If you’ve been fly fishing for any amount of time, you know that the weather significantly impacts your fly fishing experience, particularly wind. No matter the location, the wind is a culprit that can humble even the best fly caster. Today we provide some pro tips on how to cast in windy conditions. These tips are a culmination of suggestions from Alaska and Andros in The Bahamas and will help improve your casting regardless of where you fly fish. Above all Else, Keep the Fly from hitting or hooking you.
Wind into your Casting Side – Safety is paramount, and since this scenario is the most dangerous, we will address this first. Anytime the wind is blowing, it can be hazardous. It is especially hazardous when the wind is blowing from the outside into your casting arm, blowing the fly line and the fly into from your strong arm side. There are three ways to address this: First, cast sidearm, keep the line and fly as far and low away from you as possible. Second, try casting cross-body off your other shoulder. Finally, consider backcasting it. Turn your body, so your backcast becomes your forward cast. The key is to keep the line and fly from blowing into you.
Wind into the opposite Casting Side – When the wind is blowing the line and fly away from you, simply adjust your aim. This is easier on the Flats or while casting off the bow of a boat. It is more challenging in a river situation. Regardless, it is still easier to manage than the prior situation.
When the wind blows into your back– Consider leveraging a roll cast, as it will be wind-aided. Or surge a tight, quick backcast, and wait a little longer for the backcast load. Be mindful of strong gusts of wind. That fly could come back much faster than you think.
When the wind blows into your face– A very difficult situation that requires tight loops and super strong hauls with an open back cast, all whilst aiming more towards the water’s surface.
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