Fly Fishing ... Casting Tips, Accuracy PDF Print E-mail

Now and then, I’ll go through a spell where my fly is landing off the target (to the right or the left) – when this happens, I’ll look at two elements of the cast (1) the thumb location on the rod handle and (2) the path of the rod tip during the casting stroke.  Focusing on those elements will get me back on target.


The thumb is on top of the rod handle and pointed at the target through-out the entire casting stroke.  The path of the rod tip moving backward and forward through the casting stroke will determine the accuracy. Focus on the rod tip taking a straight path on the back cast and then the forward cast towards the target (this applies for any plane – whether an overhead cast or a sidearm cast).  A positive mind set and confidence plays a major role – this is achieved through practicing accuracy before you hit the water.


Place a Frisbee on the lawn and practice casting at different distances and planes (overhead cast and sidearm cast) trying to place the practice fly on the Frisbee.  I will focus on these four key components of the cast.

  • The pause at the end of the stroke allows the line to straighten-out (the length of the pause is determined by the amount of line being worked).
  • The rod tip on the stroke follows a straight-line path (crucial for accuracy).
  • The applied power peaks at the end of the stroke – allowing the fly rod to load.
  • There’s a crisp stop at the end of the stroke – allowing the fly rod to unload and deliver the line.

Once you identify your target and started your cast – don’t take your eyes of the target.


There’s a saying, “aim small / miss small” - that may be the different in hooking or spooking a fish.


Good angling and tight lines.