When we fly fish or even when we practice, we talk a lot about aiming the cast on the delivery. And that is important, but we don’t spend nearly enough time practicing aiming that back cast.
Simply thinking, “I hope it’s heading upwards or backwards or behind me,” isn’t really good enough.
Just like you need a target on that forward cast, a target is generally a good idea on your back cast. The other issue is that most folks have grown up with some experience throwing some object – forward. That backwards throwing motion is not nearly as developed.
Isolating your back cast and concentrating on where that cast is actually heading, should be a part of any anglers regular practice routine.
Start with short casts and increase distances gradually. Look at how your fly line lands. Is the line straight or curved? Exactly where did that rod tip go, and what kind of stop did you make?
There are a couple ways you can practice. A very simple way is open up your casting stance and occasionally watch as you make a horizontal or off-vertical back cast. Watch the rod load and unload and remember the cast goes where the tip finishes.
When I practice, I try to pick an object in-line with my back cast and aim toward it, it can be a bush, a tree, a hula-hoop, almost anything can make a good target. The next time you are out working on your casting, give it a try.