Welcome to another installment of “Ask an Orvis Fly-Fishing Instructor,” with me, Peter Kutzer. In this episode, I demonstrate how to make a serpentine cast, a slack-line presentation which has several useful applications. Like all slack-line casts, the serpentine cast puts slack into the line on the water, in this case by creating a series of S-curves. Why would you want slack in your line? Because there are times when you need slack to allow your fly to drift naturally. One obvious situation is when you are casting downstream. If you don’t add slack to the line, the current will cause your fly to start dragging immediately.
Another great situation in which the serpentine cast can make your life easier is when you’re casting across complex currents that exert opposing forces on your line. By placing slack at strategic points in the presentation, you can give your fly more time to dead-drift.