A new technique

I recently stumbled upon a new technique that worked well for me. How many times have you been fishing a river and gotten to a spot where you wish you were opposite handed? I was recently fishing my favorite river and watching a large fish surfacing repeatedly in an area where a right handed cast was impossible due to a lack of back casting room. In the past I would have tried casting back handed (which I'm not very good at) and either been unable to get the cast far enough or landed the fly in a big splashing coil of my fly line thus spooking the fish.

This time though a light bulb went off. I simply turned around and had my back facing up stream where I was trying to cast. I started casting with my normal casting motion and simply released on my back cast. Not only did this allow me to use my natural casting motion but I was also able to keep an eye on my cast keeping it out of the trees. On about the 3rd attempt I was rewarded by watching a fat 17" bow obliterate my stimulator and go airborn several times before finally coming to hand.

Maybe you are better at casting back handed than I am or maybe you can cast opposite handed. Maybe everyone already does this and I'm just late to the party. But if you find yourself in a similar situation you might give it a shot. It worked for me so I thought I would share.


Dustin Bise

Active Member
I use the back release for tricky presentations sometimes, but after getting some advice from a casting legend, and a bit of practice, the roll cast has become one of my favorite casts for presenting dries.
I can roll cast a bit, but in this situation the vegetation was such that even a roll cast was not possible right handed. I had a nursing tree coming into the water on my right hand side just upstream of me. You kinda had to be there but right handed was not an option.
Well done Tony. You will also find the same technique works well when dealing with a strong wind that is blowing at your casting shoulder, to eliminate having flies impaled in your head. Used a lot by salt water ff. Nothing beats discovering something on your own.
I can roll cast a bit, but in this situation the vegetation was such that even a roll cast was not possible right handed. I had a nursing tree coming into the water on my right hand side just upstream of me. You kinda had to be there but right handed was not an option.

From what I have been reading and watching in vids on youtube, you can roll cast left or right direction with your normal casting hand...walking the cast left or right. This seems to have more control for the cast than casting over your shoulder and sounds cool as well :D though I don't think I could pull it off ;) . I am by no means dogging your method as it clearly worked, but I agree with the others ( based on lots of reading and you tube vid watching) that you would get better control of your cast with a well practiced roll cast.


Will R. Everett, WA.


the Menehune stole my beer
Tony, what the Salty Dog said........ it is cool that you stumbled upon a very useful casting technique. I use it all the time. There are a couple other situations where you basically MUST be able to shoot your backcast to fish effectively. For example, I was fishing out of a 28' Koffler in Panama in January and a lot of the time my flyfishing buddy Blake was with me. To separate our casts and keep them from tangling in the breeze or smacking each other upside the head, he'd face the target and go straight at the rock formations with his forward cast and I'd turn my back to the rocks and shoot my backcast. This worked well since we are both right handed. It kept our aerialized lines further away from each other (although he did knock my ass to the deck with a double-hauled clouser strike one day, but that was in the heat of a crazy Lookdown bite and also was after about a dozen Balboas ...... )

Another place where you should/could do this is ANY place with a lot of foot traffic behind you (think Lincoln Park on a busy day with a lot of people strolling by oblivious to your line swishing through the air). I do this all the time when I fish hotel row in Waikiki. I'll just face the hotels and beach walkers and shoot my backcasts. That way I can be sure I don't hook anyone in the buttcrack, earlobe or bikini top........

It is those little personal discoveries along the way that make this sport so damn interesting eh? Nice post.

Rob Ast

Active Member
I agree with Salt Dog on the beach. I've also used it when fishing from a drift boat to keep my fly from impaling the rower.
I agree with a tight roll cast when possible but I've definitely used the back stroke casting in some tight spots. This June on the Cedar there was a pod of bows slurping down huge green drakes in a small pocket right along a cliff wall across from me. between us was a swift current and behind me was dense brush - I waded a little up stream from the fish and faced upstream so that the brush was on my left while i threw the back casts with my right - worked beautifully (also the only time i've run into the Green drakes on the Cedar, it was fuckin fast and furious for about 15 minutes and then quit).
It's been used by many of us. I use it in Mexico when the fish are on the wrong side of the Ponga and I can't cast without hitting the Captain or a partner.
I think this touches on one of the neatest aspects of this sport. Its great to read, watch others, take lessons, hire guides etc...But those little tricks of the trade that we sometimes stumble into on our own are often the most satisfying. I have found myself using this technique on occasion as well, most notably out in my pontoon up on some BC lakes when the wind was making it hard to face in the direction I wanted to cast. I would turn around and cast backwards so I was able to control my tube a little better. Thanks for sharing your discovering. Many of us have used this same technique in our own way, but there are bound to be people who have yet to discover this and may find this post a big help.