A great fly fishing techniqueCredit: Javrsmith
Roll casting is a precision fly fishing method that is useful on small creeks or on lakes where brush overhangs the water. Often the fish will lie in wait under such cover due to the shade of the vegetation. While these fish may be of any size, many times the biggest fish will nearly always seek this type of natural protection. They are naturally hard to catch so consequently they get much bigger over the years.
An experienced fly fisherman who can roll cast may be the only angler able to take fish from waters well protected by overhanging vegetation. Using their skill, they will be able to execute a precision move which will throw the fly line right along the water surface and under the overhang. This allows the fly to be delivered to the fish which may be enough to entice it to strike.
What is roll casting? It is a fly fishing technique that involves playing the line loop more horizontally when the fly is delivered to the water surface. Perhaps there is a calm pool of water to the edge of a stream which has brush overhanging. Fish may lie in wait in the shaded water. They may not venture out of their protected pool during the day so they won't strike a lure that drifts by. The experienced fisherman should roll cast their fly under the obstacles.
To do this type of cast, anglers throw their line back and forth in the usual manner, allowing for ample clearance ahead and behind them. When sufficient line is played out of the reel, the angler can roll the tip of their rod as the final cast is brought forward. This has the effect of creating a whip in the belly of the fly line. The line plays out over the water but at an angle to the initial casting motion, towards the obstructed fishing pool. The fly travels forward and is turned to the desired direction by the cast. The fly is delivered horizontally toward the target, not downward as in a normal delivery. Depending on the length of the cast, the skill of the fisherman and other factors such as wind, the fly may land with precision right on the water surface above the waiting fish.
The roll casting technique is very effective but is difficult for beginners to master. The action of the fishing rod and the line affect the ability of an angler to perform the method. Ample practice is very much advised. To practice, an angler sets up in a wide open area. A field works well rather than a fishing spot. Set up a small target landing area ahead and to one side of the casting position. Play out the line loop forward and backward. When perhaps 20 to 30 feet of line are in motion, the angler makes a roll cast, turning the end of the rod over during the final move. With luck, the fly will come forward, make the turn toward the target and will land in the correct spot. Practice making the roll cast in each direction.
When fly fishing, the natural conditions will make the roll cast harder to perform than in the practice field. The wind may alter the path of the fly. The fishing area may have less room to work in one direction than in another. Any number of other factors could affect the cast. That is why it's important to get the mechanics of the fly fishing cast as perfect as possible in a practice setting. When fishing, there isn't enough time learn how to cast, at least not if you want to catch a fish.
Roll casting can also be deftly used by an angler even in wide open water. If the fly line is being played out backwards and forwards as usual and a fish should happen to rise off to the side, a quick roll cast can be made to the side. With luck, the right amount of line will deliver the fly to the vicinity of the fish. With increased fly fishing abilities, the experienced angler can find ways to translate a day of casting into a day of fish catching.
The choice of the fishing rod can have a lot to do with the ability of an angler to perform a roll cast. This is especially true for beginning fly fishermen. A rod that is too stiff will not have the flexibility to deliver a precision roll cast. Balance is important as well. RST Fishing produces carbon fiber composite rods that excel at roll casting. They make all fishermen better casters, especially beginners. Their top quality fly rods in the Skeena Series are designed to maximize flexibility. The method of construction used also ensures that the rods are light and strong. When the combination of the excellent gear and an experienced fisherman come together to catch a fish, the great fishing action delivered by the Skeena Series fly rod is unbelievable.
With a little practice, and the right fly fishing equipment, the dedicated angler can improve their fishing experience by learning the roll casting method. This will help to turn secret fish hiding pools into angling opportunities. Luckily this fly fishing method can be mastered with practice, as described, during spare time in the backyard or in a nearby field. The time spent learning will translate into more effective time on the water. As well, the roll cast will open up those pools that are generally unfished by beginners.
Fly fishing is one of the most beautiful angling methods. It can be done from shore, while wading or using a boat. There is an art to the method which allows the angler to become fully engaged in the whole process, from preparing the line to casting to catching a fish. Even the playing of a fish into the net is artful when fly fishing. The fly rod is very flexible allowing for maximum fish action to be felt by the angler. Artificial flies are usually used, many of which are specific to particular waters or areas. In short, it is perhaps the purest form of fishing practiced by anglers today.