Most anglers understand that the difference between a short cast and a long cast can be crucial when trying to attract trout. However, there are also many instances where a straight cast will not do you much good either and thus you need to understand how to curve your line to the right or left depending on wind, obstacles, and natural curves in the waters you are fishing.
If you master the art of curving your line you can cast around logs and rocks and even add slack to your line so you can float drag-free through the water. While it does take practice, it is an art that can seriously increase your catch rate.
One of the first notes to jot down is that your line will not necessarily head in the direction where your rod is pointed at the end of a cast. In fact, the line will continue heading in the direction where the tip is moving when the rod ends up straightening after it is loaded or bent. All the energy has been moved onto the line as it unrolls in the direction that the rod tip was moving. An overanxious cast or extra strong flick may affect the line but will not change its direction, which is incredibly important if you want to have more control.
With that said, let’s get started on learning how to throw curving casts when fly fishing for trout.
The easiest curved cast to throw will travel in one plane of motion. Essentially all you do is make a side arm cast with the rod traveling parallel to the water. The only real difference is that you put extra strength into the cast and then bring it to an abrupt stop. The line will shoot out straight ahead and then start turning to the left. After some practice and altering you can begin adjusting the curve over a number of varying distances.
The left turning cast is often noted as a positive curve while a curved cast to the right is called a negative curve.
If you want to make a curved cast to the right then you need to make the same style of cast across your body but this time bring the rod to your left hand side or even cast with your left hand. Even if you have a tough time casting with your left hand it will be easier over time, especially if you are making a short cast.
If you need to make a cast in a vertical position, which happens if you are in a confined space, you may find it more difficult but you will be able to utilize accurate and sharp turns on your cast. You already understand that you need to keep the tiptop of the rod traveling in a curve, but for a hook cast you need to make a sharp turn before straightening out.
In reality, rods only have the ability to straighten so you need to load your cast in a curve. If you want the line to spin out to the left then you should place your thumb behind the grip and finish your stroking cast with a short, sharp spin of your hand before you stop. Try to copy the motion of turning a screw driver or cranking a wrench. The shorter and sharper the spin, the better the rod will twist, recoil, and curve the cast.
On the other hand, if you want to cast out a right hand curve then your best bet is to make a cast with the rod placed over your opposite shoulder. When you are casting forward and your arm is in front of you, turn your hand to the right while keeping the rod tip high. Your hand will not turn as easily this way which is why you want to begin on the opposite shoulder in order to access more range of motion.
The best way to master curving your casts is to practice as much as possible. Once you have proven that you can curve the line, try laying objects on the ground and try to cast around them, either to the right or the left. Or better yet, lay out some line in a curved motion on the ground and try to match it perfectly with your cast. If you can put time into these practice activities then you will be able to develop consistently, become a more versatile angler, and increase your catch rate.