We’ve run many posts in the past about casting in the wind, and for good reason- it’s tough! Most of the time we’ve concentrated on how to cast directly into the wind, or when the wind is on your casting side. These are the most difficult wind directions to cast into and cause the most trouble for most anglers. However, casting directly down wind can cause issues as well! Sure, you can loft up a sloppy cast into the breeze and odds are the wind will take your fly for a ride. Nonetheless, like all things fly casting, there’s always room for improvement. Here are a few tips to increase your distance, accuracy, and control when casting down wind.
3 Fundamentals When Casting Down Wind
- Widen Your Loops. Huh? But I thought you always want tight loops? More often than not, laser sharp loops are what we’re looking for when fly casting. However, when casting downwind, the strong wind from behind can cause the legs of a tight loop to crash into each other. Therefore, it is important to cast slightly wider loops than normal on the forward cast in order to maintain a consistent loop of line all the way to the fish.
- Higher Trajectory. Stop the rod high to allow the fly line to straighten above the surface of the water. With the added energy of the wind working in your favor, casting at an angle directed toward the surface of the water will often cause the line to slap the water, or land in a heap when presenting the fly downwind. Adjust the trajectory of your cast to allow the line to straighten above the water before settling softly onto the surface.
- Better Back Casts. For obvious reasons, most of us would agree we can reach greater distances when casting with the wind. However, a common problem we see when casting down wind are tailing loops on the forward cast. Although the wind might provide the extra power needed to throw a long line, if it tangles up in the process, it’s probably not a great ‘fishing cast’ anyhow. Most often, the cause for a tailing loop when casting downwind is a poor back cast. Therefore it is important to concentrate on throwing a nice loop that has enough energy for the fly line to straighten into the wind on the back cast. Without getting too ‘technical,’ this allows for less ‘slack’ in the system before starting the forward cast and will help to reduce tailing loops.