Extract from our Apil 2005 newsletter Becoming the Expert Angler This is a catching tip rather than a casting tip.

Most experienced fishermen understand the concept of 'side pressure' to help guide fish away from obstacle, to get them out of faster water, and then to land them quickly so as to enhance there survival chances when released. Really it's a little like riding a horse, keep your rod butt at 90 degrees to the fish, but hold it more horizontally, pull the fishes' head to the left and it'll go left or to the right to take it to the right. As a general rule if the fish is upstream of you, your rod should be held horizontally upstream of you, if the fish moves downstream of your position, then the rod should be held downstream.

The other advantage with using side pressure as opposed to keeping the rod vertical is that you'll lose less fish. As it fairly obvious what can happen when the fish is below you and it opens it's mouth and shakes it's head..... often the fly just pops right on out. If you instead use side pressure a least you're pulling more from the side of the mouth and if the fly does slips its got a chance of reattaching itself into another part of the mouth. Certainly you'll loose fewer fish and land them faster using 'side pressure'

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