Casting with Wind

To maximize your fishing time, you need to learn how to wind cast. While the wind will always be a fly casting enemy, there is no need to stop fly fishing the moment it picks up. Learn how to cast against the wind and open up new possibilities.

TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL WIND CASTING

While many fly fishermen hesitate to start fishing on a windy day, there are ways for those already on the water to find a way to cope and succeed. Sometimes beating the wind just requires finding a section of protected water where the wind is not as strong. And since many fly fishermen don't like fly casting in the wind, those who can tackle it often have the water to themselves.

  • Be equipped for wind. This is not the time for a soft rod and double-taper fly line. Most modern graphite rods have the backbone to beat the wind, and when they are matched with a weight-forward line, shortened leader and streamlined fly pattern, you can go afield with a greater degree of confidence. In very strong winds a sinking tip line or shooting-taper works even better, as the added weight at the end of the fly line will help you gain distance and get the line to turn over.
  • Wet flies or flies with little wind resistance when the wind is very strong are recommended for wind casting. Weighted nymphs are best in terms of low wind resistance. Since the wind ruffles the river's surface, you don't need to worry about the sloppy casts that are associated with wind casting, they likely will not spook the fish.
  • Wear proper attire. Your clothing becomes critical in wind, too, since hooking yourself is more likely. And because fly casting in the wind requires driving your casts with more force than usual, any impalement will be all the more memorable and dangerous. A hat that will stay on, eye protection and a jacket are great boons in absorbing errant flies.
  • Use your body to gain the advantage. Remember, wind casting requires more speed, force and critical timing than usual. Your fly casting strokes will be longer; your "body English" will be more exaggerated; and an extra punch of power will be needed at the end of each casting stroke. Different tactics will be required as wind direction changes or as your casts change direction in relation to the wind. Also, if you can master wind casting (after your fly casting basics) with either hand, you will have a definite advantage.

Content courtesy of Fly Fisherman Magazine