Tuesday Tip: How to Make Delicate Presentations


Written by: Phil Monahan

[Editor's Note: The Hendricksons have started popping on the Battenkill, so it's the perfect time to revisit this excellent lesson on good presentation from Pete Kutzer.]

Welcome to our ninth installment of “Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor,” in which we answer readers’ questions about their biggest fly-casting problems. A few weeks ago, reader “Steve” wrote,

Thanks for the great tips. My problem is with presentation. Usually my flies land with a splat. What would help achieve a more delicate presentation?

In this lesson, Peter shows how the secret to a delicate presentation is in controlling the rod tip. If you drop the rod tip too early on the presentation cast, the fly line doesn’t roll out completely and instead “crashes” to the surface. Instead, the rod tip should stop at or around eye level to let the loop roll out. Only then should you lower the rod tip. Tell yourself, “Stop, then drop,” and you should get a better presentation.

You can run into a similar “splatting” problem if your casting stroke is angled downward toward the water. By keeping the line moving more horizontally, you give the line time to roll out above the water’s surface, which lets the fly flutter downward more gently. Once you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to put Pete’s lessons to work by practicing on your own lawn.

If you’ve got more questions for Peter, post them below, and we’ll address each casting problem in a new video. 

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

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