Salty Pike – part 4 Casting Pike Flies
This is the fourth and final of my articles on fly fishing for Salty-Pike, in the first I gave an overview of the gear we use, the second presented a brief insight into tactics, the third was all about the flies I use and this one tries to give you some tips on casting pike flies. Enjoy it.
Casting Pike Flies
You don’t have to cast far to catch Pike but as with most types of fishing it certainly helps – the more water you cover the more fish see your fly. I always begin by making a few short casts immediately in front and to the side of me before gradually lengthening the cast to cover greater range. As mentioned in my second article of this series Pike often lie in very shallow water so take it easy and don’t splash in without fishing the shallow water first
Casting large pike flies can be tricky, especially in the wind. Increasing line speed helps, and a good way to do this is to double-haul but this needs time and practice.
Try not to fight the wind, use it to your advantage; shoot high in a tail wind or turn round and “beach cast” (release on back cast) if the wind is blowing into your casting arm.
I would advise newcomers to book casting lessons from a certified instructor (of course I would wouldn’t I 😀 ). Casting is not about muscle and strength its all about technique. No matter how hard you try you will not ‘force’ big flies out into the water. A few lessons from a professional will teach you the basic techniques and help you jump the curve. Learn good habits from the outset, it can take years of hard work to re-program “bad” muscle memory!
But before you all rush off and book casting lessons with me 😀 here are a few tips to help you get along:
- use a short head
- use a short and thick leader
- after retrieving the fly, do a roll cast before false casting again
- choose a heavier line weight
- when false casting make sure your cast has fully straightened out
- drift whilst false casting
- if the wind is blowing from the “wrong side” turn round and beach cast
Just because your casting feels crappy doesn’t mean that it is crap – casting big flies is everything but elegant at the best of times.
See you on the water.