Home Freshwater Water FishingFly Casting Everything You Need to Know About Fly Casting From a Boat – Fly Casting

Everything You Need to Know About Fly Casting From a Boat – Fly Casting

by Angling Rod

In “Everything You Need to Know About Fly Casting From a Boat – Fly Casting,” Josh Trammell and Brian Flechsig from Mad River Outfitters and the Ohio Fly Fishing Guides provide valuable information on fly casting from a boat. They discuss the importance of the backhanded cast when casting towards the right side of the river from a boat, as well as the roll cast pickup technique for fishing with streamers or sink tips. They also emphasize the need to maintain a straight line path with the rod tip, regardless of the type of cast. Additionally, the video encourages viewers to subscribe to the channel for more fly casting tips and provides contact information for Mad River Outfitters.

The video provides useful tips and techniques for fly casting from a boat, with insights from experienced guides and fly fishermen. It covers topics such as backhanded casting, roll cast pickup, maintaining a straight line path, and angling the cast downstream for better presentation. Viewers can contact Mad River Outfitters for any questions or inquiries and are encouraged to subscribe to the channel for more fishing tips.

Understanding the Basics of Fly Casting

Defining Fly Casting

Fly casting is a technique used in fly fishing to deliver an artificial fly to a specific target area. Unlike traditional fishing techniques that rely on the weight of the lure to cast the line, fly casting uses the weight of the fly line to cast the fly. This allows for more precise and delicate presentations of the fly, making it an effective method for catching various types of fish.

Importance of Mastering Fly Casting for a Successful Angling Experience

Mastering fly casting is crucial for a successful angling experience for several reasons. First, proper casting technique allows for accurate and controlled placement of the fly, increasing the chances of enticing fish to bite. Second, it helps to minimize drag, which occurs when the current pulls the line and fly in different directions, making the presentation less realistic. Lastly, effective fly casting reduces the risk of line tangles and other casting mistakes that can result in lost fish or frustration on the water.

Choosing the Right Equipment for Boat Fly Casting

Importance of Choosing the Right Fly Rod

When it comes to boat fly casting, selecting the right fly rod is essential. A rod that suits your fishing style, target species, and fishing conditions will greatly enhance your casting performance. Generally, a fast- to medium-action rod with a length between 8 and 9 feet is recommended for most boat fishing situations. This length provides enough control and leverage for accurate casting without sacrificing maneuverability in a confined space.

How to Select Suitable Fly Line

Choosing the appropriate fly line is just as important as selecting the right fly rod. The type of fly line you use will depend on the fishing conditions and the type of flies you intend to cast. For boat fly casting, a weight-forward floating line is commonly used. This line design offers versatility and allows for ease of casting in various situations. However, if you plan to fish in deeper waters or encounter fast currents, you may consider using sinking or sinking-tip lines to reach the desired depth.

Selecting the Ideal Leader and Tippet

To complete your tackle setup, it is crucial to choose the proper leader and tippet. The leader attaches to the end of the fly line and tapers down to a thinner tippet, which connects to the fly. Leaders come in different lengths and material strengths, typically ranging from 7.5 to 12 feet. For boat fly casting, a leader between 9 and 12 feet is commonly used, as it provides enough length for accurate presentations. The tippet’s diameter should match the size of the fly and the fish species you are targeting.

Fundamental Boat Fly Casting Techniques

Understanding the 90-Degree Stroke

The 90-degree stroke is a fundamental cast that forms the basis of most casting techniques used in boat fly casting. This stroke involves an imaginary line extending from the angler’s shoulder to the target area. By using a controlled and smooth motion, the angler should aim to cast the fly line perpendicular to this line, creating a straight-line path for the cast. This technique allows for accurate and efficient casting, reducing the risk of tangles and improving presentation.

The Importance of Maintaining a Straight Line Path

Maintaining a straight line path is crucial for successful boat fly casting. This means that the path the fly line takes during the cast should be as straight as possible, minimizing unnecessary movements and reducing the risk of drag. Keeping the rod tip on a consistent plane and using smooth acceleration and deceleration in the cast will help achieve a straight line path. Practicing this technique will lead to more accurate and efficient casting.

How to Master the Backhanded Cast

The backhanded cast is a valuable casting technique in boat fly fishing, especially when casting towards the right side of the river from a boat. To execute a backhanded cast, the angler should turn around and change their trajectory and where they lay the line down. Instead of casting over the boat, which can be dangerous, the backhanded cast allows for a safer and more accurate presentation. By pulling towards the target and maintaining a 90-degree stroke, the angler can effectively cast on their non-dominant side.

