Extract from our November 2004 newsletter Becoming the Expert Angler Casting Tip

Your ruler.
Here's a little tip I find very useful in general sight fishing but particularly when casting to fish close to willows, over hanging grass etc.

I find I can cast time and time again to the same fish, missing willows by centimetres, by having the line land at exactly at the right length. Here's how you do it.

Simply, your line hand is your ruler, by maintaining a firm grip of the line in the one spot, you'll know with each subsequent cast the line will only go a certain distance. It may fall back closer to you or the leader may not fully extend, but if there's a willow 5 cms beyond your fly you'll never hook it - as long as you maintain your grip in the same place. If your first cast is a little long strip in as the fly drifts back, as the line reaches the right length grip the line in that spot and the next cast will be the right length. Even when you need to strip quite a bit of line, you can still keep a grip at that same spot, use your other fingers for stripping, then when you shoot the line out again you'll have exactly the right length

Ok you can take this one step further, if the fish doesn't take your fly, as soon as it's safely behind the fish, pick it up smoothly off the water, then without a false cast, (or a maximum of one) put it right back down again. With a bit of practice you can accurately show the fish your fly many many times very quickly. You'll find it's much easier to pick up the line early like this rather than later when it's at your feet.

Set yourself up for success Of course the best anglers rely on the best fly lines to get the job done Scientific Angler Fly Lines set the standard Shop Scientific Angler Fly Lines