Casting Tune Up
The other day I was at a park and saw a great thing. There was a guy there fly fishing. I wasn't aware that there even were fish in the park pond so it was a little weird. When I got closer I could see that he was actually just practicing. It reminded me that now is a good time to tune up the casting skills.
Here are a few things to remember if it's been a while:
Casting Mechanics: Casting styles vary and that's ok but the basic physics of good casting don't change and that means certain biomechanical things are necessary for good casts. I like to tell people to always keep their elbow lower than their shoulder and tucked in toward their body for a more comfortable casting stroke and less chance of rod tip path issues. Also try not to sway your body back and forth or twist at the waist. Both of these motions are detrimental.
Rod Tip Path: Fly line always goes exactly where the rod tip goes; it just has to. However, the most common thing casters have a problem with is too much arc in the path that their rod tip travels - the wrist bends too much on the back cast and the rod tip and line end up traveling down toward the ground or water behind you. The solution is to really limit wrist rotation so that the tip of the rod travels in a straight path back and forward. Also concentrate on coming to a complete and solid stop after the back cast allowing the line to shoot back just as though you were casting backwards.
Timing: Probably the thing that goes the easiest with experienced casters is timing. Almost always this means rushing the cast. Remember that the line needs time to straighten after the back cast or you just can't load the rod effectively for a good forward cast. A long line generally needs more time to straighten. If you can't fish often then just getting out and practicing good casts with timing in mind is the way to get your timing back.
Get out there and practice for a few minutes even if you can't break away to fish. It will feel good just putting the rod together and when you can get on the water you'll be ready.