Saltwater Fly Casting In Wind (Tips From a Fishing Guide)

In this post, I will discuss the Saltwater Fly Casting in wind along with tips and guides.

You may not be familiar with saltwater fly casting in wind, but you should be by now!

In the summer months when the water is calm and the fish aren’t jumping on the hook, you are probably spending the majority of your time on the boat doing nothing.

That is no longer the case.

With the wind blowing, the water can be choppy and unpredictable. Fish will move around, and when the wind is right, they will take flight.

When this happens, the fly line will be whipping in a chaotic fashion, and the leader is no exception.

Saltwater fly fishing in wind is very challenging but is highly rewarding.

The main purpose of the post is to give readers an idea of how to cast in windy conditions.

I will talk about the windy conditions and how they impact casting in saltwater fly fishing, and what can be done to mitigate these effects.

Also, don’t forget to check out my best all-around saltwater fly rod reviews that will help you make the right choice for your budget and needs while fishing in the windy weather.

Why is wind good sometimes?

Wind can be a bit of a nuisance to the seasoned fly fisher. There’s nothing quite like the sting of an unexpected gust coming up from behind and leaving you with an empty reel.

Fortunately, there are several strategies that you can use to increase your success in the wind.

First, it’s important to realize that wind affects fish differently than it affects humans. The wind is an excellent indicator of current.

It provides the information that lets you know where the water is flowing, and where it is not. Fish will move with the current in a predictable fashion.

When you see the wind coming up, this means that the current is changing direction.

Types of Winds and How to Fish Them

Fly Fishing a Headwind

When fishing in wind, there are many factors to consider. Whether the wind is behind you or to your side, whether it’s coming from above, below, or from a different direction altogether, there are multiple angles to consider.

One of the most important things to know about wind is that it often comes in three distinct types.

While the exact names and definitions may vary, the basic idea remains the same:

a headwind is a wind blowing toward you;

a tailwind is a wind blowing away from you, and a crosswind is a wind blowing from a direction other than what you face.

How to Tell Which Wind Direction is Best for You

If you’re in a river, stream, or lake, where the water current is moving in one direction, then you want to choose that direction.

In a pond or lake, that means your target fish should be heading downstream (away from you). When you’re casting from shore, you want the wind at your back.

And in salt water, the wind is always coming from the direction the current is flowing.

Why it Matters

Whether you’re casting in a lake, river, pond, or saltwater, the direction of the wind determines how the line flies.

If the wind is blowing into your face, it will slow down your retrieve and make the fly behave as though it is weighted with a heavier sink rate.

Conversely, when you are casting toward the wind, it makes the fly sail faster and flies farther.

In saltwater, this matters a great deal. The wind dictates where the fish will go, so if you are casting toward the wind, you have a good chance of catching them in the right location.

If you cast into the wind, you’ll get a lot of casts, and you can adjust your angle to keep them at the right depth and speed.

How to Cast Into the Wind

When casting into the wind, you want to be facing the wind. If the wind is blowing into you, face it, and cast into the breeze.

If the wind is blowing from you, turn your body slightly to the left or right so that you are casting in the direction of the wind.

It’s not uncommon to feel the wind on your back, so it’s important to take a few moments to readjust your rod tip and handle. This will make sure your line is always pointing the way you want to cast.

Casting a Fly Rod With a Tailwind

A tailwind is when the wind is blowing from behind the angler and is considered the best way to fish. When casting a fly rod with a tailwind, you are able to get maximum distance.

“You want to cast your fly rod with a tailwind because when you do this you can use the energy of the wind to help you launch your line.”

“There are 3 types of tailwinds:

1.) A “Sailor’s Tailwind“: This is when you cast your fly rod into the wind so that you can take advantage of a tailwind.

2.) A “Hooker’s Tailwind“: When you cast your fly rod with a headwind, this will cause the line to fall, and then the weight will get dragged.

3.) A “Spinner’s Tailwind“: When you cast your fly rod with a headwind, this will cause the line to drop, then it will “spinner” back to its original position.

Sidewind (Opposite side)

If the wind is coming across the angler from the opposing side, the easiest way to use this is to lower the rod tip and stroke.

This will put pressure on the wind and cause it to change direction. The opposite side of the wind can be used in a similar way.

If the wind is blowing over the angler, then the rod can be held with the tip up and the line run out.

As the line is run out, the rod is lifted to put pressure on the wind and cause it to change direction.

Sidewind (Casting Side)

When dealing with this kind of wind, there are two methods.

 Firstly, you can cast a spell on the side of your head that is not being blown by the wind. This is useful for those who want to use their breath as a source of energy.

The other option is to cast a spell to make the wind blow in one direction or another. This can be done by casting a spell-like Gust or Haste, but it is usually easier to cast a spell-like Forcecage.

Tips and Methods to Work With the Wind

Tight loops – Tight loops are casts that are pulled back into the casting stroke and re-started on the forward cast. Tight loops make it very difficult for the wind to move the line away from you.

Loose Loop Casting – Loose loops are casts where the line leaves the hand and floats through the air and are often seen as lazy fishing. They are not good for tight loops.

Aft Casting – Aft casting is simply casting the line with your back toward the target. This will allow you to get better control and accuracy.

Casting In The Air – Casting in the air is a simple yet effective technique. Just let the line fly and aim for the target. There are no rules for this.

The Best Wind Direction – It is best to cast into the wind but that isn’t always possible. As soon as the target becomes visible, cast the line in the direction of the breeze.

The Target – Most fish prefer bait over lures. This means you must cast in the direction of the target. You’ll need to work with the wind as much as you can, but always keep your eyes on the target.

Fish Tolerance – Fish that are sensitive to a particular color is likely to be sensitive to other colors as well. Find out what types of bait work best with the type of fish you are targeting.

What is too windy for fly fishing?

Generally, anything below 10 mph should be fine for fly fishing in speed. Fly fishermen usually use rods made of graphite, and are generally very strong.

Fly fishing requires light winds for casting. But if the wind is strong, it’s possible that the fish won’t bite at all, especially if the fly line is bouncing around in the wind too much.

So, if you’re planning a trip to catch fish, it’s advisable to check the weather forecast and avoid the windiest days.

If you don’t feel like waiting for the right conditions, you can use a spinning reel, and practice casting to get some basic experience.

How do you double haul in the wind?

You can double haul in the wind by adjusting the angle of your sail. This means that the sail should be facing the wind at a greater angle, which usually results in less sail power.

However, the ideal angle of sail depends on the amount of wind and how fast the boat is moving.

For example, if your sail is facing 20 degrees from the wind, then you should adjust it to 30 degrees to generate more power.

What to fish with on windy days?

It’s going to be hard to catch fish when the wind is blowing at 20 mph speed.

Instead, use a jerk bait, spinner bait, or shallow crank up on those same spots. It’s likely that there will have been a strong, gusty wind pushing the baitfish toward shallow water.

Saltwater Fly Casting In Wind Summary

In conclusion, saltwater fly fishing is all about anticipation and timing. Anticipate the conditions and the rhythm of the river. Then time your cast so that the line comes forward in unison with the water.

Check out my best all-around saltwater fly rod reviews list to help you make the best cast ever even in windy conditions and all-around best saltwater flies patterns that will help you in casting the fish effortlessly.

It’s important to master the art of waiting for just the right moment to catch that perfect trout.

Don’t worry about the wind if it’s blowing out of the bank. Just enjoy it. There’s nothing wrong with casting your fly into a headwind.

The best part of fly fishing is that it is a pastime, a passion, a lifestyle, and an art. It is one of those few things in life where you truly get to experience all of those things.

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