Improve Your Fly Fishing Casting Skills

Fly fishing casting tips, and an illustrated guide to help you get started.

While I have witnessed some of the worst casters land remarkable fish, being a good caster will definitely up your chances at having more success.
The most common problems beginners struggle with is line speed, distance and leader turnover. Being able to single haul will improve all three of these issues. It’s a simple skill every fly caster should have.

The single haul is easiest to learn with a short belly line. Use the practice techniques below to go between your front and back cast. If executed properly, you will gain line speed and distance, and your fly will turn over.
• Before you make your first cast, be sure the thickest part (belly) of your fly line is through the tip of the rod and straightened out in front of you. This allows use of the entire weight of the line.
• Start your back cast and move your rod hand and your line hand back at the same time.
• stop the rod at around 1 o’clock, and let the line straighten out in the back.
• As you begin your forward cast with your rod hand, haul line with your line hand and then let it shoot. If executed properly your line will shoot, and you will have no slack line.

1) Start with both hands staying together your backcast

fly fishing casting step 1

2) Keep your hands together

fly fishing casting step 2

3) Stop your rod and line hand together at 1 o’clock

fly fishing casting step 3

4) Start your forward cast with the rod hand and start hauling line with your line hand at the same time

fly fishing casting step 4

5) Keep moving your rod hand in your forward cast and keep pulling the line with your line hand

fly fishing casting step 5

6) When the tip of the rod reaches 10 o’clock, let the line go

fly fishing casting step 6

Be patient. This takes time and practice to get the timing right. Keep in mind that fly fishing casting in the grass is never the same as being on the water. Wind and waves mixed with big flies and excitement can make professionals become amateurs on the boat.

Capt. Michael Mauri is owner operator of Mauri Flyfishing School & Adventures located in Stuart, Fla. To learn more, visit

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