When casting is easy..
Fishing is poor!
Controversial, but true!
It’s a beautiful day for fishing, the upstream breeze is gentle: just enough to keep you comfortable on this sunny afternoon.
Thing are going well. You have spotted several fish upstream feeding in the seam between fast and slow water and the overhead cover calls for a neat roll cast, just to the faster side of the feeding lane. Perfect!
You lay out a cast right on target, no take. Try again, then again. No dice!
What’s wrong? You even resort to a tight loop overhead cast without success.
Funny, the other day you had more trouble reaching this area, but caught several fish…hmm
Here is what is happening: Your fly and tippet land on the water without any slack. The fly immediately moves downstream at the correct speed, but he moves like he is on railway tracks,
DEAD STRAIGHT! This is so unnatural to the fish that he ignores it as just another piece of river junk.
What to do? Simply take the wind out of the equation and over cast the target. STOP the line sharply over your target with the rod tip, so the leader falls in loose coils on the surface. The fly will move more naturally and you can still hook your fish by a sideways twitch of the rod. Three feet is enough of a free float before a careful recast just below your first effort. Fine tippets are helpful here.
The same principle holds true when fishing a stocked pond or a lake: The wind helps your casting distance, but all the fish are FACING the wrong direction! Food near the surface is blown by the wind. All they need do is open their mouth and they are fed like goldfish. Eventually, most of the food AND the fish are at the windward end of the pond. A short cast into the wind will prove successful. At lease, try a sidearm cast from the easiest side of the pond so your fly moves like the naturals.
It is simple stuff, but it is amazing how many people fall in love with their casting prowess and flunk out the real objective of fooling what can often be wary, well-educated fish.
The one contradiction of this principle is when you are dredging deep in a pond, but his is a boring pastime, more suited for the spinning or bait outfit.
Worms and bobbers, anyone?