As if fly casters didn’t have enough problems, some flies spin while you’re casting. They act like little propellers as the fly flies through the air during your casting strokes. These flies are BAD. You don’t want to use them.
What makes a fly spin? Probably more things than I have listed here, but here’s an at least partial list-
-an offset hook;
-a fouled wing;
-a fly that’s lopsided or off center, usually a hard fly like a popper.
Flies that spin often work well in the water. A streamer tied on an offset hook tracks just fine. A popper that spins during the cast can be a fish catching machine while on the water.
Why then are they bad?
Flies that spin during the cast cause your leader and fly line to get twisted. Once your fly line is twisted it won’t shoot any more. When it gets bad enough you have to stop fishing since the line has become uncastable.
The only way you can get the twist out of a fly line in a place without a strong current is to take the fly off, get in a boat, get moving, and drag the line behind you until all the twist has come out. In my skiff I like the tow to be at least a couple of miles at planing speed.
I haven’t tried towing a twisted line behind a paddle craft. I think it would take a long time to get the twist out that way.
If the current is strong you can just let the fly-less line out into the current until the twist comes out. Expect to be there a while, perhaps a long while.
With the exception of a fouled fly, flies that spin are sneaky. They look fine. You can’t see them spinning. The only evidence you have that they are spinning is a leader that’s all twisted, or worse, a fly line that becomes twisted while you’re fishing. If you notice either of these things, change flies immediately.
Flies that are fouled should be changed immediately. Not only do they mess up your leader and line, fish generally won’t take a fouled fly. Throw it away, or give it to someone you don’t like.
Flies that spin- they’re sneaky, and can wreck your fly fishing.