Extract from our Feb 2005 newsletter Becoming the Expert Angler Casting Tip

I work as a fishing guide and spend a lot of time watching others fish. By far the most common problem and this includes many very experienced anglers, so it's something we can all relate to, is to be continually catching things on the back cast. While being frustrating, it also damages tippet, and breaks off flies. If you use tungsten beads, they will shatter it you flick them on a rock.

All my clients are from overseas, maybe things are easier over there, however, as all Kiwi anglers know, here in NZ there are invariable numerous obstacle just waiting to grab your fly on the back cast, particularly the dreaded Matagouri and Gorse bushes.

The cure is easy enough. First thing is to identify whether you need the cure and then be prepared to spend a little time to solve it.

Most of our river and stream fishing requires accurate short to medium length casts. Short to medium length casts work best if you stop your rod at about 12 o'clock. Now picture that in your mind, you standing there with your rod stopped at 12 o'clock, then draw a straight line from about a foot above where you want your fly to land on the water to the rod tip and beyond, still nice and straight. See where it's going? High in the air well above of those Matagouri bushes? Problem solved? Yes with a bit of practice. It's helpful to actually watch your rod tip to see where it's stopping and also your line to see what's happening behind you.

NB. If you pick up your line off the water with a lot of slack line, you'll need to move your rod further to take up 'the slack' and then end up catching something behind. Make sure you strip in the slack then pick up, and also it's easier to pick up early rather than late!

Another thought alone that line is if you catch some grass or a branch, and you flick it off, immediately continue on into the next cast otherwise it will just pop off and go straight into catching on something else...

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