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Blog and Photos by Guide Gavin Griffin
If we want a fish to eat our fly, there’s two primary casting features we need to worry focus on:

1. Positioning that fly in the correct drift to be seen and eaten
2. The amount of line we need to create accurate distance between the tip of our rod and the fish line

An accurate cast is created by the fly line’s “track” as the fly fisherman pulls the rod into a back-cast position and pushes the rod into a forward-cast position where he, or she finally delivers the cast onto the water.

This is very similar to how a basketball player shoots free throws. If the player’s wrist or arm is not straight on the release, the ball will tend to curve towards the right or left depending.

Our fly line acts the same way; if the tip of our rod is casted out to the side of us, our line will drift right or left during our delivery. Instead, we need to focus on delivering a cast that, if the tip had a crayon on it and the sky was a piece of paper, would draw a straight line behind us and then trace that line right back to our forward position.

Here’s a few ways to help create better tracks for your cast, improving your fly fishing casting accuracy:

First, how do you check your track?

Stand in your yard, begin casting. On your back-cast, stop your rod and let your line drop to the ground. Mark the position of you line. In the same manor do it for your front-cast. You’ll know your tracking is off because the line will lay like a crescent moon, or in a similar arch. Depending on if your line laid right or left, adjust your cast.

How do I adjust my cast?

Align your elbow, foot, shoulder, rod and target in the same plane. If done correctly, you’ll end up in like a 3 Musketeer stance when they are sword fighting. As you cast in this position, focus on keeping your body aligned as you cast.  This will naturally allow you to perfectly straighten the track of your fly line.

Is there a trick I can work on?
Targets. Take a hoola-hoop, draw a circle, throw a hat, or whatever you want to use for a target and start casting. Stand in-line with your target and work on presenting the line straight forward, straight back and then straight forward again — hitting your target on the third cast.

Start with a small amount of line and then as you progress, begin throwing longer casts and begin to include hauling into the mix.

Think you need a lesson on tracking?

Feel free to reach out to me and we can set-up a day at the shop for a lesson!

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