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ORVIS – How To Fly Cast In Heavy Brush

ORVIS presents an informative video on how to master the art of fly casting in heavy brush. The video, created by The Orvis Company, features expert angler Dave Jensen who shares valuable tips and techniques for casting in challenging conditions. With the steeple cast and a modified version of this cast, Jensen demonstrates how to effectively navigate dense brush and reach those elusive trout that often reside in neglected spots. These insightful tips will encourage you to reconsider bypassing areas that may hold big fish, even if they seem impossible to cast into. If you’re seeking more guidance on casting and other fly fishing skills, be sure to visit ORVIS for additional resources.

In the world of fly fishing, some of the most productive waters are shrouded with heavy brush that conceals ideal spots for trout. These prime lies offer perfect depths, overhead cover, and great feeding lanes, making it an enticing habitat for big fish who feel secure in their surroundings. However, navigating these backwaters, flats, and smaller streams requires stealth and longer leaders to minimize disturbance in the crystal-clear water. Many anglers often make the mistake of attempting excessive actions in their casts, but this video emphasizes the importance of simplicity and energy efficiency. By employing a fixed arm steeple cast and adjusting the trajectory, you can cast effortlessly and accurately, even when faced with challenging obstacles.

Choosing the Right Technique for Heavy Brush

When faced with heavy brush, it is important to choose the right casting technique to effectively navigate the challenging fishing environment. Two techniques that are particularly useful in these circumstances are the Steeple Cast and its modification. These techniques allow for precise and accurate casting, even in the presence of dense vegetation and obstacles. By understanding the benefits of using these techniques, anglers can enhance their fishing success in heavy brush areas.

Understanding the Challenge of Heavy Brush Casting

Fishing in heavy brush presents a unique set of challenges. It requires anglers to find prime fishing spots within densely vegetated areas, where fish are likely to take refuge. These spots may include fallen trees, submerged logs, or overhanging branches. To successfully target these areas, anglers must approach with stealth and utilize lengthy leaders to avoid spooking the fish.

However, remaining on shore with the surrounding vegetation can make casting difficult. The presence of tall grass, bushes, and other obstacles can hinder the angler’s ability to properly execute a cast. This is where the Steeple Cast and its modification come into play.

ORVIS - How To Fly Cast In Heavy Brush

Mastering the Steeple Cast Technique

The Steeple Cast is a casting technique that allows you to effectively navigate heavy brush while still achieving precise and accurate casts. Proper positioning and setup are key to mastering this technique. To begin, position yourself with your casting shoulder pointing towards the target area. This will help you avoid tangling your line in surrounding vegetation.

Next, make sure to have enough line outside of the rod tip to generate the required power and distance. Keep your grip firm but relaxed, and maintain a slight bend in your casting elbow throughout the cast.

Executing the Steeple Cast involves a smooth and controlled motion. Begin by slowly raising your rod tip high above your head, in a manner resembling a church steeple. As you reach the peak, use a smooth and fluid motion to bring your rod tip forward, aiming towards the target. Release the line at the right moment to allow it to unroll and extend towards your desired spot.

The benefits of the Steeple Cast are numerous. This technique allows you to cast over tall vegetation, avoiding tangles and obstructions. Furthermore, the steep angle of the cast minimizes the possibility of your line getting snagged on branches or other objects. As a result, you can target specific areas within heavy brush with precision and accuracy.

Modifying the Steeple Cast for Long Leaders

While the Steeple Cast is effective for navigating heavy brush, it may not be suitable for situations that require the use of long leaders. Long leaders are often necessary when fishing in clear, calm waters where fish are easily spooked. The limitations of a roll cast in tall vegetation can make it challenging to effectively present your fly to these selective fish.

To overcome this limitation, modifications to the Steeple Cast can be made to accommodate long leaders. One common modification involves incorporating a haul or double-haul motion into the cast. This additional motion helps generate more line speed and allows for a longer leader to be used.

Proper execution and considerations are key to successfully modifying the Steeple Cast for long leaders. It is important to practice the timing and coordination required for the haul or double-haul motion. This additional motion should be smooth and integrated seamlessly into the overall cast. Aiming for a fluid transfer of energy throughout the cast will result in efficient and effective presentations with long leaders.

Overcoming Challenges in Heavy Brush Fishing

When fishing in heavy brush, maintaining line speed and energy transfer becomes crucial. The presence of dense vegetation can slow down or impede the movement of your line. To overcome this challenge, it is important to focus on executing a fast lift and stop motion during your cast.

The fast lift and stop motion involves quickly lifting your rod tip to generate line speed and energy. As you reach the desired height, abruptly stop your rod’s motion and allow the line to roll out towards your target. This fast lift and stop motion helps overcome the resistance of heavy brush, allowing for a more efficient and accurate cast.

Aiming for efficient and accurate casts is also essential in heavy brush fishing. By precisely targeting specific areas within the vegetation, you can increase your chances of enticing a strike. Practice and patience are key in developing the necessary skills to consistently execute precise and accurate casts in heavy brush.

One-Ballot Solution: Fixed Arm Steeple Cast

For anglers looking for a simplified and effective casting technique for heavy brush fishing, the Fixed Arm Steeple Cast offers a one-ballot solution. This technique minimizes the complexity of the cast while still delivering accurate and efficient presentations.

The Fixed Arm Steeple Cast involves maintaining a fixed position with your casting arm throughout the cast. By keeping your arm relatively stationary, you reduce the chances of tangling your line in the surrounding vegetation. This technique is particularly useful when casting in tight spaces with limited room for movement.

Knowing when to use the Fixed Arm Steeple Cast is crucial. It is most effective in situations where precision and accuracy are paramount, such as when targeting specific spots within heavy brush. It allows for quick and controlled casts, increasing your chances of success in challenging fishing environments.

The benefits and effectiveness of the Fixed Arm Steeple Cast lie in its simplicity and efficiency. By minimizing excessive movements, anglers can achieve accurate and efficient presentations while navigating heavy brush. Practicing and perfecting this technique will further enhance your fishing success in these challenging scenarios.


When faced with heavy brush, choosing the right casting technique is crucial for successful fishing. The Steeple Cast and its modification offer effective solutions for navigating dense vegetation and obstacles. By mastering these techniques, anglers can achieve precise and accurate casts, even in challenging fishing environments.

Understanding the challenges of heavy brush casting, such as finding prime fishing spots and remaining on shore with surrounding vegetation, is vital for anglers. Through stealth and the utilization of lengthy leaders, anglers can overcome these challenges and effectively target fish in heavy brush areas.

Mastering the Steeple Cast technique involves proper positioning, setup, and execution. The steep angle of the cast allows for casting over tall vegetation, minimizing the risk of tangles and obstructions. Modifying the Steeple Cast for long leaders enhances its effectiveness in situations that require greater reach and presentation accuracy.

Overcoming challenges in heavy brush fishing requires maintaining line speed and energy transfer, executing a fast lift and stop motion, and aiming for efficient and accurate casts. These skills, along with the proper use of casting techniques, will increase your chances of success in heavy brush areas.

For anglers seeking a simplified casting technique, the Fixed Arm Steeple Cast offers a one-ballot solution. Its simplicity and effectiveness make it ideal for precise and accurate presentations in tight spaces with limited movement.

In conclusion, by choosing the right casting technique, understanding the challenges of heavy brush casting, mastering the Steeple Cast, modifying it for specific needs, and overcoming inherent challenges, anglers can greatly enhance their fishing success in heavy brush areas.

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