Dealing with wind is a given, but it shouldn’t keep you from enjoying your fly rod.
Two simple adjustments in your cast can help you overcome even a stiff head wind – the one most anglers dread – but if you learn to deal with it, staying down wind of your fish allows you to get closer without spooking. First, change the trajectory of the line so that it straightens out at an upward angle in the back and lower angle in front. This will use the wind to your advantage on the back cast, allowing the wind to add line speed and keep the line suspended in the air longer. Next, rather than placing the emphasis on the back cast, extra power will be applied to the slightly downward forward stroke, making sure to stop the stroke abruptly in the direction of the target. This is exactly the same as an accuracy cast.
When dealing with a tailwind, the opposite will work. Keep your back cast low by making a side-arm back cast and then switch to an overhead cast on the forward stroke, sending the line in an upward trajectory and allowing the wind to carry your line outward.
Cross winds can be the most difficult for accuracy. A wind on the casting arm side will tend to blow the line and fly into the caster’s body. The common approach is to make a cross-body cast by bringing the arm in front of the face, but if you keep your arm in the normal casting position and tilt the wrist inward, this will place the rod tip over the opposite shoulder and keep the fly and line down wind of the caster. You may also choose to turn your back to the target and simply deliver the fly on the back cast, although this is not easily done in a kayak. A wind to the non-casting side poses no difficulty, as the line naturally stays down wind of the caster.
Kayak Fly Fishing Skills are presented by Fly Fishing Instructor and NuCanoe Pro Staffer Joe Mahler. Learn more about Joe at http://www.joemahler.com/.