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Fly Fishing requires patience, trust and a good sense of humor – Photo Credits @ Jeff Forsee 

We all had to start somewhere, and there’s no shame in admitting you don’t know everything. “


Fly Fishing 101

Three Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Words @ Matt Awalt

As a newbie to the sport of fly fishing in Korea, there are three general mistakes that you may find yourself making when it comes to fly casting. These mistakes can be frustrating, make it difficult to catch fish, and downright dangerous. Here are three of the most common blunders that novice fly anglers make when it comes to fly casting withing the first few weeks of month of picking up a fly rod.

Safety Tip – Always wear sunglasses when fly casting and stay away from low hanging electrical wires. If you are learning to fly fish in South Korea or Japan, be aware of overhead telephone and residential power wires 

Not holding the rod correctly. This is a mistake that many new flyfishers make, as they tend to grip the rod too tightly or too losely.  This can lead to poor control and accuracy when casting. To hold the rod correctly, you should grip it with a relaxed and comfortable grip, with your thumb and index finger positioned on the cork handle of the rod.  This will allow you to feel the rod load and unload during the casting process.

Bonus tip – Point your thumb down the center of the cork handle where you want the fly to land. Nine times out of ten, the fly will land in the general direction where you’re pointing. 

Using too much power when casting. Another problem that new anglers make is applying too much power when casting. This can cause the rod tip to move too fast, and can lead to a tangled line and a frustrated angler.

To cast correctly, you should use the right amount of power, which will allow the rod to load and unload correctly and produce a smooth cast.

Pro Tip – Turn your hips to watch the tip of the rod flex behind you. Feel the corresponding resistance as you change the direction of rod tip travel. Over time, you will learn the muscle memory and it becomes second nature to feel the rod tip “load” and “unload.”If you’ve been throwing bait casters all of your life, try to force yourself to remember a flyrod is not a bait casting rod.

They are similar tools but use different mechanics to deliver the lure or fly to the target. You wouldn’t try to hit a baseball with a golf club so don’t cast a fly fishing rod like a conventional fishing rod. 

Ignoring the wind. Wind is a powerful force that can significantly impact casting performance and make it difficult to control the line. New fly anglers often overlook the importance of paying attention to the wind, and may not adjust their casting technique accordingly. The wind can be your friend and your enemy.

If you are interested in improving your casting skills, we offer casting lessons by advanced appointment. Get in touch with us and plan to meet either Matt or Jonathan at the Han River Park at Yeouido Station. Rods & Snacks are provided. Email us for details at [email protected]

Fly fishing is a challenging and rewarding sport. By being aware of these pitfalls and making an effort to correct them, you can improve your casting performance, and increase your chances of catching fish. Remember, the key to becoming a skilled fly angler is practice, patience, and the ability to learn from your mistakes either alone or with a trusted fishing buddy.

And hey, don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice from more experienced anglers. We all had to start somewhere, and there’s no shame in admitting you don’t know everything

몽골낚시 Hucho

Photo Credits @ Jeff Forsee of Aotearoa Anglers

Get in touch with us for more information about fly fishing in South Korea

 [email protected] 

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Matthew’s photos & articles have appeared in The FlyFish Journal, Waterlog Magazine UK – Medlar Press,  Asia Sentinel & The Korea Herald.  For media & general inquires – send your message here.