Video: Casting a Dry Fly Upstream vs Downstream

One of the best things about summertime fishing is that you can often throw dry flies all day long. As you work a stretch of river, you may alternate between casting upstream, to cover the head of a pool, to casting downstream, to drift your fly through deeper water or the tailout.

In this video, Joe Rotter from Red’s Fly Shop demonstrates the differences between an upstream presentation, in which you need to start immediately taking up slack by stripping line, and a downstream presentation, in which you need to add slack to allow the fly to drift away from you. It’s a subtle concept, but one that will make all the difference in your ability to achieve a dead drift in both directions. I love the way he adds the idea of walking downstream a bit to extend the drift.

The key to a downstream presentation is to stop the rod high.

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