What Is the Purpose of Shadow Casting in Fly Fishing?

Shadow casting is a technique used in fly fishing that helps the angler be more successful. It involves casting a shadow over the water, creating an area of darkness that can attract fish.

The shadow can also be used to help anglers stay hidden from their Target, allowing them to get closer to the fish before they spook them away.

The most common way to cast a shadow is by standing in the sun and casting your line into the darker area created by the umbra of your body. This technique works best when there is strong sunlight or bright moonlight, as it creates an obvious contrast between light and dark.

Anglers can also cast a shadow by using an artificial light source like a flashlight or headlamp, which can be useful in low-light conditions.

In addition to providing cover for anglers, shadows can also act as attractants for fish. Many species are attracted to areas of darkness and will swim into them in search of food or shelter.

By casting a shadow, anglers can create an area that appears “safe” for fish and draw them closer to their bait.

Shadow casting is just one of many techniques fly fishermen use to increase their chances of success on the water. While it may not guarantee a catch, it certainly increases one’s odds of hooking into something special!


The purpose of shadow casting in fly fishing is twofold: it helps anglers stay hidden from their Target while creating an attractive area for fish to swim into. This technique can be used along with other methods like artificial light sources, jigging, and trolling to increase an angler’s chances of success on the water.

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Lindsay Collins