A haul is necessary only when increasing the distance of the cast becomes a factor in catching Friend Fish. Most, of course, are caught within 30 to 40-feet from the fly fisher. Learning to haul, however, isn’t that hard. I’ll offer a couple of suggestions for you to try and we can go from there. Learn the single haul, first on the backcast and then on the forward cast. I use single hauls a lot.
To do a single haul on the backcast, lay out about 30 to 35-feet of floating line directly to your front. With the rod tip down (6 o’clock) nearly touching the ground (or water), begin the backcast. As you lift the rod, the line will lift from the grass. When the rod tip reaches approximately 11 o’clock the fly is ready to lift into the air. Give a sharp downward tug on the line with the line hand while the rod hand continues the cast. The fly will leap into the air. The sharp downward tug should be no more than 4 to 8-inches. That’s a haul … after you become comfortable, practice instantly returning the tugged line (DO NOT LET GO!) Think of it as a pull–push or tug-un-tug movement.
What to do with the line after the haul? Follow through the backcast through allowing the line to fall to the ground … hopefully, in a straight line. Then all you do is turn around and repeat the whole drill over again, this time in the opposite direction.
I have one warning: Before you initiate the backcast, DO NOT LET ANY SLACK TO FORM BETWEEN THE ROD TIP AND THE LINE. If you do, the drill will not work.
Once you master this drill, you will be ready to haul going the other way. Let me know.