How to Do the Fly Fishing Technique: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

Table of contents:

How to Do the Fly Fishing Technique: 11 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Do the Fly Fishing Technique: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

Mastering fly fishing techniques, said to be one of the most difficult of all fishing techniques, can take a long time. But as with all difficult things, you will be very satisfied if you manage to do it. This guide will help you perform the basic forward cast technique, and the more difficult roll cast technique.


Method 1 of 2: Performing the Basic Forward Cast Technique

Cast a Fly Fishing Rod Step 1
Cast a Fly Fishing Rod Step 1

Step 1. Prepare your fly fishing rod

This rod is much more flexible than ordinary rods. A fly fishing rod won't eject properly if you don't feel the sensation when the rod bends and straightens back in your hand. This thing called “feeling the charge of the rod” is sometimes difficult for beginners to understand. To understand it, suppose your rod is "charged" with a certain amount of potential energy through the twisting of the rod and the weight of the fly fishing string.

  • Stretch some of the string from the end of the rod. Fly fishing strings are thicker and heavier than monofilament strings, because they are equipped with a plastic sheath so they can float on the surface of the water. The longer the string, the greater the charge. This is very similar to the length of a whip that determines its potential energy charge.
  • If done correctly, the combination of the torque of the throw and the twist of the rod will launch the strings into the air, bringing with them the fly. Thus, the strings cannot be ejected without the proper stretching length.
  • The length of the string is affected by the length of the rod and other factors such as weight. Check with the fishing rod manufacturer or fly fishing technician to find out the correct line length for your specific set of rods. The basic principle that is commonly used is to stretch the string approximately three times the length of the rod.
Cast a Fly Fishing Rod Step 2
Cast a Fly Fishing Rod Step 2

Step 2. Hold the rod like a handshake

Position your thumb straight up while the other four fingers grip the rod. Don't grip too tightly. Throws require fluid movement, so use a firm but relaxed grip like holding a golf club.

Make sure that the base of the rod under your wrist is level. This will help you get into the correct throwing posture

Cast a Fly Fishing Rod Step 3
Cast a Fly Fishing Rod Step 3

Step 3. Throw the rod back

Extend the fly fishing string in front of you and then throw it backwards. Everyone has a favorite throwing style, it can be sideways at waist level, forming a 45 degree angle, or perpendicular to the top of the head. Each throw style has its own function. Just use the throwing style you're most comfortable with while practicing.

  • Wrist should remain firm and elbow pressed to the side of stomach. Make sure the throwing motion from front to back is a straight line.
  • Swing the rod back at 10 o'clock and bend your elbows.
Cast a Fly Fishing Rod Step 4
Cast a Fly Fishing Rod Step 4

Step 4. Pause for a moment when the fly fishing string starts to air

If the string has left the ground/water, pause your pitch. This gives the momentum of your movement to be channeled all the way to the strings.

The length of the line and the payload of the rod will determine how long you have to stop before you start throwing the rod forward. The ideal pause is until almost all of the strings are pulled back and the leader is almost completely stretched as you throw the rod forward

Cast a Fly Fishing Rod Step 5
Cast a Fly Fishing Rod Step 5

Step 5. Start throwing the rod forward straight towards the target point on the surface of the water

Your movements should be relaxed but fast. Remember, you are channeling the energy of your swing into the strings.

Just like swinging the rod backwards, make sure the rod swings forward form a straight line. Otherwise, the strings and fly deviate from the point of destination

Cast a Fly Fishing Rod Step 6
Cast a Fly Fishing Rod Step 6

Step 6. Stop the swing suddenly with the end of the rod slightly facing up

The strings do transmit the momentum of your movement, but the upward-facing fishing rod keeps the strings going the distance and not landing too close.

  • You'll feel the rod "unload," again, keeping your wrist straight.
  • While the string is flying to the point of destination, lower your thumb position about 2.5 cm.
  • Keep your hands in position and allow the strings to stretch out on their own.

Method 2 of 2: Performing the Roll Cast Technique

Cast a Fly Fishing Rod Step 7
Cast a Fly Fishing Rod Step 7

Step 1. Use the roll cast technique if there is not enough space for the back cast technique

Sometimes trees, bushes, or other obstacles will make it difficult for you to do the back cast technique. Use the roll cast technique in these situations.

The roll cast technique brings the strings and fly closer to your body. It's a good idea to wear ribbed glasses and a hat when practicing this technique

Cast a Fly Fishing Rod Step 8
Cast a Fly Fishing Rod Step 8

Step 2. Hold the rod in front of you

Use a firm but relaxed grip with your thumb straight in front of you as in the forward cast technique. Make sure your strings don't get tangled.

Cast a Fly Fishing Rod Step 9
Cast a Fly Fishing Rod Step 9

Step 3. Pull the end of the rod back so that a small part of the string hangs loosely behind the thrower's shoulder

The rest of the string is still on the surface of the water or the ground in front of you.

This is just a stance position before starting the roll cast technique, so it can be done slowly

Cast a Fly Fishing Rod Step 10
Cast a Fly Fishing Rod Step 10

Step 4. Swing the rod like doing a forward cast technique

This movement should be started slowly but gradually accelerated. A slow starting motion can keep your swing straight.

Unlike the back cast technique, fly fishing strings will roll loose in front of you when the tippet and fly are carried away by the momentum of the throw

Cast a Fly Fishing Rod Step 11
Cast a Fly Fishing Rod Step 11

Step 5. Stop the swing suddenly with the tip of the rod slightly facing up

This position gives the strings more room and distance to wind up.

Swinging too forward causes the string to hit the ground or water before it rolls off, causing it to land too quickly


  • When doing a throw, do not swing the rod too far back or forward. Imagine watching yourself do a throw from the side and compare it to the clockwise position. The swing line of the rod when viewed from the side must be in the form of an arc connecting the 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock positions of the hands.
  • Before doing fly fishing, check the rod and make sure the guide rings are aligned. The guide ring is the small loop on the rod through which the string passes.
  • The thin end of the leader is called the tippet. There are various knots to tie the leader and tippet together, such as the improved clinch knot, the arbor knot, and the albright knot. When installing a new fly, the tippets get shorter and shorter, so always keep an extra tippet in your fishing tackle box.
  • To familiarize yourself with the throwing technique, do a "pseudo throw" that is, immediately do a back cast technique before the fly lands. Pseudo throws can also be used to dry flies.
  • Set the goal point at a distance of nine and eighteen meters and then try to hit that point. This is an ideal training method for learning throwing techniques of different lengths of string.
  • Point your thumb towards the target point. The end of the rod goes where your thumb is pointing, and the string goes where the rod is pointing.


  • Look back before doing the throw technique.
  • The movement of fly fishing strings is very unpredictable, so it is highly recommended to wear a hat and eye protection when learning the basics of fly fishing throws.

Things You'll Need

  • Range of fishing gear for fly-fishing, including rod, fly line, reel, leader and fly.
  • Extra tip.
  • Ribbon goggles and hat for safety.
  • The field is open to practice.

Popular by topic