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ORVIS – Fly Casting Lessons – There’s No Right Style of Casting

When you’re learning to fly cast, you may encounter a lot of conflicting advice. People have different opinions on whether to keep your wrist fixed or to bend it while making your casting stroke. This divergence highlights the fact that everyone has their own unique approach to casting. According to ORVIS casting instructor Peter Kutzer, the key is to focus on the movement and stopping of the rod. Regardless of the technique you choose, grasping this fundamental concept will likely lead to a cast that is suitable for fishing.

If you need further assistance and want to improve your fly fishing skills, we recommend exploring our additional online learning resources. In the world of fly casting, there is often a multitude of conflicting advice. This is especially true when it comes to the debate between keeping your wrist fixed or bending it during the casting stroke. However, according to ORVIS casting instructor Peter Kutzer, the key to a successful cast lies in the movement and stopping of the rod. Regardless of your preferred technique, understanding this fundamental principle will likely result in a cast that is perfectly suitable for catching fish. Whether you prefer using a combination of forearm and wrist, solely relying on the wrist, or even attempting unconventional methods like casting with the rod behind your back, the ultimate goal is to deliver the fly to the target. Remember, the fish don’t care about the aesthetics of your cast; they simply want the fly to reach the water in their vicinity. So, explore different casting styles, experiment with various techniques, and focus on moving and stopping the rod to achieve more fruitful fishing endeavors.

At ORVIS, fly casting lessons aim to debunk the notion that there is one “right” style of casting. In a video by The Orvis Company, casting instructor Peter Kutzer dispels the conflicting advice surrounding the positioning of the wrist during the casting stroke. He emphasizes that the true essence of successful casting lies in the art of moving and stopping the rod effectively. Whether you opt for a combination of forearm and wrist movements or choose to employ the wrist alone, the goal remains the same: a comfortable and efficient cast that propels the line to its destination. In fact, Kutzer even demonstrates how even locking the forearm and solely utilizing the wrist can achieve comparable results. Ultimately, the appearance of the cast is of little consequence to the fish; what truly matters is that the fly reaches its intended target. So, embrace the versatility of different casting techniques, experiment with various styles, and focus on the fundamental principles of movement and pause to improve your chances of success on the water. Keep your approach flexible, enjoy the process, and may your lines be full of fish-filled adventures.

ORVIS – Fly Casting Lessons – There’s No Right Style of Casting


Fly casting is a fundamental skill for any angler looking to achieve success in fly fishing. While there are various techniques and styles that can be employed, it is important to highlight that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to fly casting. Different perspectives on fly casting exist, and it is crucial to understand the mechanics behind each technique in order to become a proficient caster. In this article, we will explore the nuances of fly casting, the importance of moving and stopping the rod, as well as the use of forearm and wrist motions. Additionally, we will delve into unconventional casting methods and discuss the fish’s perspective on casting. Finally, we will encourage anglers to experiment with different casting styles to find what works best for them.

Different Perspectives on Fly Casting

Fly casting has been practiced for centuries, and throughout time, different casting styles have emerged. Some anglers advocate for long, smooth strokes, while others prefer short and snappy motions. Regardless of the style, the primary goal is to generate enough line speed and accuracy to effectively present the fly to the fish. While personal preference and casting conditions play a role in determining the casting style, it is important to consider the mechanics behind each approach.

The Importance of Moving and Stopping the Rod

One essential aspect of fly casting is the proper movement and stopping of the rod. The rod’s movement generates power and transfers it to the fly line, propelling it through the air. An abrupt stopping motion allows the energy from the rod to transfer efficiently, resulting in a tight loop and increased line speed. Conversely, a lack of rod movement or an improper stopping motion can compromise the cast, leading to imprecise presentations and potential tangles. Therefore, anglers should focus on mastering the art of moving and stopping the rod.

ORVIS - Fly Casting Lessons - Theres No Right Style of Casting

Using a Combination of Forearm and Wrist

When it comes to executing fly casts, anglers often employ a combination of forearm and wrist motions. The forearm provides the foundation for the casting stroke, initiating the movement and generating power. The wrist, on the other hand, adds finesse and control to the cast, allowing for subtle adjustments during the stroke. By utilizing both the forearm and wrist in harmony, anglers can achieve a well-balanced casting motion that maximizes both power and accuracy.

Locking the Forearm and Using Only the Wrist

In contrast to the previous technique, some anglers prefer to lock their forearm and rely solely on the wrist for their casting motion. This approach lends itself well to shorter, precise casts, where fine-tuned control is of the utmost importance. By eliminating forearm movement, anglers can focus on wrist articulation and achieve pinpoint accuracy. However, this technique may sacrifice the potential for longer casts and increased line speed. Anglers should consider the pros and cons of this unconventional method before incorporating it into their repertoire.

Unconventional Casting Methods

In addition to the traditional techniques mentioned above, there are various unconventional casting methods that have gained popularity in recent years. These methods often involve innovative ways of manipulating the fly line to achieve specific casting goals. Examples include the Belgian Cast, the Oval Cast, and the Bow and Arrow Cast. While these techniques may not be suitable for every angling scenario, they offer unique advantages and can expand an angler’s casting skill set. It is crucial to practice and experiment with these unconventional methods to understand their potential applications.

The Fish’s Perspective

As anglers, it is essential to consider the fish’s perspective on casting. Different species and environments require different casting approaches. For instance, when targeting trout in calm, clear water, a delicate presentation is paramount to avoid alarming the fish. On the other hand, fishing for saltwater species like tarpon or redfish may require casting large flies into windy conditions, necessitating longer, more powerful casts. Understanding the fish’s behavior, habitat, and feeding patterns will inform an angler’s casting choices and increase the chances of success on the water.

Experimenting with Different Casting Styles

In the pursuit of becoming a proficient caster, it is imperative for anglers to experiment with various casting styles. By doing so, they can identify the techniques that align with their natural abilities and fishing objectives. Successful fly casting relies on finding a balance between power, accuracy, and versatility. By exploring different styles and adapting them to specific fishing scenarios, anglers can refine their skills, gain confidence, and ultimately improve their overall fishing experience.


Fly casting is a skill that requires practice, patience, and an open mind. There is no single correct style of casting, as each angler brings their own unique abilities and preferences to the water. By understanding the mechanics behind different casting techniques, experimenting with variations, and considering the fish’s perspective, anglers can become well-rounded casters. So, embrace the challenge, explore different casting styles, and develop your own personal approach that will elevate your fly fishing game. Remember, it’s not about adhering to a particular style, but rather finding what works best for you and your angling pursuits. Happy casting!

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