Wye cast fly fishing

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If you want to change the direction of your next cast from where you have been casting, as you often do in all fishing, you use the famous, old English Wye cast, or a modification of it. Most fishermen never take the trouble to learn the right way to do this fly casting technique; but there are definite advantages to this right method, so why not learn to do it the proper way? Here’s how:

Suppose you are casting down-stream and want to make your next cast across-stream at a right-angle to the left. Make your pick-up and back cast just as if you were still going to cast your fly straight down-stream.

This brings the line, leader and fly off the water in a normal manner, straight in line with the way you have been casting, with none of the disturbing side-slash that comes from a side-wise or curving pick-up of the line from the water.

When your rod is at the end of the back cast, turn both your body and feet at a right angle to the left, leaving your rod and arm stationary in the old plane in which you have been casting. Then move your arm and rod around (in an accelerating motion) at the same level, keeping the rod pointed upward at the same angle, until your arm and rod are facing in the new direction—across stream and at a right-angle to where you were formerly casting.

At the end of this turning movement your casting hand will be on a line between your eye and the place you want the fly to light.

From this point, you now make a normal forward cast. This can be either a false cast or a delivery cast in the new direction.

These three movements—the back cast in the old direction, the turning movement of the body and feet, and the horizontal side-wise swing of arm and rod to the new direction—should be first practiced separately, then blended into a smooth and perfect sequence.

When you have mastered this fly casting technique, and made this sequence a habit, you can then do the Wye cast by first turning your body and feet to the new direction before picking up your line from the water at all. Then make your pick-up and back cast in the old plane; swing your arm and rod around (in an accelerating motion), at the same level and rod-angle, to face in the new direction; after the required pause for the line to straighten out on the back cast, make the forward cast as usual.

The Wye cast to the right is made in the same way, except that you turn to the right instead of the left.

There are three distinct advantages of this Wye cast technique of changing direction of your cast. First, it is more accurate. Second, the pick-up of your line is quiet and doesn’t disturb the fish. Third, if you are casting downstream close to the right-hand bank, your line won’t foul the bank as it would if you had pulled it around backward in a curve as it left the water.