Welcome to The Bonefish Flat

There's a stiff wind in your face as you squint in the sun trying to see what the guide sees. "Bonefish at 12 o'clock about 90 feet, do you see it, mon?" You don't and keep squinting, your hat pulled low to keep the sun out of your eyes. "Bonefish at 11 o'clock 70 feet out. Come on man, do you see it?" As the guide is calmly shifting the skiff into position, this time you spot the fish, "I got, it," you reply.

"OK, Mon, Bonefish 50 feet at 10 o'clock. Cast when you're ready."

Cast when you're ready. And with that you drop your fly, roll out a cast, false cast once, and then...

Welcome to the bonefish flat.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Saltwater Casting Practice: The Slack Line Enemy

On Saturday I had a chance to get out and shake the rust off the casting arm. I was casting my 9 weight rod.

I practice by taking a tape measure and putting a straight line of tape out to about 90 feet. Then I setup cones at varying distances just off the tape. I usually start by making several casts to 50 feet. Then I'll switch to 60 feet. These are the two distances that I find you use most in saltwater fly fishing. After that, I start trying to throw to 80 feet.

This will last a little while and then I'll just try to go for long distance and see what I can do. I hit 100 feet once, which is pretty good for me.

The thing to remember in saltwater fly casting is that slackline is the absolute enemy. You want the line to be perfectly straight to the target. The leader should lay out in a straight line. Any slack line, I.E. a curve in your line, will have to be taken up in the form of a line strip once your fly is in the water. In many cases, if you have slack, this will give the fish enough time to eat the fly, figure out its not really food, and then spit out your fly all before you've had a chance to even feel the fish.

Notice the fly line running running left of the tape measure is in a straight line.

Remember, this ain't a dry fly. The angler must be tight to the fly in order to set the hook.

When you practice, keep the slack out of the cast. Slack line is the enemy.

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