hey guys and gals, i'm new to fly fishing and new to these boards. i went fly fishing for the first time yesterday and one issue seem to haunt me all day (there were lots and lots of issues but this one was the most frustrating ). i was making mainly cast directly across stream or slight up stream, and almost without fail, my fly line would almost immediately get ahead of my fly and drag it through the water in an unnatural manner (kind of reminded my of a skier being pulled behind a ski boat ).
The secret really is that simple. It sounds like you were in slow water and casting to slow water, and had fast water in between the two. You need to fish it from a different angle, or stand close enough to where you can reach far enough across the fast water to keep your line from drooping into that fast stuff.
Mending and reach casts will help, but are likely to only help for a few seconds.
I agree with B.D. and Cliff, and think it's a mending issue.
Definately check out that link, and maybe rent a video or two on beginning flyfishing, they will get you going in the right direction.
As Cliff mentioned 'The reach mend' should help tons. Mending takes a little practice to get the hang of, especially if you have to throw several mends into one drift, but you gotta learn it/them to be successful.
I think the reach cast is actually much easier than mending. You basically just reach upstream with your rod gracefully after having completed your cast. It gives you a head start on mending and can't interfere with the fly's drift, as it hasn't hit the water yet.
P. Monahan's primer clearly explains most aspects of mending. But it's important to be clear about why it's frequently necessary: Classic fly fishing usually involves presenting floating dry flies or free-drifting nymphs to the fish's view, on the surface, in the surface film, or underwater. The fish knows how real insects behave, and will settle for nothing less. Would you eat a fine steak that kept trying to climb off your plate? You'd probably run away, and so does the trout.
So you've got to avoid drag at all costs. A mostly drag-free presentation is like a deer stalk in which you make a noise only once or twice - you're busted! Dealing with complex micro-currents between you and the fish may defeat even the most expert. Mending is a more challenging skill than fly casting.
Sometimes it's not a problem. When streamer fishing, the fly is usually more attractive when it's moving, and often with some realistic meandering. Drag can help. And when swinging a fly across too-slow currents, a downstream mend will speed-up the line and fly.
As already mentioned, mending the line and slack line casts are the answer, just as easy as a reach cast is a wiggle cast.
You can also 'stick' the cast, hold the rod high to keep the line off the water, the fly might only get 2 seconds in the correct place but sometimes thats all it takes.
i went fishing yesterday, but it was a small stream so drag wasn't really an issue...trying to cast in tight space was the big issue of the day..
i was semi-successful with roll casting, but really lacked in accuracy..
it was a fairly frustrating day..not really because of the confined space - that was sort of fun, trying to figure out new and creative was to get the fly where i needed it. the main thing was i found a hole and could see the trout in it and i threw several flies at them (elk hair caddis, green bead head nymph (not sure of name), pink san juan worm - nada. finally got a little interest from a olive wooly bugger (which i lost in a tree a few minutes later ). but the frustration set in when a guy walks up and starts throwing power bait right on top of me and starts pulling trout out left and right..he caught 8 in about an hour
you guys think i didn't get any interest from the trout because my fly selection or presentation was wrong..