Techy Thursdays - Dealing to the wind

After spending many, many guide days on the water I have observed countless styles and attempts to combat the wind. Coming towards the seasons end, many anglers find themselves with more time to get out on the water. Dont let a breeze affect your personal fishing time. The following are a few tid bits to assist you on those windier days on the river.

  • Minimise, or better still, eliminate false casting. The more time your line is in the air, the more time you have to stuff things up.
  • Keep a short, manageable line. Wind riffle will hide the fish, but it will also conceal your movements. Shorten up and move in closer.
  • Keep your rod tip low to the water. Any vertically hanging slack beneath the rod tip will get blown around by the wind, ultimately affecting your drift. Keep your rod tip down low, touching the water to minimise this effect.
  • Check your leader often, and use a stiffer tippet. Last thing you want is to finally hook a fish only to have a wind knot give.
  • If an indicator is required, keep it small. Energy will transfer down the taper of the line, into the leader and end when it hits your indy. The nymph then turns over from momentum alone, so if you cannot get rid of the indicator completely, make it as small and least wind resistant as possible. Shorter, steeper tapering leaders assist greatly in the transfer of energy through to the fly.
  • Use a heavy tungsten to push through the wind. If using a dry fly, trailing a small tungsten on point will assist greatly in turnover.
  • Maximise every chance. Realistically, windy days can be tough – maintain realistic expectations and do everything you can to convert whatever chances you have at fish. Practising at home, employing the above tactics and working the water well will result in more fish caught. FACT!


The best advice I can give is to practise, practise and practise. And not only in fine weather! Inclement weather expands your casting repertoire. You cannot always be guaranteed fine, still conditions on the river, so why not be prepared? The advantage of windy or rainy conditions is that the trouts vision is often inhibited due to surface disturbance, thus, long casts are not necessary. Practice effective, short casting techniques demonstrating good form.

You will learn more in one day on the water fighting wind and rain than you will over a week of sunshine!

Chris Dore