Fish love to hold in places where they are safe from predators or where they can hide before ambushing prey. That often means you need to drop your fly under an obstacle–a tree branch, some mangroves, a dock, an overhanging tuft of grass. The best way to do this is by employing a skip cast, in which your fly skips off the surface of the water before sneaking under the obstacle.
In this video, Joe Rotter from Red’s Fly Shop demonstrates the technique for making this useful cast, which requires you to dip the rod tip during the forward cast–something you’ve probably been taught not to do. This creates a tailing loop (again, normally a bad thing) but one that is controlled and accurate. This is definitely a cast that you’ll want to practice before you try it on the water. But once you see how well it works, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it.