.......................  ......Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park


The Basics: Presentation - Part 8 - Roll Cast
As mentioned yesterday, most everyone makes roll cast to get some fly line out
to cast. The roll cast is made without having to make a backcast. It works great
anytime there is something in the way of your making a backcast such as trees
that are behind you, for example.

Whenever you start to fish or make a cast, you should use the roll cast to get
the line straightened out so that you can make an overhead or other type of
cast. Start out by stripping some line off the reel and shaking it out through the
guides. When you have enough line out, use the roll cast to straighten out the
line on the water.

If you attempt to pick up and cast slack line, you have an immediate problem
with your cast. When you pick up the line to cast from the water, the water
should add a certain amount of resistance in order that it bends your fly rod in
preparation for the forward cast. This is called "loading the rod". It will not bend
or load correctly if you are picking up slack line. There is not much resistance to
help accomplish that.

Actually, when you make a roll cast you always have that problem. There is no
backcast and therefore you must load the rod using a different method. When
you bring the rod up high and back to your side, stop the rod movement for a  
second and allow the line to slide or drag across the water. When you
accelerate the rod during forward part of the roll cast, the resistance of the line
on the water as well as the acceleration will help load the rod. Abruptly stop the
forward motion of the rod at the end of the accelerated forward motion. The line
will form a big loop and then straighten out in front of you.

I've mentioned before, how difficult it is to write about casting a fly. In case you
don't know how, there are dozens of videos on the web that shows this simple
cast. We just want to point out that it is a useful cast and will catch a trout just as
quickly as any other cast as long as you can get the fly where you want it needs
to go using the cast.

I should also mention another use of the roll cast. Often when you are wading
and fishing in an upstream direction in current, at the end of your drift, the fly
line will end up in coils in front of you. If you just pick it up to make a forward
cast, you will be picking up slack line and not loading the rod correctly. Often
anglers have to make two or three false cast to straighten out the line. A quick
way to get the line straight again in order to make a good forward cast, is to
make a roll cast at a slightly different angle to your forward cast. That will quickly
straighten out the line without disturbing the water ahead of you, or sending the
fly line over the fish you are trying to catch like a false cast may do.