Here’s a key video from Orvis casting instructor Pete Kutzer’s series on getting started with fly fishing. Pete discusses one of the most controversial issues in fly casting: whether or not there is a “right” way. Some people will say, “You need to lock your wrist,” while others claim that a small wrist is necessary. Etc.
But as Pete says, at the heart of every fly cast is one basic, simple thing: the rod needs to Relocation and then to stop. If you can get a smooth acceleration to a hard stop, you can cast a fly rod no matter what your wrist is doing. (But don’t try Pete’s behind-the-back trick on the water.)
If you want a detailed analysis on this topic, read the article “Fly Casting: Substance and Style” by Al Kyte & Gary Moran. This study, published in the 1990s, looked at elite fly throwers like Lefty Kreh, Mel Krieger, Steve Rajeff, and Joan Wulff to see how their throw forms differed. Kyte and Moran discovered that there are many ways to achieve the same goal.