I confess - I'm a flatlander who doesn't have to deal with the western phenomenon of the afternoon "breeze" on my home waters. Which means when I get the rare chance to trout fish out west, I'm pretty much at a loss when that #@%!! wind comes up. Here's a great example. We went out to Rocky Mt Nat Park and I got to fish the Fall River a few days, up above Aspenglen camp ground. Beautiful small meadow stream with lots of spooky, green cutthroats that are well educated. So I use my nice delicate 4-weight, try to stay out of sight and catch a few. Then the wind comes up. I can hardly hit the stream, much less put a fly on a target. What do you guys do? Surely there are some tricks. I'd sure love to hear them! Thanks in advance for your replies!
Hi Mark, Just my two cents but double hauling is what I rely on to get the line speed and power to cut through the wind. I was on the Potomac today and wind was pretty bad but a nice double haul would throw my clouser a decent distance. I was also using an 8wt rod and Rio Gold line. What type of line you're using could also make a difference. Good luck. Ride safe. vr
Watching this thread closely for tips. Much of the Midwest has been very windy all through fall. I have been using my 5WT. Not perfect at all, but accuracy is seemingly impossible with my moderate action 3WT.
I primarily fish Wyoming and Nebraska, which are notorious for high wind. Positioning your self on the water so you are casting with the wind is one option. Another option would be to use double hauls or faster action rods. If all else fails, CHUCK AND DUCK!
I've seen some wind and picked up a few things that could be helpful.
The stream you describe sounds like a place where accuracy was more important than distance. Always remember that 'generally' when the wind comes up a bit it can be your friend. The key words to play from there are 'generally' & 'can'. A wind will at times create riffles on the surface that will make it much more difficult for a spooky and educated trout to effectively see you. Because of this, and I should also note that a hard drizzling rain will do the same, you can often move much closer to your target because of the diminished visibility caused by the surface disturbance. Wind and rain can also drive more prey items into and onto the water and this is another possible benefit of what we at times see as poor conditions.
On larger streams it is sometimes a foolish effort to try to defeat a stiff wind if you can simply close the distance and cast with better accuracy and less effort. There are times when I've seen the wind so strong that I had to wait for a lull between gusts to even attempt a cast but often the patience paid off. If the wind is from right or left you simply compensate with your delivery to get on target. If it directly from the rear it sometimes can be used to your advantage if it is not too strong. If direct in your face, resort to the mention of getting closer and work from there.
You can easily learn to close the loop size in your casts to a very tight loop by adjusting stroke speed and combining this with some line hauls. Unless you've got the long range double haul casting technique down pat, you may not want to try getting it in a really stiff wind. I also tend to drive my delivery cast taking the rod tip almost to the waters surface when in the wind. Practice is the only way to develop your own style for combating the elements but stopping the rod tip high on the delivery cast in the wind may not work out for you. I use a short fast stroke combined with the low rod tip delivery to make a tight loop that will rocket to the target area. No matter how you proceed on your next encounter with the wind remember to keep a good authoritative cast stroke and be aware that you can very easily hook yourself in windy conditions.
Mark: The others have offered solid advice on fishing in the wind. I love fishing with a 4 wt rod for trout, but here in Wyoming, I primarily use my 5 wt. A fast action 5 wt will go along way in helping with the wind. I have a Sage One that will cast a mile, I don't particularly like the stiff tip, but if you expect wind, that rod will shine. This summer I fished with Brian (Liphookedau) from Australia, he fell in love with how that Sage One could throw a cast especially in the wind, but I think any fast action 5 wt will be a huge advantage over a 4 wt anytime you expect the wind to come up. YMMV!
1. Don't spit.
2. Cast in the other direction.
But seriously, try uplineing1 weight range, using wf line.
and, slingshot casts with a fast rod sometimes get you where you want to be. Most of my cast are short and presentation is more important than distance. Stealth helps.
Good luck with the afternoon breezes !
I fish in the wind a lot. It always seems to blow when I'm out , Especially when fishing the north Atlantic
When you're fishing into the wind, keep your backcast up high and drive your forward cast low. There's less wind at ground level.
Do the opposite when the wind is from behind you. Start with a low backcast and make your forward cast high to take advantage of the wind.
When the wind is over your casting shoulder, cast with the rod tip angled over your head. This is actually a little hard to get used to. The motion that your making with your rod hand is best described as similar to brushing your hair.
Use a Belgian/oval cast. When you keep your line in constant motion rather than the normal backcast/stop, forwardcast/stop, the wind has less effect.
When the wind is really howling, I switch to a full sink line. They're a lot skinnier and cut through the wind much better than a fat floating line.
And finally, as Bob Clouser told me one time. If the wind is bad where you are....Move.