The humble bow and arrow

The humble bow and arrow

Scott Loudon | Thursday, 7 April 2016

There's been some good casting pages this week and last so I thought I would follow on with my own. It's easy to cast 40', fairly easy to cast 60', bit more challenging to cast 100' and an absolute bugger to cast 10-20'!

Anyone that's fished with a small rod probably is wondering what all fuss is about but quite often fishing bigger rivers or Stillwater edges with a 9 foot rod this test will crop up. All of a sudden you see a trout just through the bushes off an overhanging branch or one you didn't spot suddenly is one foot of the bank and 15' from you. I've done it, you've probably done it - try and cast and either dump the entire loop in the water or line the fish. Both of which result in no fish!

And that's where the bow and arrow comes in... We can save ourselves the hassle and just spear them! In all seriousness, the bow and arrow cast is a get out of jail free card for this situation but it needs some modifications. If you hold the fly as conventionally stated you'll be able to cast about 8', good but not great so here's a little to boost that into the 15-30' range.

1) Strip off the line you'll need and hold in large coils in your line hand (critical unless on flat ground)
2) Have the leader and at least a rod length of fly line outside the tip, maybe more
3) Hold the leader just behind the fly, allow a loop to form from here to end of the fly line, also hold end of the fly line
4) Now bend that rod against what you're holding like a bow
5) Aim
6) Let it go! In this order but be quick - fly\leader\fly lineĀ  almost simultaneously and then the coils in your hand

And there you have it. The absolute best way to nail a short range opportunity or where you have no casting space. Practice it a few times, it's a bit of learning the release timings and how much line you can cast. It's counted for numerous fish in NZ for me, and you feel like a god when you pull it off hanging out of a free!