It’s true that one of the most important parts of your angling on the water will be your fly fishing casting. Some have a problem doing this casting since it’s so different from casting for typical fishing, but it is really not that tough to master if you consider a few simple tricks and tips.
First bear in mind why it is that fly fishing casting is really so different. When you are fishing with a typical rod and reel, the hook and bait are usually weighted and also you would like them to sink into the water where the fish are. Usually a cast means putting the line out as far from your boat as possible. If you cast a typical fishing line the hook and bait pull the line behind them. With fly fishing casting the fly weighs almost nothing and the line itself is heavy. This means that when you cast the line pulls the fly, not the other way around. The casting will send the line out first and the fly behind it. Your cast is a lot like making a long garden hose roll if you snap the front of it. That momentum makes the entire line roll out after it.
A gentle touch is therefore needed with fly fishing casting. Your purpose is not to get the bait into the water far from your boat but to simply drop the fly gently onto the water, typically some ten to twenty feet away from you. If you do not have a gentle touch when fly fishing casting your line is likely to smack the water which will startle the fish and result in the fly to flit through the water too quickly, or to sink when it shouldn’t. This might be why a lot of experienced anglers have such a hard time with fly fishing casting – they’re used to putting some muscle in their regular casting to get their line out as far as it will go and then have to tone down this effort a bit when fly fishing.
To improve upon your fly fishing casting, practice in your yard with some yarn at the end of your line. Pretend that you’re standing in the middle of a clock with a 1:00 behind you and 11:00 before you. Gently cast back and forth, from 1:00 to 11:00, again and again until you get the hang for the cast. Aim for some ten or twenty feet in front of you and keep practicing until such time as you realize how gentle you have to be to be able to hit your target. Just as a golfer might practice their swing over and over, practice your fly fishing casting over and over until you’re certain of yourself. When you overextend and overshoot your target, close up your cast a bit. Remember that the pole doesn’t come all of the way behind you but just those few feet, to and fro. Don’t over-think it but be gentle and deliberate and you’re sure to get the hang from it!