with a typical rod and reel is that the bait and hook are heavy and they are what pull the line to the designated target.  In fly fishing, it is the opposite.  The fly is almost weightless while the line is heavy.  When casting from a fly fishing rod, the line pulls the fly behind it.  This is why a light and gentle touch is one of the most important fly fishing basics.  Even the most experienced angler forget this technique once in a while so it is important to practice, even when you are not in the water. 

How to Practice Casting

In order to keep the gentle touch, practice in your yard. 

Tie a piece of yarn on where the fly usually is.  Cast your rod back and forth and aim for a distance some 10-20 feet away.  Work on your cast until you hit your target consistently.  Even if you are an experienced angler, working on your cast is a good part of the fly fishing basics.  Just like a good golfer practices his swing all the time, a consistent and accurate cast is just as vital to fly fishermen. Take Time to Study Currents in the Water

Another oft forgotten fly fishing basic is reading the water and using common sense.  When fishing in water where the water runs fast, you may want to toss your line to the edge as most fish prefer this area so as not to be dragged by the swift current.  During hot summer days, fish may want to hide in shaded areas like fallen trees, so look for good cover.  In fly fishing, the distance between you and the fish is smaller, so you will need a lot of patience so you can stand still and not disturb the fish.  These tips may seem obvious but some anglers forget these fly fishing fundamentals in their rush to cast their line into the water!

Don’t Spend Money on Fancy Equipment to Improve your Performance, Spend Time Developing Your Skills for Free

Most of us get caught up in the technology or product or techniques of fly fishing that we forget to concentrate on the fly fishing basics.  We have to remember that by giving attention to the fly fishing basics, we increase the chance of having fun thereby increasing the chances of having a fun filled fishing experience. 


John Reece is a freelance writer for and he has just published “Guide to Fly-Fishing” Get your fly on – the ultimate guide to fly-fishing.

You can also read John’s Fishing Blog.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Leave a Comment