7 Tips to Better Fly Casting in Windy Conditions, (and a bonus)!
Take it from a true Okie, the wind can be a formidabe advosary, or it can be a feather in your cap. Living in central Oklahoma, if you fish, it will usually be greater than 10-15 MPH, and days like today, it is 25 with gusts over 30 MPH! If that is your truth, then you have 2 choices; 1) Stay at home, (I never liked this one). 2) Strap on your big girl panties, and figure out what you are going to need to do to be successful. I opted for number 2, but it has taken me decades to find out how to successfully operate in high wind conditions. Here are 7 things that you can impliment now to do just that.
1) Position yourself to have a favorable wind. If it is gale force out of the South, you don’t need to start on the North side of anything that you are fishing. You might have to resrt to this, but by all means do not start there. If you are on the windward side, try roll casting, just to keep your back cast out of the situation. Use big, open, wide loops, and let the wind work for you.
2) Cast over the opposite shoulder. if you are a right handed caster, and the wind is at your right side, then cast over your left shoulder. Cheat code: Stand with a little more of a left stance, where you can pivot to a perpendicular situation in relation to the water, this will help your back cast.
3) Utilize a cast that keeps the fly line low. Wind is less at the surface of the ground, and the water. A good side arm cast will help with this allot.. If you don’t know how to do that, check out the members videos on this site. (it’s going to be the best money you could spend).
4) Size up in rod, and leader. Use 2-3 rod sizes up wha tyou would normally use. This heavier line will cut through the wind better. The heavier leader will be less apt to tying itself in a big knot. Also, flourocarbon is stiffer than its mono counterparts. I like P-Line, good stiff line, and invisible in water.
5) Learn to utilize the Belgian cast, and the reverse Belgian cast. The basics here are high cast away from the wind, and low casts toward the wind. If you are facing the wind, backcast is high, front cast is low. If you are facing the Leeward side, back cast is low, front cast is high. This uses the fly line as a knife, and a sail.
6) Have good gear. Get a fly rod that has guts. A high modulous rod does not cost much money. If you are a MyFlyFishing.Club member, hit me up. I can ge tthem for less than $80 sometimes. This also includes fly lines. Get a good line, slick good finish. I really like Airflo. The polyerethane finish is very long lasting, even to someone that fishes as often as I do. They don’t crack like PVC lines, and the manufactering process is less invasive.
7) Learn great loop control. This only comes with practice and instruction. Don’t be afraid to take a step back in the process if you are an intermediate caster, it would benefit you to take a beginner course jus tto make sure that you have not developed any bad habits. A good fly casting instructor will run anywhere from $85-$150/hour. MyFlyFishing.Club will not only save you time, but a metric Ass-load of cast through this process, and you will still receive expert instruction, and consultation just in case you have a case of the “shanks.”
Extra bonus tip: Try a uniform sinking line. These lines are usually pretty dense for thier diameter. THey cut through the wind, and have enough heft to get a good long way!
The point is this: Put more time in before the water, and enjoy the time that you have on the water ten fold. Instead of spending money on instruction, and useless name-brand gear, spend that time making memories of the excellent experiences that this sport offers. Instead of paying full price for trips, get a discount, or do it in a more intelligent way, that way you can do it more often. Brands do not define us, after all, our experiences do. I hope this helps, if it does, please let us know.
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Thight Lines! MFF.C