Question: I have a problem casting big, heavy flies. I get lots of tailing loops and wind knots, and I worry about getting hit by the weighted projectile every time it comes by my head. What’s the secret?
Answer: Heavy flies present casters with several troubling problems. We are all taught that good casting means throwing nice, tight loops and that high line speed makes for longer, more accurate casts. When there’s a lot of weight at the end of the line, however, you need to rethink these rules.
If you throw tight, fast loops with a lot of weight at the end of the line, the results are shocking…literally. At the end of every forward- and back cast the heavy fly acts like a running dog hitting the end of its leash, bouncing backward. This sends shock waves down the line to the rod and screws everything up.
When the fly bounces back at the end of your back cast, for instance, it introduces slack into your leader, which keeps you from achieving smooth acceleration. This often results in tailing loops that cause knots and rob you of accuracy.