Quiet Fly Line Pickup, 2 ways: Video

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By Louis Cahill

Here are two ways to pick up your fly line and make a cast without spooking fish.

Quiet line pickup is an important skill for fly anglers after any species, but it’s never more important than when bonefishing. Their spooky nature may be the bonefish’s defining characteristic. Ad to that the excitement of the moment and it’s easy to spook fish that might otherwise be caught.

One of the best ways to spook a bonefish is by ripping your line off the water with a loud sizzle. That’ll send them to Cuba. There are two main reasons this happens. Slack in the line when you pick it up off the water, and too much speed too early. It’s easy to do, especially when you’re excited.

Watch this video and learn two ways to pick your fly line up off the water quietly and make an effective cast.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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9 thoughts on “Quiet Fly Line Pickup, 2 ways: Video

  1. Great topic Lewis. This is a game changer if you are one of the many fly fishers I see ripping up the surface with bad technique.

    Joan Wulff shows that first method on her fly casting video series; she recommends a slightly different technique for trout fishing where speed isn’t as essential. Point your rod down, strip in until the fly line tip and leader only are on the water, slowly lift most of the leader out of the water, then snap your back cast. As delicate as can be! Barely a ripple and trout go on feeding completely undisturbed.

    Gary LaFontaine was a huge proponent of the roll cast pick up. It is a skill well worth adding to the dry fly tool box.

  2. Pingback: Quiet Fly Line Pickup, 2 ways: Video | Fishing Window - Latest Fishing Blogs Posts

  3. Hmm… the strip in slack (and make sure you have the belly of the fly line touching your tip guide or even a few feet inside the guides) and cast is superior to that roll cast pick up in my view and here’s why:

    With the roll pick up, especially with a long line out side the tip guide, is that you can’t load the rod for the back cast to the max after the ‘roll’ because you have to hurry the back cast to prevent the fly hitting the water and spooking the fish.

  4. Three sentences in, and there it was, the word: “bonefish.”

    I tossed my phone to the floor and exclaimed – “Bonefish? Again?!

    Im almost ready to read yet another post about streamers for trout.

    • That was an unusually heavy bonefish week. It happens some times. Would you believe I got an email just last week asking why I don’t post more saltwater content? Tell you what David, leave some topic suggestions here and I’ll make it happen. Thanks.

  5. Thanks Louis for angracioisbreply after a missy mood got the better of me. Here’s 5 ideas that come to mind…..

    Catfish on the fly – I’ve yet to catch one.

    Tunsgten Putty – the forgotten heavyweight

    Deep Summer Bluegill – do they exist?

    Five Useful Things I’ve Learned from My Gear Fishing Friends – because Thoreau isn’t just for fly anglers.

    The Best Snacks For Fishing – Hold the Granola

    • Some good suggestions there David. I’ve caught some nice catfish on the fly I can help there. Here’s the bad news, I did it on streamers so it looks like you’re getting that streamer article either way. LOL!

  6. Cool, that roll cast was subtle… Picked up a tip at the bonefish school that has also been helpful for me fishing streamers at home when I want to hit a pocket as we are drifting by… if you need to pick up and recast Harlan suggested to me to reach way up to the first guide and draw all that line in, as the last bit of line comes in slowly lift the line, turn the last few inches of line into a haul as you accelerate into a back cast and lay it back out in front of the fish… hope that description makes sense

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