Written by: Peter Kutzer
Welcome to another installment of “Ask an Orvis Fly-Fishing Instructor,” with me, Peter Kutzer. In this episode, I explain the differences between the parachute cast and the pile cast, both of which are slack-line casts that can be useful when you’re fishing across conflicting currents or to a fish downstream.
To make a parachute cast, you stop the rod high and keep the tip up while the fly and front of the line land on the water. This gives you a belly of line between the rod tip and the water. As your fly drifts downstream, you lower the rod tip, feeding line into the drift and maintaining contact with the fly.
To make a pile cast, you shoot the line high again, but this time, you drop the rod tip to the water’s surface in front of the fly, dragging the line downward. This causes the line to land in a pile, so the fly can dead-drift freely. The pile cast works well for longer downstream presentations, but the downside is that if a fish takes immediately, you’ve got to pick up all that slack before you can set the hook. Experiment with both casts, and you’ll find that you can present a dead-drifted dry fly to trout that seemed out of reach before.