Techy Thursday - I Want To Get High

We all do it. Every day on the water we make a cast where the backcast just wasn’t high enough. Flies are lost and tippets are shredded amongst the matagouri. How can we get that backcast that little bit higher? Many simply raise their hand higher in the air and continue to cast, with similar results. While this does elevate your cast you aren’t really raising your casting plane... those bushes will still get ya!

There is an easier way to save flies and send that back cast high and it is as easy as pulling your elbow backwards a few inches.

By keeping your elbow low, and pulling it backwards prior to making the cast, ‘tucking up’ as opposed to casting off an elbow forward position, you are immediately steepening the hand path into the back cast. Your hand now travels upward and backward on a much more severe angle, the rod tip follows, and we all know the line follows the path of the rod tip, right? Stop crisply in an upward direction to launch your loop high and tight.

When striving for a higher backcast don’t forget the 180 degree rule. If you send your backcast high you must keep your forward cast on the same plane, sending it low on a straight line path to avoid the dreaded tailing loop. This can limit casting distance if background obstacles don’t allow you to drift into the backcast. In situations where distance is needed I first consider wether changing my position and delivering a roll cast is a possibility. There is a way around this, shown to me by Mr Sexyloops, Paul Arden around a campfire many moons ago, however that’s a party-trick I reserve for my clients.

Another tip if background foliage is still nipping at your fly is to implement a long, single haul on the backcast to shorten the amount of line being sent behind you. Don’t double haul. You’ll only feed your flies to the trees.

We don’t get to choose where the fish will sit but we can choose to prepare and deal with the situation. Learning to alter your backcast trajectory will result in more fish to the net. Now go practise!