This is a quick one that came to me as I fought with the trees behind me.
I’m a new fly guy. No doubt about it. Even after more than 40 fishing trips last year armed with a long rod, I am far from being even an intermediate beginner. So, I have casting “issues”. One of those issues is the trees and bushes behind me. They seem to leap out and sadistically grab my fly with ease and relish. I can still hear them laughing at me…
What was the epiphany? Work the water with your casting hand on the stream side, not the bank side. Think about it. If you are casting with your casting arm to the water, you have a shot at extending your backcast up or downstream over water and not have to deal with an angled cast back to the shore. If you cast with your body between your casting arm and the stream, there is no place for your backcast to go except into the woods or, hopefully, a gap in the woods.
While this might cramp your style until you can master the roll cast that eliminates the problem altogether, it does increase your probability of making a cast over a cleared area.
This will change the way you approach and work water as you need to be on the side of the stream that supports this orientation. It will not work out perfectly every time, but if you have a choice of banks, go with the easy one. Put your body between your casting arm and the bank and feed a few less flies to the trees.
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore