Backcast Follies

Frazier hooked blog

Frazier hooked blog

Scott Sommerlatte

As you all know, fly-fishing requires space. If you've read Fly Fishing in Salt Water's for any period of time, you've probably noticed that our casting column contributors often write about how important it is to watch your backcast. Doing so often helps improve your cast but it also can prevent embarrassing or heated moments on the water. When you are blind-casting, it's easy to remember to watch your backcast but the second a fish comes into view, our mindset changes and we are focused on the fish, not the tourist admiring your cast from behind.

I remember the first time I got tagged by a fly. I was casting a heavy Clouser off a sea wall on a very windy day. I saw a school of big jacks juuuust out of casting range. I began false casting and I shot my line to achieve the hero cast of all hero casts. From behind me, I heard a wizzing sound, and a thump that was immediately followed by a very sharp pain to my skull. It felt like I was hit with a rock! I turned around fully expecting to see a real life Dennis the Menace running away with a sling-shot but when I looked behind me, I saw nobody. The fly didn’t hook me but the dumbbell eyes of the Clouser left their mark. It literally took me minutes to realize that that little fly and those small dumbbell eyes nearly made a tear roll down my face.

Since then, I have to admit, I've hit tourists while casting for snook on the beach, I hit a guy on my boat with a popper and I even took a seagull's life (on accident of course) with backcasts. I think it's safe to say we've all done it. In our defense — the victims (and seagulls) shouldn't have been in the way, right? On our Facebook page, I posted the question "Be honest…how many of you have hooked or hit a guide or fishing buddy on your backcast?" We got a lot of responses many of which you have got to see! You can check out the post here. If you are not a fan of our page, make sure to visit our Fan page and 'Like' us.