How to do the Bow and Arrow Cast: Fly Fishing with Trees Behind You

How to do the Bow and Arrow Cast: Fly Fishing with Trees Behind You

Backcasts don’t work when you’re surrounded by shad-tons of brush and low hanging branches. And, it’s not my idea of a good day when you spend the whole time untangling your line out of trees.

Of course, you can always move to another hole or approach the same water from a different angle.

That’s why it is important to pick your battles.

Approach from a different angle

Sometimes you can get away with a backcast and cast normally by positioning yourself just right within the tunnels of branches. Although, this is a rather risky move.

Better yet, if you can wade into the stream and approach the same hole from a different angle you may be able to cast more comfortably.

Other times you need to work with what you got especially if you stumbled onto an amazing stretch of water. When you get into these tight spots with your back against a bush and your hands weaving in and out of branches, you have to be creative.

The Bow and Arrow Cast

That’s where the Bow-and-Arrow cast works best, in small spaces. It is exactly what it sounds like. You will be pretending that your rod is your bow, the line as your bow string, and the fly as your arrow. Rather than stringing it to your reel, you’ll pull the line back to your cheek and let loose!

Before you do anything, let me break it down for you.

  1. Unspool 1 ½ rod lengths of line
  2. Tightly pinch your line with two fingers a few inches above your fly or at a point, you are securely holding on to
  3. Point your rod where you want to cast
  4. Draw the line back to your shoulder *Mind the fly and avoid slipping or hooking yourself
  5. Make sure to build tension and make the line taut
  6. When you’re ready, let go of your line while gently giving your rod a flick to shoot the line out

For greater distance, make large loops with a few feet of line up near the end of your leader and pinch the loops tightly in your fingers. Then, draw it back and fire.

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