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Tips to Cast Better In The Wind

One of the most topic discussions among our guests is dealing with the wind and for a good reason – it is tough! With practise and understanding of a few techniques and principles, it is possible to land your fly under the worst circumstances. 

Tight Loops and High Line Speed

Tight loops and high line speed are two of the most important principles when casting into the wind are. Don’t Shoot Line Into the Wind.

Attempting to shoot line into the wind when casting into a heavy headwind is not the best idea. The instant you let go of your line to shoot, your rod unloads and is at the mercy of the wind. You may have noticed this as you make your final cast – your line lands in a pile as it is knocked down by the wind.

On the other hand, staying connected to the rod (not shooting line), allows the rod to remain loaded all the way through the casting stroke, thus allowing the fly to turn over.

Do Shoot Line on Your Backcast

When casting directly upwind, it can be difficult to increase the length of your line needed to reach the fish. However, you can use the wind to your advantage by shooting line on your backcast instead. Shoot line on your back cast until you reach your desired amount of line and present the forward cast without shooting line.

Change Up Your Tackle

As anglers, we try not to blame our gear, but a few simple changes might actually help in the wind. In the case of bonefish, different leaders, fly lines, or flies may lead to greater success on those windy days.

Know Your Fly Line

A simple tip that will aid in any casting situation, especially in the wind, is to understand the taper of your fly line. Most fly lines used today are of the weight-forward variety, but the taper itself differs greatly between different line series. Understanding how long the head (heavy forward section) of the fly line allows you to know how much lines you can carry in the air with control. Luckily the head and running line of most fly lines nowadays are coloured to indicate the separation between the two.

The Belgian Cast

What if the wind is not blowing directly at you? The Belgian Cast is the best option for getting the fly in the zone and not in your head. Simply make your backcast from the side and low to the water and your forward cast over your head in traditional fashion. Changing planes between the backcast and forward cast keeps the fly away from you and is especially useful when the wind is blowing onto your casting side.

Water Loading

False casting over and over again is a recipe for disaster in high winds, especially in any wind that is not directly at or behind you. Instead of attempting to load the rod by false casting, use the water tension to load the rod. Cast out and let the line settle out straight on the water’s surface. Smoothly pick your line up off the water into your backcast. The water tension on the line will allow the rod to load on the backcast before any outside forces (wind) can act on it. Better yet, use the water load as the back cast for a Belgian style cast!

The Triple Haul

This one is for the advanced casters out there. If you are trying to punch a cast into the wind and are having trouble turning your fly over, try a triple haul. On the forward cast, after you have finished your haul, haul a third time at the end of the cast. Hauling a third time introduces more energy into the system allowing the fly to turn over or even dive straight into the water. Make sure on your double haul, your line hand returns to the rod before making the triple haul to execute properly.

Hopefully this has helped to give you some tips for the next time you are faced with casting into the wind.

If saltwater fly fishing is something you wish to do, have a look at our saltwater fly fishing holidays.

Tight Loops

Peter Collingsworth

1 comment

  1. Bill Sowerbutts

    all good tips – all sound great – though easy to forget when you are actually out there

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