Once you have the simple cast down—the pick-up-and-lay-down cast—it’s time to start bringing your line hand into the equation. In the short video below, Orvis’ Pete Kutzer shows us the proper method for holding the line while casting, including where your hand should be to avoid catching your line on your reel or the butt of your rod while you cast.

I’m guilty, quite often, and particularly in tight quarters, of holding my line hand too close to my body. The result is that, on long casts in particular, the line will wrap itself around the reel and the butt of my fly rod, killing momentum and making it hard to concentrate on my fly that just hit the water.

Notice, too, how Pete advises against pulling line through rod with that off hand—it’s a momentum killer and prevents the rod from loading properly.

Watch and learn, folks. This is a good lesson for all of us.