Application of the Roll Cast Pickup

The roll cast pickup is a useful technique in boat fly casting, particularly when fishing with streamers or sink tips. This cast allows the angler to pick up the line from the water and quickly start the next cast without false casting. To execute the roll cast pickup, the angler should roll the line towards the target, lifting it off the water in a smooth motion. This technique saves time, reduces false casting, and enables faster presentations to actively feeding fish.

Casting Positioning Tips

Casting Towards the Right Side of the River from the Boat

When casting towards the right side of the river from a boat, it is essential to position yourself correctly for efficient and accurate casting. To do this, turn yourself around in the boat and make a backhanded cast. This technique allows you to cast towards your intended target without risking casting over the boat or endangering yourself or others on the boat. By mastering the backhanded cast, you can effectively cover the right side of the river from the boat.

Changing Your Trajectory and Where to Lay the Line Down

When casting towards the right side of the river from a boat, it is crucial to adjust your trajectory and where you lay the line down. Instead of casting over the boat, which can be dangerous and result in tangles, simply turn your body and change your direction of casting. By doing this, you can safely cast towards your target area without risking injury or disrupting the fishing experience for others on the boat.

Keeping the Fly Cast at a Lower Height

To effectively cast under structures like trees when fly fishing from a boat, it is essential to keep your cast at a lower height. Imagine spreading butter on a slice of bread – the motion should be smooth and close to the water’s surface. By keeping the cast low, you can avoid getting caught in overhanging branches or other obstacles that may disrupt your presentation. This technique is particularly useful for boat fly casting in areas with abundant vegetation or low-hanging branches.

Effective Casting under Difficult Conditions

Everything You Need to Know About Fly Casting From a Boat - Fly Casting

Casting Under Structures Like Trees

Casting under structures like trees can be challenging, but with the right technique, it can be done effectively. When faced with limited overhead clearance, it is essential to adjust your casting stroke accordingly. Shortening the stroke and employing a more vertical casting angle can help prevent the fly line and fly from getting tangled in the branches. Precision and accuracy are crucial when casting under structures, as even the slightest error can result in lost flies and missed opportunities.

How to Angle the Cast Downstream

Angling the cast downstream is a valuable technique in boat fly fishing, particularly in conditions with low, clear water and spooky fish. By angling the cast downstream, you can present the fly in a more natural and realistic manner, as it mimics the natural flow of the current. This technique increases the chances of enticing fish to bite and helps to minimize drag. Angling the cast downstream also improves the hook set, as it allows for better line control and keeps the fly in the fish’s feeding zone for a longer period.

Fishing in Conditions with Low, Clear Water and Spooky Fish

Fishing in conditions with low, clear water and spooky fish requires finesse and careful presentation techniques. In such conditions, fish are more cautious and easily frightened by loud noises or sudden movements. To increase your chances of success, it is crucial to make longer casts, approach the fishing area slowly and quietly, and use smaller and more realistic fly patterns. Additionally, adjusting the size and color of the tippet to match the fishing conditions can also make a significant difference in getting a bite from these spooky fish.

Maintaining Safety during Boat Fly Casting

Importance of Keeping the Line Away from Your Feet

When fly casting from a boat, it is essential to keep the fly line away from your feet for safety reasons. The fly line contains a weighted fly and a sharp hook, which can cause injury if it accidentally hooks into your skin. To prevent this, always be aware of the position of the fly line and ensure that you do not step on it or allow it to become entangled around your legs. By maintaining distance between the fly line and your feet, you can reduce the risk of accidents and enjoy a safer angling experience.

The Need to Plant Your Feet to Avoid Tangles

To avoid tangles and maintain proper casting mechanics, it is important to plant your feet firmly on the boat when fly casting. This stable base allows for better weight transfer and control during the casting stroke. By planting your feet, you can maintain balance and prevent unnecessary movements that may lead to tangled lines or casting errors. Remember to position yourself in a way that ensures a clear backcast and enough room to execute your casting stroke effectively.

Other Safety Considerations to Bear in Mind

Apart from keeping the fly line away from your feet and planting your feet for stability, there are other safety considerations to bear in mind when fly casting from a boat. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and avoid casting near other anglers or obstacles. Pay attention to the position of your fishing partners and communicate with them to ensure safety and prevent accidents. Additionally, always handle fly hooks with caution and use proper techniques when removing hooks from fish or other surfaces to avoid injury.

Common Mistakes and Misconceptions about Boat Fly Casting

Addressing the ’90-Minute Stroke’ Mistake

In the video, a mistake is made where Brian mistakenly says “90-minute stroke” instead of “90-degree stroke” when discussing casting techniques. It’s important to note that the correct term is “90-degree stroke,” which refers to the angle at which the fly rod is tilted during the casting motion. The 90-degree stroke is a fundamental aspect of fly casting and helps create a straight line path for the fly line. It is essential to use the correct terminology to avoid confusion and ensure proper understanding of casting techniques.

