Line underfoot

Always stand upwind of the line lying on the deck.

Q: I love flats fishing from a skiff, but I have missed a number of opportunities because the fly line was trapped under my foot when I cast to a fish. I swear I did not move my feet, yet the line was caught underneath my foot. How can I eliminate this?

Jesus Morello
Fort Lauderdale

A: Two things help. Always stand upwind of the line lying on the deck. We don't realize it, but as we twist and turn looking for fish, the soles of our feet lift slightly from the deck. If the wind is blowing, it can slip the line underfoot. When you stay upwind of the fly line, the wind actually pushes the line away from the foot.

While tropical fly-fishermen tend to scorn stripping baskets, they offer advantages. Baskets stow the line so it shoots well on the cast, and it remains cleaner when stored in the line-management device.