Andy Whitcomb

Fly fishing differs from all other fishing methods in that the weight of the line used to cast the bait is used instead of the weight of the bait, which can be very small. When you learn how to cast a dry fly you know that, as with almost all fly casting, propelling an essentially weightless bait requires incorrect casting to build up some line momentum and then shoot the line forward.

The main difference in terms of throwing a dry fly versus a wet fly could be that the dry fly is the lightest of all light baits as it is designed to float on the surface rather than sinking flies which then can and also be heavier be in tandem rigs. Therefore, dry fly casting techniques during an overhead miss cast may have a tighter, flattened loop, whereas a wet fly like a pearl nymph or streamer will have a looser, open loop casting component before shooting.

Roll casting is a good dry fly casting technique for beginners as there is no such thing as a false throw. The downside is that throwing distance is limited to the length of the line you have and that you can be in control of a large, slow rolling flip. The good news is that you don’t have to worry about brushes behind you that could grab your fly during a false throw throw.

Because of the visual anticipation, the surface bite is usually considered the most exciting hit. Once you have learned how to throw a dry fly at some distance, you can begin to hone your skills by selecting the flies, placing the throw, and touching up the line for the “correct” drift. When you collect your fishing license there may be regulations available that often include areas specifically for fly fishing.

Andy Whitcomb

Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed out dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida but raised on the banks of farm ponds in Oklahoma, he now hunts pike, small bass and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fishery research technician at OSU, in the US state of Iowa and in the US state of Michigan.