Windy Days and Playing Fish

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Photo by Bob Reece

Photo by Bob Reece

By Bob Reece

On my home waters in Wyoming, wind is a nearly constant factor.

This weather altering force can also act as a source of frustration for many anglers.  However, this seemingly negative nemesis can be used as a casting ally.

While I spend most of my free time fishing moving water, my days of guiding are now spent entirely on still waters.  Several of these lakes and ponds lie in open areas that are subject to frequently changing winds.  In an effort to help my clients maximize their time on the water, I must be able to provide them with the instruction needed to persevere in these conditions.

Long casts are not always needed on our waters but sometimes they are.  In these situations it’s easiest to position the fly caster so that the wind is blowing from their left to right for right handed casters.  The opposite is true for left handed fly fishers.  By positioning their hips and line movement perpendicular to the wind, its force helps elevate the line while simultaneously keeping it safely away from the angler. Using this stance and range of motion, the final cast can be delivered on either the forward or backward stroke.  This process allows the angler to dictate their casting location as opposed to the wind dictating that for them.

With or without the element of wind, constant pressure on a hooked trout is an important factor in successfully land it. 

Its important to note that while a raised rod does apply some level of pressure, its angular direction dictates how much.  Side pressure in the opposite direction of the trout’s movement creates the largest amount of hook holding pressure.  This technique also reduces the length of playing the fish, ensuring that it can be successfully released.

There are a plethora of wind and fish playing situations that can arise during your time on the water.  These two techniques will not solve them all.  They are however, valuable tools that should be added to the box of fly fishers searching for well-rounded success on the water.

For more  videos like the one above, click on the link below:

To explore the private water fly fishing options at Horse Creek Ranch, click on the link below:

To step up your tying and fly fishing game, connect with Bob Reece are your Fly Coach through the link below:

Bob Reece
Gink & Gasoline
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2 thoughts on “Windy Days and Playing Fish

  1. On another topic, I want to offer prayers to our friends in the Fl. Keys as they have devastation of a mass proportion, over 90% of homes were damaged or destroyed, million dollar boats are sitting in water. The guides in the Keys, as well as Marco Island and Naples will need our support as well. By the grace of God, when the storm stayed North and not NW up the coast the disaster sparred us in Punta Gorda as well as other towns, and large coastal cities. The projected 15 ft storm surge would have flooded the whole coastline. I can only say in the end that prayers work, please keep those affected in your prayers.

  2. wind can be troublesome, or helpful. as you stated, positioning oneself crosswind can keep the fly in the air, rather than in one’s head. but another helpful casting technique is to put the wind at one’s back. rather than using an overhead/sidearm cast, a roll cast will let the wind carry the line and fly to their target, without endangering the caster.

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