Outdoors
It's the holiday season and throughout local valleys and hillsides in Southeast Alaska homes are elegantly garnished with holiday lights that flicker like stars and glow in the night like fiery embers. Around town, shopping malls that were boisterous last week are now peaceful and calm. However, in the homes of sport fishing enthusiasts, there is considerable chatter as the anticipation of holiday gifts has finally come to an end.
How to cast heavy lines with huge flies 123108 OUTDOORS 1 Capital City Weekly It's the holiday season and throughout local valleys and hillsides in Southeast Alaska homes are elegantly garnished with holiday lights that flicker like stars and glow in the night like fiery embers. Around town, shopping malls that were boisterous last week are now peaceful and calm. However, in the homes of sport fishing enthusiasts, there is considerable chatter as the anticipation of holiday gifts has finally come to an end.

Rich Culver Photo

Spring king salt water fly fishing often requires that you become comfortable and proficient casting huge flies, some of which may be up to nine inches long and weigh a whopping 110 grains, in order to entice that lunker, 35-pound hawg. On your forward cast aim high and shoot for the stars and watch as 60 to 80 feet of line rockets out of the end of your rod.


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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Story last updated at 12/31/2008 - 11:45 am

How to cast heavy lines with huge flies

It's the holiday season and throughout local valleys and hillsides in Southeast Alaska homes are elegantly garnished with holiday lights that flicker like stars and glow in the night like fiery embers. Around town, shopping malls that were boisterous last week are now peaceful and calm. However, in the homes of sport fishing enthusiasts, there is considerable chatter as the anticipation of holiday gifts has finally come to an end.

You've just received that special holiday casting machine, a new saltwater fly rod that you've wished for since last spring, one specifically for king salmon. Targeting king salmon in the salt in Southeast Alaska requires that you cast and fish heavy duty sinking lines like lead core shooting heads or similar tungsten coated shooting lines that weigh from 400 to 700 grains.

It also requires that you become comfortable and proficient casting huge flies - some of which may be up to nine inches long and weigh a whopping 110 grains or more - to entice that 35-pound king.

Casting heavy lines with flies that are both heavy and exceptionally large is not only challenging, but also far from fun. Fortunately, there's no need to panic - or seek out a football helmet and extra butt padding for protection and safety - when attempting to cast such formidable tackle.

Here's a quick and easy pointer that I'm confident will assist you (and over time with practice make you a proficient and competent caster) when tossing heavy duty lines with massive flies.

The first thing you'll want to do is take a deep breath and forget about your normal casting stroke and all the notion of a standard 10 o'clock to 2 o'clock casting stroke. Leave this stroke for dry fly fishing and 8-inch cutthroat trout.

Instead, simply load your rod right off the water with one or two smooth, easy casting strokes until the entire shooting head has cleared the end of your rod tip. During this initial water-loading step, it's imperative that you do not let any line out during your back cast. This is critical.

Once the shooting head has

cleared the tip of your rod, and you've lined up your cast with your target, it's time to prepare for your forward delivery. On your final approach, use a simple double haul and make sure you open your casting loop on your back cast.

In addition to opening your loop on your back cast, it's important to do this slowly and deliberately. A slowly executed back cast helps your delivery timing as the line and fly are going to load significantly faster than your 4-weight trout rod with a size 10 Clouser. On your forward cast aim high and shoot for the stars and watch as 60 to 80 feet of line rockets out of the end of your rod.

I'm confident that you'll be amazed at how easy casting heavy lines can be if you follow these technical tips. Some of your casts might be so impressive that you'll even get the fish to stand up and reward you with an applause.

Good luck, and tight lines!


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