Tom: Now let's get some solid tips on making slack line casts from a fly
casting expert, Pete Kutzer of the Orvis Fly Fishing Schools.
Pete: So when we're casting, we have to get that dry fly to drift as
naturally as possible, and that's a dead drift presentation or a
natural presentation. There's a series of different casts we can
do, and these are called slack line casts. They all have a lot
of different names, but don't get confused by it. It's just a
variation of the basic pick up and lay down cast.
The first cast I'm going to show you is a cast that some people
call the pile cast, some people call a parachute cast. But it's
a great cast when you're trying to make a downstream
presentation. You want that fly to drift nice and naturally down
to those fish below you. To do this parachute cast or pile cast,
it's basically just a pick up and lay down cast with a high
You're then going to pull that rod tip down, which is going to
cause that line to come back a little bit and pile up. That's
going to help you get that nice, natural presentation as that
fly drifts down the water. So we send it up, pull it down, and
that gives you a nice downstream presentation. Now that fly will
drift down nice and naturally to those fish.
When you have to present your fly across the river, we have to
put controlled slack in the line either by mending or by a cast
called a reach cast. A reach cast is an aerial mend if you will.
We're bringing that rod to a stop, then sweeping it upstream or
downstream to get that desired controlled slack in our line.
We want that fly to drift down as naturally as possible. When we
do this reach cast, we have to allow a little bit of line to
slide through our hands or slip a little line so we keep our fly
on target and it's very accurate. It's basically just a pick up
and lay down cast with a little reach after that stop.
We're going to take that rod, pick it up and stop, then reach in
a direction. That's going to put an aerial mend in our cast and
get that fly on target to those fish.