Hand Born Anchor Cast

Hand Born Anchor Cast

Bernd Ziesche | Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Looking for a fine D-loop cast, one working well in many tricky situations? This might be one!

Many years ago Simon Gawesworth started to differentiate between airborn and waterborn anchor casts. Airborn anchor casts were those Spey casts, in which the caster would lift the end of the line (the anchor) off the water and then directly position it into the final D-loop just before starting the delivery shoot. Waterborn anchor casts instead were those casts, in which the caster would reposition the anchor on the water before shaping the final D-loop.

Some weeks ago it was Michael Rebholz presenting his new group of "rod born anchor" casts. You may have a look at one of his fine videos how his new casts look like:

Rod Born Anchor Casts

For me this sort of Spey casting is more about a "rod parking D-loop". One can pause and park the D-loop on the rod as long as one wants to before finishing the cast. After Michael published his first video a huge (social media based) discussion followed. Interestingly even some of those fly fishermen who I have known for always staying friendly and relaxed in all discussions kind of lost their serenity.

Personally I went into the water and tried Michael's new sort of Spey casts. It was a great exercise for me. It's always a lot of fun to try out new stuff in fly casting, isn't it? Anyway teaching wise I yet don't have much use for these casts. Parking (and unparking) the D-loop on the rod means 2 additional steps, while at the same time the anchor (still hanging in the water) easily gets out of plane. Therefore I prefer different casts.

When it comes to teaching others in fly casting I always worked on keeping things as short and simple as possible. Obviously some key elements have to be delivered! Putting all the different types of casts I have in my tool box into different groups like:
airborn anchors, waterborn anchors, air consistent anchors, upstream wind casts, downstream wind casts and so on
never made much of a sense to me, but making it more complicated to remember the important details.

Fishing wise the wind never cared about upstream or downstream anyway, but coming from all directions I could think of. What really matters to me are the keys (how to make the cast), as well as the pros and the cons of each cast. In nearly all sort of Spey casts positioning the anchor well is maybe the biggest step in mastering the cast. Almost everyone will know, that having the wind pushing the D into the caster will ask for a different (better) solution.
Anyway for those of you who prefer to sort their Spey casts into groups here is another new group for you. ;)

Hand Born Anchor Casts

My number one cast is this one here:

D-loop cast

I use it quite often when fishing the dry fly or with fast sinking flies, especially when having to match the D-loop into some tight surroundings.

Comapred to most other Spey casts (dynamic roll casts) this hand-anchoring D-loop cast comes in with some serious advantages:

1. No anchor slip during the delivery cast. So I don't have that typical loss in efficiency.
2. A dry fly doesn't get wet during anchoring.
3. A fast sinking fly doesn't sink too deep during anchoring.
4. Perfect D-loop adjustment to the surroundings.
5. A huge D-loop is possible without the typical timing issues of dynamic roll casts.
6. Precise (reproductable) positioning of the anchor.
7. Less distance between the highest accelerational rod tip position and the anchor (seen in the rod plane) supporting to shape tight loops.
8. It's much easier to keep the fly-leg moving low and almost parallel over the water. Much easier to cast under overhanging trees.
9. The fly perfectly anchors in one and one only plane with the rod and the D-loop. Proper geometry in this cast.
10. No disturbance on the water between the fish and the caster.
11. This cast supports hitting distances quite well.
12. The anchor can be positioned over rocks, while sitting on the bank in between some trees!

You are welcome to try out this cast yourself and decide wether you may have proper use for it in your fishing or not.
If you need a name for this cast, you may call it Bernd's D-loop cast. Fish don't care anyway. But they do care about the pros of whatever cast resulting in a proper presentation of your fly.

Oh, if you need your line hand to keep yourself safe in a difficult situation (not falling off a mountain wall for example), you may also anchor the fly in your rod hand (between the index finger and the thumb). This way this cast works well, too.

Great fishing week to all of you!

All my best

Some pictures of the last days as always...

hand born anchor cast