Swinging a fly taught me the basics of fly casting. I learned how to efficiently , effortlessly lift the line off the water without splashing. I watch a lot of beginners ripping the line from the surface. It took me a while to realize that I was working too hard. I learned to slowly lift my rod tip up from the water. As I lifted, the line would begin to slide towards me as it began smoothly breaking free of the surface tension.Up, up my line would lift, and I would continue lifting until only my leader was attached to the surface. It was then that I would gradually excellerate the lift with a short, sudden burst of speed to free the fly, sending it up behind me. The leader is much thinner than the fly line and has less surface stick and created less water pickup, thus less splash.
I learned the importance of timing, that is, how long I wait for the line to straighten out on it’s journey befor moving the rod in the opposite direction…less time for a short cast, and wait longer for a longer cast. I learned how to adjust the amount of energy required to send the cast with speed sufficient to maintain a specific path behind or in front of me. I lost flies. Lots of them because I did not pay attention to the path of the loop. I sent a$1.75 plus tax to dangle out of reach in a bush or tree one to many times. You don’t just cast backward and forwards. There is a back cast. There is a forward cast. Send each cast to one point in the air on this planet. You must think, ware does this fly need to go to stay out of trouble ? Ware does the back cast need to go to line up the forward presentation cast to the fish? If you want the fly to travel forward on a downward angle towards the waters’ surface, than you dam well better first send your back cast up! You can’t go down if you are not up. Remember. The fly line goes in the direction of the moving rod tip. There is a pause between cast. You get to rest while waiting for the loop to straighten. this doesn’t mean you go to sleep. Fly fishing is an active sport, it requires strategy while leaving room for spontaneity.