Other Common Mistakes in Fly Casting

Apart from the aforementioned mistake, there are other common mistakes that anglers may encounter when boat fly casting. These include poor timing in the casting stroke, overpowering the cast, failing to maintain a straight line path, and using too much force. These mistakes can result in tangles, inaccurate casting, and failed presentations. To avoid these errors, it is crucial to practice proper casting techniques, seek guidance from experienced anglers, and continually refine your skills through practice and observation.

Addressing Misconceptions about Boat Fly Casting

There are several misconceptions about boat fly casting that need to be addressed. One common misconception is that boat fly casting requires specialized equipment or techniques. In reality, boat fly casting utilizes the same principles as other forms of fly casting, with slight adjustments to accommodate the boat’s limitations. Another misconception is that boat fly casting is only suitable for certain types of fish or fishing scenarios. In truth, boat fly casting can be effective for various species and fishing conditions, provided the angler utilizes proper casting techniques and adapts to the specific situation.

Learning from Experts: Mad River Outfitters and Ohio Fly Fishing Guides

The Role of Josh Trammell and Brian Flechsig in Boat Fly Casting

In the video by Mad River Outfitters, Josh Trammell and Brian Flechsig provide valuable insights and tips for boat fly casting. As experienced anglers and guides, their expertise helps anglers improve their casting skills and adapt to different fishing situations. They share their knowledge of casting techniques, casting positioning, and effective presentations, offering a wealth of information for those looking to enhance their boat fly casting abilities.

Key Takeaways from Mad River Outfitters’ Guides

Some key takeaways from the guides at Mad River Outfitters include the importance of mastering the backhanded cast when casting towards the right side of the river from a boat. The backhanded cast allows for safer and more accurate presentations, minimizing the risk of casting over the boat or causing harm to others. The guides also emphasize the significance of angling the cast downstream in conditions with low, clear water and spooky fish. This technique aids in creating a more realistic presentation and increases the chances of enticing fish to bite.

How to Contact Mad River Outfitters for Further Guidance

For further guidance and information on fly casting from a boat, viewers can contact Mad River Outfitters. They can send an email to admin@madriveroutfitters.com or call 614-451-0363. The knowledgeable staff at Mad River Outfitters will be happy to assist with any questions or inquiries related to fly fishing and boat fly casting.

Keeping Up-to-Date with Fly Casting Tips

The Importance of Subscribing to Credible Fly Casting Channels

To stay informed and up-to-date with the latest fly casting tips and techniques, it is important to subscribe to credible fly casting channels. These channels often feature expert anglers, guides, and instructors who share their knowledge and experiences through informative videos and tutorials. By subscribing to these channels, anglers can access a wealth of valuable information that can help improve their casting skills and overall angling experience.

How to Ask Questions or Interact with Professional Fly Casters

Interacting with professional fly casters is a great way to gain insights and seek guidance on specific casting techniques or challenges. Many fly casting channels and online communities provide opportunities for viewers to ask questions, share experiences, and engage in discussions with experts. By actively participating in these platforms, anglers can learn from experienced fly casters, obtain personalized advice, and connect with a community of like-minded individuals.

Continual Learning in Fly Casting

Fly casting is a skill that requires continuous learning and improvement. Regardless of skill level or experience, there is always room for growth and refinement in casting techniques. Engaging in ongoing education through books, videos, workshops, and guided fishing trips can help anglers expand their knowledge and skills in fly casting. By dedicating time to learning and practicing, anglers can become more proficient and confident in their abilities, leading to a more enjoyable and successful angling experience.


In conclusion, understanding the basics of fly casting and mastering boat fly casting techniques is essential for a successful angling experience. By choosing the right equipment, such as the appropriate fly rod, fly line, leader, and tippet, anglers can improve their casting performance and increase their chances of catching fish. It is important to practice fundamental boat fly casting techniques, such as the 90-degree stroke, maintaining a straight line path, and mastering the backhanded cast and roll cast pickup. Additionally, anglers should pay attention to casting positioning tips, effective casting under difficult conditions, and maintaining safety during boat fly casting.

By addressing common mistakes and misconceptions about boat fly casting and learning from experts such as Josh Trammell and Brian Flechsig of Mad River Outfitters and the Ohio Fly Fishing Guides, anglers can gain valuable insights and improve their casting skills. It is important to stay up-to-date with fly casting tips through credible channels and actively engage with professional fly casters to seek guidance and expand knowledge. Continuous learning, practice, and appreciation for the contributions of experts in the field of fly casting will ultimately lead to a more rewarding and successful angling experience.

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