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Releasing Fish And Casting In The Wind (11 of 12)

Video Transcript:

It’s no different releasing a fish offshore as it is in any other place, except you don’t want to hang too far over the side. Gently revive a fish you intend to release until it can take off under its own power. It is rare to have a day offshore without some wind, so let’s visit Pete Kutzer for some timely tips on casting big flies in the wind.

Hi, I am Pete Kutzer from the Orvis fly-fishing schools. Today we are going to talk about casting in windy conditions. There are some things we can do to help deal with that wind. A wind coming at you, a wind coming at your non-casting shoulder, a wind coming at your casting shoulder, or behind you, there are different casts we can do for each one of these situations. Let's start off with the wind coming directly at you.

A wind coming straight at you is not the worst wind to deal with. There is a couple things we can do, the first is make a low angle cast and get below the wind. If we can send that fly out underneath the wind, we can deliver that fly to our target. Watch shorebirds when they're flying around at the beach, they almost fly between the waves because there is a lot less wind down low. Another option is to make a high angle back cast and drive that fly down through the wind down to the water. You don’t get the best presentation when you are making that cast, but it can help deal with those windy conditions.

When you are dealing with a wind coming at your non-casting shoulder, I am right handed so if that wind was blowing at my left shoulder, what I might have to do is compensate for that wind a little bit. I can send that fly a little bit more to the left of that target and hopefully that wind will blow it on track or, just like with that wind coming at me, I can cast below the wind. Making that low angle cast in getting that fly out to target.

If I have a wind blowing at my back, that wind can be a little more difficult than you think. You want to make a low angle back cast and get that line underneath the wind. Make sure that line gets out nice and straight. Then we can make that higher angle forward cast, that cast almost looks a little bit like an oval. We are going to make a low back cast bring the rod tip up, then a high forward cast to deliver that fly out to our target.

The worst wind you can deal with is a wind blowing at your casting shoulder. When you are dealing with that wind, that can in some cases blow that fly right into you, hooking yourself. I have hooked myself in the neck, in the ear, in the back, even in the rear end. It’s not very comfortable, so there are a couple techniques. One technique is actually taking that rod tip and angling it over your left-hand shoulder. Making a high end cast and get that line off your shoulder above you. One friend used to describe it as combing your hair. Another technique is to switch hands. Practice casting with your non-dominant hand. I practice all the time and it really does help in those windy conditions. Perhaps the easiest technique to deal with those windy conditions at your casting shoulder is to simply turn your back to the wind and make a back cast delivering that fly to the fish. That is going to keep the fly well away from you, keep you nice and safe, and help you catch more fish.