Snake Roll article series, part 3

Back cast from the air.
Quite often we fish in conditions making fly casting very difficult, it is not easy to be a fly fisherman on those days when the wind is extra strong or when fishig tight spots. But worst of all is when both these factors challenge you at the sme time, then it is difficult to fish the fly as effectively as we want to. Fly fishers must relate to the fact that the fly line is our casting weight, and this casting weight is often quite long, this is why fly casting in strong winds is difficult.

However, with today’s equipment, and not least the modern casting techniques, we are able to cast in tighter positions and stronger winds than ever before. There is a lot you can do to manipulate the fly line to push through the wind, and in this article I will tell you more about the back casts coming from the air in front of you.

I started using the “Air Snake” around 15 years ago, this new technique gave the fly cast increased power, higher line speed and longer casting distances in the most difficult of conditions by the river, when compared to standard Spey and snake roll casts. The reason for this happening is that the leader hits the water in the anchoring phase with a higher speed when you stop the rod in the lift-up phase and the spey loop is locked between the water and the rod tip, what happens next is that the spey loop pulls backwards with a greater force and as such it loads the rod with much more power than it does with a back cast arriving from the normal position in the water in front of you.

Watch a film clip about the Air Snake cast – Click here.
The film clip is taken from my new DVD named “Advanced Double-handed Fly Casting – My Best Casting Techniques”.

The basic technique for the Air Snake.
1) It is best to use the roll cast to lift the fly line up into an aerial position in front of you, this goes for all the various air variants you want to use.

2) It is important that you do not use to much power in the forward cast during this phase, or lift the line too high up in the air, then it will be more difficult to control the back cast.

3) When the fly line hangs in the air in front of you, you move the rod towards the back cast and the lift-up phase. In this position you can use more power in the back cast as the line hangs freely in the air, and this is where all the advantages of this cast are to be found.

4) Now you can manipulate the fly line to push through the wind in all directions. The increased force towards the back cast will increase the speed of the forward cast; this simply helps you to better deal with the wind.

Today this technique is developed both for the single spey cast and for all the snake roll variants. Thus, the various “air” variants include:
Spey cast variants: Single spey with an aerial back cast, and backhand air spey. This technique is not suited for the double spey cast.

Snake Roll variants: Single Snake Roll with an aerial back cast, double Snake Roll with an aerial back cast, Back hand air Snake, Opposite air Snake.

Jan Erik.

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