This time of year, when planning a successful fly fishing outing, wind may be the thing to consider most. Clients call asking, “How will the fishing be on a particular date?” A mental plan of the venue may change completely when the day finally arrives, not only because of the wind speed and direction, but also because of the fly fishers inability to cope with it. A smooth glassy surface makes shallow water fish very spooky necessitating long perfectly accurate casts that do not disrupt the fish’s environment. Delivering the fly or line with a splash, hitting the fish with the line or leader; ripping the water on a sloppy pickup all prevent success. Broken surface water caused by the wind allows you to get closer to fish, forgiving more of your mistakes. Reds, trout and snook reward a stealthy approach under all conditions. Do some casting in your yard or on a field on windy days with. Pick targets and deliver a practice fly as you would under regular fishing conditions. Tight loops, where your rod leg and fly leg are close together will always penetrate the wind better that a large loop. Shorten and stiffen your leader for better turnover. Reduce the size and weight of flies remembering in fly fishing the line not the fly’s weight improve casting distance. 

Fly fisherman Pat Damico runs charters in lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at and (727) 504-8649.