Pro Tips: How to Avoid Casting “Creep”

Welcome to another installment of “Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor,” in which we answer readers’ questions about their biggest fly-casting problems. Reader Marc asked for help with this:

I have been told my casting has a fault that’s called “creep.” I was at an Orvis-dealer fly shop called Bob Marriott’s in Fullerton, California, and was casting one of their rods. The sales person said that I move my casting hand forward before the back cast is finished. How do I get rid of the creep and keep my hand from moving?

This is a common problem, and it results in a sloppy, underpowered forward cast. In this lesson, I’ll explain why you need to accelerate smoothly from the backcast stop to the forward cast stop. If your hand creeps forward before you begin the forward cast, you end up shortening the casting motion, and you probably don’t give your line time to roll out behind you.

Luckily, there’s an easy fix: by stepping back with your right foot (if you’re right-handed), you’ll be able to watch your rod and ensure that it stays put when you stop it on the backcast. Once you’ve trained your hand and arm to do this properly, you won’t have to watch the rod every time, and your forward cast will be much improved.

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor I: Casting Heavy Flies in the Wind

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor II: Roll-Casting for Accuracy & Distance

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor III: Casting in the Wind

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor IV: Casting Accuracy

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor V: The Curve Cast

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor VI: Casting Angles

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor VII: How to Double Haul

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor VIII: Fixing Tailing Loops

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor IX: How to Make Delicate Presentations

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor X: The Steeple Cast

Ask a Fly-Fishing Instructor XI: How to Avoid Hitting Your Rod with Your Fly

5 thoughts on “Pro Tips: How to Avoid Casting “Creep””

  1. I’ve learned more from watching Petes videos than anyone else. I also had the privilege of meeting and talking to Pete at the Marlboro Fly Show a few years ago
    Thanks for all the great instruction Pete

    Bob Teeden

    Posted from the Orvis Fly Fishing App

  2. Hi Pete hope you don’t mind another post but how about casting a full sinking line with a deadly Clouser on the end, we call it chuck and duck

    Bob T
    Posted from the Orvis Fly Fishing App

  3. The more line one “carries” the more valuable the “counter-creep”, commonly called “drift” .
    CREEP includes UNINTENTIONAL and PREMATURE TIP movement away from the unrolling loop resulting in shortened space for subsequent tip movement on the ensuing cast.
    Defined, DRIFT is intentional movement of the rod tip INTO the unrolling loop until a “candy-cane” or “J” shaped loop is detected. Then smoothly initiate the gentle forward stroke.

    Expanding the arc often ruins the loop. NO ONE can “feel” the “Candy-cane” formation as the sensation of pull never changes until the line has gone straight (TOO LATE). Thus, intentionally observing loop progress delivers the optimal chance at improved “TIMING”. – G. Eaton, MCI

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