How to Fly Fish: The Basic Back Cast


Written by: Phil Monahan

In the last installment of “Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor,” we dealt with the “ready position” and casting from the bow of a boat. In this week’s video, we’ll deal with something much more basic: Making a good backcast. For some anglers, the backcast is somewhat of a mystery, since it happens behind the caster. You’ll often hear casters talking about how they “feel” the backcast, but it also helps if you can actually see what’s going on.

The backcast is the foundation for a good forward cast, so it’s worth paying attention to how the loop rolls out. I see casters making a couple of errors on the back cast: making a flick that directs the line downward or describing a horizontal arc with the rod tip. The first creates too much slack to make a solid forward cast. The second make accuracy more difficult.

Once you’ve got the correct motion and acceleration down, you can also practice making a high backcast for those situations in which you need to avoid and obstacle behind you.

Previous episodes:

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor I: Casting Heavy Flies in the Wind

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor II: Roll-Casting for Accuracy & Distance

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor III: Casting in the Wind

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor IV: Casting Accuracy

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor V: The Curve Cast

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor VI: Casting Angles

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor VII: How to Double Haul

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor VIII: Fixing Tailing Loops

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor IX: How to Make Delicate Presentations

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor X: The Steeple Cast

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor XI: How to Avoid Hitting Your Rod with Your Fly

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor XII: Don’t be a Creep

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor XIII: Parachute and Pile Casts

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor XIV: How to Make a Reach Cast

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor XV: How to Make a Tuck Cast

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor XVI: How to Make an Aerial Mend

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor XVII: How to Make Roll and Switch Casts with a Two-Handed Rod

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor XVIII: The Basic Cast

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor XIX: The Bow & Arrow Cast

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor XIX: The Basic Cast

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor XX: The “Ready Position” and Fishing from a Boat

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4 thoughts on “How to Fly Fish: The Basic Back Cast

  1. Pingback: Video Tuesday Tip: How to Cast in Heavy Wind | Orvis News

  2. Pingback: Video Pro Tip: How to Shoot Line at the End of a Cast | Orvis News

  3. Pingback: Classic Tuesday Tip: How to Avoid Hitting Your Rod with Your Fly | Orvis News

  4. Pingback: Tuesday Video Tip: How to Make a Tuck Cast | Orvis News

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