How to Fly Fish in High Wind

There is nothing that will ruin a day out on the lake or river faster than any kind of weather. You’ve probably been there. You’ve gotten out to the best spot on your favorite bank, cast a line, and have been waiting patiently for that first bit when you notice the first slightly darker cloud. Or, maybe you’ve checked the weather and it calls for clear skies all day, and you get out to your spot only to be met by the high, random windstorms that are notorious throughout the Rocky Mountain Region.

Let’s face it, wind is one of the most annoying forms of weather. It can ruin the sunniest of days and the most perfect of fly fishing trips. If you’re heading out to cast a few lines and find yourself caught in high winds, here are some tips to help you fish in the wind so you don’t have to end your trip early.

Sometimes, Wind is Your Friend 

As annoying as it may be, sometimes you can use the wind to your advantage. If you are able to, try to position your rod on the downwind side of your body to keep the fly away from your head and try to quarter your cast across the wind. With the right angle, and a little luck, the wind can help carry you fly and you can aim for targets that are further away or would normally be totally out of reach.

Nature is Also Your Friend 

You are out in nature, so use it. If you find yourself stuck in gusty blows or a constant heavy breeze back yourself up to a high bank or thick tree line. Your wind-blocker of choice may also block your ability to back cast, so be sure you are comfortable roll casting before giving up your space. The proper bank or tree at the right height can block most of, if not all of the wind, giving you the chance at the pleasant afternoon on the water you were hoping for.

Choose A Heavier Rod

This last tip is tricky because it only really applies if you know it’s going to be windy where you are going before you leave. Once you’re out on the lake or river, you’re pretty much stuck with the rod and other equipment you brought along. 

However, if you are heading out and know you might be met with some windy conditions, choose a longer and heavier rod. A dry fly on a #7 or #8 weight rod will cut through wind a lot easier than a lighter, shorter rod.

Don’t Let the Wind Stop You 

Annoying? Yes. Bearable? Also, yes, in most cases. At the end of the day, it’s just a little bit of wind and it shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your time out on the water doing what you love. However, with these tips, you might have a slightly more pleasant experience.

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