Combat the Wind with the Two P's - POSITION and POWER
This time of year is the most unpredictable but you can bet that the wind will come into play at some point in the day. Whether it’s a light breeze or strong gusts, you need different tactics when the wind shows up.
To combat the wind, remember the 2 P’s - POSITION and POWER
First, “P” is POSITION.
Determine the wind direction and then fish sections of the river where you can position yourself strategically and use the wind to your advantage. Ideally, the wind is blowing upstream and can help carry your flies. If this is the case, position yourself in the river where a simple water load cast can sling shot your fly to your target. Once your flies are in the water and drifting toward you, strip the line to stay ahead of your flies. This prevents the wind from blowing the line upstream, which will create drag and bring your flies back up in the water column.
Despite thinner micro leaders' ability to cut through wind better than thicker leaders, I advise against them. Thinner leaders succumb to the slightest breeze so tangles are more frequent when they are not under tension.
Heavier leaders in the 12 to 15 lb range have more stiffness to stay straighter in the wind so you can stay tighter to your flies- And they tangle much less.
The Other “P,” POWER
If the wind is blowing downstream you’ll need to change up your tactics because now you’ll have to cast your flies against the wind to get them upstream of you. You’ll need the other “P,” power to overcome the force of the wind.
Here are a few things you can do increase your power:
On windy days use your fastest rod. The one that generates the most speed and will cut through the wind. This usually means going shorter on the rod length- a 9’ rod cuts through wind much better than an 11 ft rod.
To better load the rod use heavier flies. But keep in mind that one heavy fly at .8 grams will load the rod the same and two flies weighing .4 grams ea, yet one heavy fly will sink faster than the two lighter flies. So, water type and desired sink rate will help you decide which fly strategy is best.
Also remember that the flies that sink faster are the ones that cut through the wind better. Think perdigon for this because they are less bushy in profile.
Two other ways to load the rod for more power are the water load cast and adding a haul to the cast. You can water load your back cast when the flies are still upstream of you, or you can water load your forward cast if your flies are downstream of you. And adding a haul to both of these will increase power even more for casting through the wind.
With minor adjustments to gear and techniques euro nymphing is still the most effective way of fishing in the wind.
Click on links below for more info on gear and the casting techniques discussed above.
The Mavrk Dual ESN Rod can be fished in two lengths, 9’0 or 10’ 3.”
The Mavrk Tracer 62 line/leader in size Med used stiff Maxima Chameleon line
See videos for water loading and hauling tips to get more powerful casts.
By Jeff Sasaki