Casting Exercise 3 - The Hopping Hoop
Possible position of the hoops for your first attempt.

Changing direction and limiting the number of false casts to a minimum are two tremendously interesting, practical skills for actual fishing. Some reasons for not flagellating the air:

  1. It scares the fish.
  2. Greater risk of snagging something and losing the fly.
  3. Some flies aren't very aerodynamic and twist your leader.
  4. Flies fish better in or on the water than over it.
The direction changes will put your skill and patience to the test.

This exercise helps you develop your skill at changing directions at a variety of angles and various distances without a single false cast. This all-around exercise not only requires very good control of the line in the air, it also involves shooting and casting slack line.

Necessary equipment

Two hoops, each with a little flag in the center, numbered 1 and 2. An assistant.


Place hoop number one about 10 yards away. This hoop will stay put all the time.

Make two pick-and-lay-down casts without any false casts. With the first cast, your wool is supposed to land inside ring one and, after changing direction and either shooting some line or executing a slack-line cast, depending on whether you need to lengthen or shorten the distance, drop the wool within hoop two. This hoop hops around for each set of casts, moved preferably by a beautiful assistant.

Landing in the second hoop at this distance with no false casts requires an accurate slack line cast.


  1. By the time your backcast is extended, the trunk of your body should be rotated towards hoop 2.
  2. Stop the shoot with the thumb and index finger of your free hand.
  3. The parachute is the slack-line cast that most easily and most accurately shortens the length of airborne line.
A 90º-change of direction at 12 yards is never too easy.

Harder yet

Your partner gets mischievous and starts dropping hoop two in outlandish places, such as almost at your feet, 15 yards away or directly in back of you (and you thought she liked you). Take turns casting and hopping the hoop.