Casting with Wind

If you want to maximize your fishing time, you should know how to cast in the wind. Though the wind is a fly casting enemy, it can be overcome by force and tact.

Tips for Casting with Wind

While many fly fishermen hesitate to start fishing on a windy day, those who are already on the water usually can 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 to cast 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.
  • Use wet flies. Of course, you need to use wet flies or flies with little wind resistance when the wind is very strong. 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 you will be 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. All of the recommended motions and casts discussed here will require 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 fly cast with either hand, you will have a definite advantage.

Content courtesy of Fly Fisherman Magazine