CASTING AGAINST WINDS

by Fly Fisherman

There will be periods in your fishing experience when you will wonder if the winds are ever going to let up. There will
be windless occasions but we forget them and recall only those
days we suffered difficulty with the constant breeze or gusty winds. In fishing a winding stream we will have a sample of normal wind currents in every direction, but the prevailing wind will probably be in a down stream course.
I have fished in winds strong enough so that the casts were practically uncontrollable. I spent one afternoon in the Sierra Nevada mountains when a strong wind was constant and I was attempting to take advantage of that by fishing with it and letting the wind dap my fly on the water. For periods of minutes at a time my line was stretched out in front and nothing I could do would let the fly drop to the water. When it did it was instantaneous. Were I of a different frame of mind, I suppose, that would have been a time to affix a couple of buck shot to the leader. One or two experiences projecting a fly with a buck shot, in a strong wind, supplementing the weight of the line and it’s usually enough. With the handicapping breeze that lead pellet is like a shot bullet singing around your head and I’m just too unreasonable to enjoy that.

Another hindrance that the winds place upon you is that not always does the fly travel the route in which you are directing it. It has a “pixie” inclination to fasten its hook into exposed ears, and other anatomical sections of your carcass, and unreachable (without unharnessing) locations of your shirt or fishing jacket.
Now that we’ve touched on the less desirable features of winds in fishing, I must also state that it is generally conceded that trout are prone to be a bit more cooperative in accepting your invitations to dine when winds are performing around you. That being the case, we want to continue fishing so what to do about it?
If the wind is at your back, your only concern is to get a good back cast into it. A bit of extra force, plus a bit of help from a single haul with the left hand, will do it. Care must be taken to be sure the forward cast clears you. It helps to tilt the rod tip some to the right so that the plane on which the line is rolling is far enough from you to avoid contact with you and also with the rod itself.

The wind from either side is a bit more easily combatted by leaning the rod WITH the wind so that your cast is forced into it. This applies not only to direct side winds but quartering winds also.
The head wind cast is the one you will need in the majority of cases if fishing the dry fly or nymph upstream. Your back cast is more likely to take care of itself in a head wind. The forward cast, it goes without saying, must be forced beyond the usual measure and the tip of the rod must be pushed ahead a bit more energetically. Instead of halting the rod at the 10 o’clock position, as in the normal cast, bring it down to the 9 o’clock angle before you release the pressure. An immediate lift again to the 10 o’clock position does not hamper the power traveling along the line. If the fly is not rolling out to the leader’s end, as it should, give the line a short single haul as you exert the last of the pressure, just before the 9 o’clock position is reached.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: