To catch more fish, rein in your casts and keep things simple
THE CASE FOR SHORT CASTS
The advantages of making shorter casts cover the flip side of everything that’s wrong with long casts. To begin with, you can put a fly in high-percentage spots more often and more accurately, and keep it there longer. Fishing a short line also reduces drag, and improves your ability to detect bites and set the hook.
When you’re deciding how to fish a piece of water, in fact, your goal should be to position yourself to make the shortest cast possible. Moving in closer allows you to better spot fish-holding lies, patterns in the current and other important subtleties. All of this leads to more high-quality casts, which almost always equal more fish on the line. So, the next time you see someone lofting those elegant 60-footers, remember this: being a good caster is not the same as being a good angler.
BONUS TIP: EXCESSIVE FORCE
The long-cast problem is compounded by fly tackle companies, which don’t do anglers any favours by promoting new rods and lines as being more powerful than ever. Power and distance are sexy, and pretty helpful with a tarpon or Atlantic salmon rod, but they serve little purpose with most trout or bass gear.