Tips & Techniques

CASTING STREAMERS by Ryan Buhler

One of the special draws of fly fishing is the cast. Much has been written about the beauty and grace of an angler casting dry flies to rising trout. It’s amazing to watch a skillful caster flicking dries gracefully along the river and then along comes a guy chucking streamers. There is still some grace and beauty involved but it’s like watching someone throw a discus compared to someone running a 400 meter race.  Most of us get introduced to fly fishing through dry fly fishing and the first thing we learn is the standard cast. Over and over we practice and soon we start getting our rhythm down and begin laying out some beautiful casts. Then one day a friend says let’s go chuck some streamers.  When you get on the water he hands you something he calls a Clouser and it feels like it weighs more than the fish you are trying to catch. You don’t want to seem like you don’t know what to do, so you tie it on your leader. You think to yourself I’ve got this as you let out line and start to false cast and then release the line for your first cast. Then something happens that has never happened when casting you dry flies. That big Clouser smacks you in the back of the head, or worse hit the tip of your rod. After your friend stops laughing he comes over and offers some tips on casting streamers. When you cast streamers there is still some beauty and grace involved it’s just on steroids. Forget about being dainty and delicate it’s time to be direct and forceful. The main thing we learn with dries is a tight loop. With streamers you want to open up that loop and change your stroke so it’s more of an oval on the back cast. Instead of a straight back cast move your arm out and make an oval back cast. Apply a strong wrist snap or power snap on your back cast. With streamers you’re casting more weight so you have to be a little more forceful with your stroke and you have to slow down and wait for your rod to load properly. Apply more power on the forward wrist snap also. This is a great time to learn the double haul. If you can hire a quality casting instructor it’s well worth the money. With a few adjustments to your casting stroke, chucking streamers can be just as graceful as casting dries, well almost.

Go out and practice!

Ryan