If you can't cast, you can't fish. The cast is the most important and challenging skill in fly-fishing. Because the angler is casting virtually weightless flies made from bits of hair and feather, line, fly, and rod must be worked in a complicated ballet that even experienced anglers have trouble mastering. The level of casting skill possessed by the average angler is poor. George V. Roberts Jr., a lifelong fly-fisher and a sought-after teacher, has developed a program that will have readers casting and catching fish with a fly rod after only a few hours' practice. By mastering the handful of fundamentals presented in this book, the reader will become an efficient, accurate, and consistent fly-caster, and will have laid a solid foundation upon which he or she can build all advanced fly-casting techniques. There is no book available like it. Master the Cast is a comprehensive but concise treatment of the most important element of fly-casting: building a solid fly-casting stroke.
With detailed illustrations and photographs capturing all the elements of the cast, it is written for each of the five million Americans who fly-fish regularly in both fresh water and salt water, and for the many people (perhaps another five million) who attempt to take up the sport each year. Roberts has based his program on noted golfer Ben Hogan's book, Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf (Simon & Schuster). In print continuously since 1957, Hogan's book deals not with the game of golf itself, but only with what Hogan considered the most important element of golf: building a repeating swing. Similarly, Master the Cast focuses only on building a solid basic fly-cast. To become a good fly-caster, there is simply no way to bypass the fundamentals. As such, Master the Cast is an excellent resource for the beginning fly-fisher as well as the experienced fly-fisher hoping to become a better fly-caster. It is also an excellent reference for the serious student of fly-casting, as well as any fly-casting instructor.
Master the Cast first draws a comprehensive picture of fly-casting mechanics--both fly-rod mechanics (how the rod and line operate to deliver the fly), as well as rod-arm mechanics (how the hand, wrist, forearm, and upper arm function to make the rod operate). Once that's established it presents seven individual lessons readers can use to teach themselves to build a solid basic fly-casting stroke. Each lesson offers the most common problems students have with that particular aspect of fly-casting, as well as their solutions. Lesson One details the roll cast, which is not only a highly functional fishing cast, but also an excellent tool for learning basic rod-arm mechanics. Lesson Two details the pick-up-and-lay-down cast, which forms the foundation of all straight-line fly-casting. Each subsequent lesson builds on material learned in the previous lesson, and takes the reader through a basic fly-casting discipline in the most logical possible order (that is, the order in which a good fly-casting instructor would take a student through the material).
Subsequent lessons detail false casting and line-hand functions, shooting line, casting in all planes, rod drift and follow-through, and off-vertical casting from an open stance. Master the Cast introduces the reader to the language and concepts of fly-casting, explaining each of the terms and concepts fully. It's an excellent primer for the beginning fly-fisher. It will also explain the difficulties the fly-fisher will encounter in understanding and mastering these fundamental concepts and actions.