Fly Fishing: Casting Basics 2
No matter how good you are at casting there are days when you are fly fishing that you just can’t make it work right. Before you start, then, it’s a good idea to take a deep breath, take in your environment and ground yourself before you begin. Go back to the basics. Use the stop, look and listen approach - just like road the safety mantra you were taught at school.
For the line to go you have to stop the rod. Look at the way the fly line loops. Practice making a big letter "C" loop. Then move on to the tight "J" loops. Remember that what happens in the stroke and the action of the line is up to you.
Try this exercise: With about 30 feet of line, make two or so regular casts. Next, try to bring the end of your leader really close to the tip of your rod without hitting the rod itself. You’ll soon discover that to get really close to the tip with the line, you have to use a short stroke.
Next, listen. You can find out a lot by listening as you cast. Most anglers do the back-cast and don't hear anything but the line itself. But on the forward cast there may be a whooshing sound. That sound tells you there’s a proper stop on the cast. Which means the cast becomes a wave instead of a casting stroke. Without the hard stop the sound you hear is just the rod cutting through the air. It’s a good idea to relax when you are fly fishing, because once you make an acceptable cast you can make the same cast again but with half the effort.