We say it all the time, but at Andros South you don’t need to cast very far to catch bonefish. Most of our shots are within the 30-40 foot range, with many creeping in even closer.
We know, we know, everybody wants to know how to cast further, but contrary to popular belief, some of the shortest shots (10-20 feet) are often the most difficult. Anyone that’s tried turning over a long leader and heavy fly into a stiff headwind with only a few feet of fly line out of the rod tip knows exactly what we’re talking about.
That’s not to say it can’t be done, however! Here are 3 tips to help make the short shots count.
- Speed It Up. In all avenues of fly fishing, it’s the weight of the fly line that loads the rod. However, on most short casts there is often not enough fly line outside of the rod tip to effectively load (or bend) the rod. Therefore, we have to apply more power to the rod over a shorter casting stroke in order to put enough bend in the rod to turn over our leader and fly.
- Shorten Your Stroke. Forget the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock mantra. One of the governing principles of fly casting states that the casting stroke must be proportional to the amount of line out the rod tip. In other words, long casts require a long stroke and short casts require a short stroke. So, for really short casts, a really short stroke is needed. A short but quick (more powerful) stroke is the key to turning over long leaders and heavy flies at shorter distances.
- Adjust Your Trajectory. Most anglers fail to adjust the trajectory of their cast as the distance of their target changes, making for inefficient, less accurate casts. At longer distances, the trajectory of the cast can be made nearly parallel to the surface of the water to allow for a straight-line presentation. However, at short distances, the same trajectory will leave your line much more vulnerable to factors like wind, leading to less accurate casts. Instead, the trajectory for a short cast should be made by stopping high on the backcast and low on the forward cast, allowing you to drive your fly directly at your target.