Fly fishermen and women are constantly looking for the perfect spot to cast to. Not the perfect fishing spot, mind you, but the perfect spot on a given stream or pond where they know fish will be ready and biting. The challenge in choosing this spot to cast is the fact that it changes moment by moment. That’s why fly fishing requires a tremendous amount of patience.
Before an angler can even think about a casting spot, he or she has to find a good body of water to start with. That can be as easy as talking with other local anglers or paying attention to online fishing guides. Anglers can even avail themselves of smartphone apps that will tell them the best places to fish at any given time.
With a good body of water to work with, there are four parts to choosing a casting spot:
The primary goal to stalking fish (choosing your casting spot) is to find a spot where fish are visibly active. You start by surveying your chosen body of water in the distance. Once you spot some action, approach the area from outside the line of sight. This means staying behind the fish or, if that’s not possible, staying as low to the water as possible. Submerged fish can see for quite a distance due to the way light refracts in water.
As you approach the fish, simultaneously scout out the best position for casting. Always choose the easiest position first. In other words, do not purposely choose a position that will make casting more difficult. Look for a position that makes for an effortless cast and optimal drift.
Anglers have to frequently change their positions to get the best cast. So with every approach, make sure to walk slowly and softly in order to minimize sound and vibration. Fish are just as attuned to sound and vibration as they are to visual stimulation. Just as the early bird gets the worm, the slow and soft mover gets the fish.
A lot of inexperienced fly fishermen and women make the mistake of casting out as far as they can right from the beginning. This is a mistake. Disturbed fish swim away from whatever has disturbed them, and immediately casting out as far as possible only chases them away. It’s better to cast close water first, then work your way out from there.
The other thing to consider about close water is its relative calmness. Fish are known to seek calmer water near the shore or bank when currents are swift. Calm waters are yet another reason to cast close water first before moving out into deeper areas.
The last step before actually casting is to plan what you are going to do. Find your standing spot and your target casting spot, then basically walk through the cast in your mind. The purpose behind this is that you know exactly what you are going to do when it comes time to do it. Remember that fish move quickly and are easily scared off. You don’t have time to cast three or four flies to get it right. Planning your cast makes it easier to get it right the first time.
Now you know the basics of choosing a spot for casting. Like everything else related to fly fishing, choosing casting spots correctly takes time and practice. The more time you can spend on the water, the faster you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t.
Along those same lines, make a point of closely observing fish once you release them. This gives you practice in learning to identify what fish look like as they move through the water. You should have an easier time spotting active fish with practice.
For more helpful advice, visit the BugClub.com online. They are currently offering a Braggin’ Rights Box filled with more than $69 in fly fishing gear to new members. As a member, you also get access to expert advice from anglers who have been there and done that.