The Roll-Cast Pick-Up

The Roll-Cast Pick-UP

When visiting stillwaters, I quite often see beginners retrieving far too much fly line through the rod tip. This invariably results in far too many false casts to try and get a sufficient amount of fly line back out through the rod tip rod to load and deliver the fly.

Too many false casts can not only spook fish, but can become very tiring and frustrating – and after all, fish live in the water and not the air, so the longer our fly is in the water the more chance we have of catching a fish.

Once the correct techniques to perform the basic roll cast and overhead cast have been mastered, they form the solid foundations to create all kinds of combination casts.  One of the most useful of these combination casts is a roll-cast pick-up.



As its name implies, it starts out as a basic roll cast that ‘picks up’ into and overhead cast – without first allowing the fly and line to land on the water. It’s a cast that allows us to keep the fly in the water for longer and fish it close in, thereby covering more water and increasing the potential chances of a following fish taking our fly.


It’s also a great cast to use when fishing from a boat when loch-style drifting and we want to keep the fly ‘on the hang’ to induce a take before recasting out again. With a sufficient amount of fly line outside of the rod tip to roll cast and load the rod, we can get the fly back out and in the zone efficiently and as quickly as possible. It’s a win-win situation that helps keep our mental focus on catching fish.


If you would like a GAIA Instructor to help you put theory into practice, use Find An Instructor below to get in touch with your local GAIA instructor and have a chat about your requirements.  

Enter a city, town, place or postcode into the box below to find nearby GAIA Instructors.

logo footer 250

The Game Angling Instructors' Association

Get in Touch

GAIA Admin