Sunday Classic / Wind in Saltwater is Your Friend Not Your Enemy

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Zero wind makes for some of the toughest fly fishing conditions in saltwater. Photo By: Louis Cahill

Its 6:30am in the morning when we arrive at the boat launch in Big Pine Key, FL.

Within minutes of stepping out of the car the stagnant humid air begins to suffocate my body. The North Georgia mountain weather that I’ve grown so accustomed to, feels like air conditioning compared to this, and my body is still in shock from the drastic climate change. As I walk down to the boat ramp to help unload the boat, I feel the first drops of sweat rolling down my back. I think to myself, are you freaking kidding me? The sun isn’t even up yet. There’s absolutely zero breeze this morning, so calm you could spot a fish rolling on the surface three hundred yards away. My eyes seem confused at what their witnessing. If you had blindfolded me, and taken me here, there’s a good chance I’d guess I was on a freshwater reservoir. Call me crazy, but I was under the impression there’s always supposed to be at least some wind in the saltwater. I’d know better, but I’ve spent very little time in the Florida Keys during the late summer. Apparently, it’s quite common to go days without any wind during the months of July, August, and September. Awww, it makes total sense why I saw all those sailboats anchored up now.

You always overhear fly fishermen complaining about too much wind on the saltwater flats, but you rarely hear fly fisherman begging for it. To much or too little of either can spoil your fly fishing on the saltwater flats, making fishing conditions extremely tough. Believe it or not, wind is your friend and can at times, be an asset for fly fishermen. For starters, wind disturbs the waters surface, which can make fish feel safer and more secure feeding on the flats. The right amount of wind creates a buffer of noise that allows anglers to remain off the radar and out of sight from fish. It also breaks up light and masks movement, aiding fly anglers from spooking fish during their fly casting and presentations. The surface disturbance and current created by wind circulates water and increases oxygen, which all ocean inhabitants thrive from. So next time you’re on the flats and there’s a little more wind than you’d like, just keep in mind wind is your friend, and you’re probably much better off with a little more wind than having no wind at all.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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3 thoughts on “Sunday Classic / Wind in Saltwater is Your Friend Not Your Enemy

  1. After fishing saltwater from shore only for many years, I have to agree.

    Even at night, a breeze can carry that wonderful melon-like smell that whispers, “The fish are near.”

    For some reason, I always cast better and more confidently with at least a little breeze, even if I have to adjust how I throw the line.

  2. This is absolutely true during the daytime. I personally like it blowing 10 to 15 if I am tarpon or permit fishing. Permit are especially difficult in calm conditions.

  3. Pingback: Tippets: Hunting for Hemingway, Winds in Saltwater | MidCurrent

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