I like to start each trip with a few minutes on the lawn going over a few basic’s of casting a fly line.
You cannot actually “cast” a fly line,in the same way as you cannot throw a piece of string (thanks James for that analogy), but you can pull a piece of string.
Fly casting is all about moving the rod tip in a straight line ,starting slow and accelerating to a stop.This action of pulling the line and then stopping produces a loop as the top leg of line overtakes the lower section that is connected to the rod tip.
The purpose of doing so is to produce a deep bend in the flyrod and on the delivery cast all that stored energy (load) pulls the fly line forward (or backwards) towards the intended target to unroll straight ahead.
Well something like that anyway . It looks cool, will cast the line along way and takes very little effort when it all goes smoothly!
There are a few basic exercises that get the fly line moving and help develop good timing. Vic had many years of trout fishing experience but had never mastered the double haul so we took a bit of time and soon he was doing a pull /follow on his forward cast and a ,pull /follow on his back cast.
Before we had even left Matiatia bay Kahawai were seen busting anchovies around the shallows. Following the guides rule of “never leave fish to find fish” , Vic started throwing some superb long and effortless casts. He had mastered a new skill and then applied just enough power to let the advanced technology of the Sage fly rods do all the work.
With a few Kahawai to the boat that were smashing the erratic strip and pause of a small crease fly on the surface we pulled ourselves away from the action to see what else was on offer. The kingfish continued to be fussy and once again failed to hit some well placed casts in the explosive style they normally do. The channel marker kings were on the way to a shallow flat and I was keen to show Vic some big fish in shallow water.
Just on Cue we started to see kingfish moving across the flat , Vic continued to cast smooth under pressure and he followed my instructions of casting well ahead and then slow stripping the fly. Not expecting a subtle eat from such big fish Vic twice turned to me to say “I think i just felt a bite”. These fish were mouthing small flounder and to feel any pressure on the line meant the fly was in the fishes mouth, a sharp strip strike was required to set the hook, perhaps I had not explained that bit well enough!
In no way disappointed with the opportunity to tangle with such fish in shallow water I let him know that these particular fish have been very hard to catch and getting two eats was pretty good going!
With the tide well out we passed the channel markers again and a few casts were made in the hope the mood had changed. A sinking line produced a hook up but then the hook was thrown, another cast with a surface fly was hit by a big fish that produced a broken hook. Our luck was not with us despite Vic getting the eats and casting well.
As we came back into Matiatia bay Kahawai were still busting anchovies and we worked hard for a final fish to conclude an excellent day.