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Deeter: Fly Casting into the Wind...The Best Tip Ever

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May 26, 2010

Deeter: Fly Casting into the Wind...The Best Tip Ever

By Kirk Deeter

Wind freaks fly casters out. But it shouldn't. The wind can be your friend as much as it is an adversary. The best tip I've heard about conquering the wind in your face comes from my guide friend Torrie Bevans from South Andros. It's also one of the simplest.

http://ak.c.ooyala.com/luMXMwYzq-I6Hnel4Q6ZJ3l2q21665PN/Ut_HKthATH4eww8X4xMDoxOjBhOzV3Va


Hard on the backcast... easy on the forward cast. Harder than normal on the backcast, and easier (believe it or not) than normal going forward. Or as he says... be a "rugged man" on the backcast, and "soft man" going forward.

Now, the one tricky part of this, of course, is that it is completely counterintuitive... it's instinct to want to punch the line into the wind. But that's a big no-no. You want to take about 30% or more off the throttle from the backcast to the forward cast. You want your mind to be thinking "engine" on the backcast, and "steering wheel" on the forward cast.

Yet another way to put it... imagine throwing a dime into a stiff breeze. Gently fling it with your fingers, and you'll get it where you want... whip it into the wind, and it skips off the breeze, and almost never lands where you want it to.

"Rugged man... soft man." Whether you're fly fishing a trout stream, a steelhead river, a bass lake, the flats, (basically anywhere the wind blows)... that's the money tip for beating a headwind.

Give it a try, and you will be amazed.

Deeter

PS- I apologize for the rough video... I shot it with a little handheld in a 20-mph wind. It was too good an opportunity to pass up.

 

Comments (26)

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from buckhunter wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

The soft forward is what gives you a tight loop which is easier to punch into the wind? (My guess).

Either way it is good advice I'll have to try out next windy day.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Do you have problems with the fly rotating over or does it fall backwards and you have to strip line in to straighten it out?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Yes... the soft forward forms the loop.

And no, the hard snap is what causes the fly to recoil, the easy stroke turns the leader over nicely.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

I've always gone with a hard low cast into the wind, the fly would turn over and smack the water. I'll give this one a go.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Awesome tip Deeter! I've quit early on quite a few windy days lately, so I can't wait to try this out.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from LJRguide wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Good tip.

Most guys cast much harder into the wind, and overpower their forward cast. This causes a tailing loop which does not cut through wind. Tight loops cut through wind.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

#38...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from countitandone wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Thanks Deeter, now this is why I tune in...I learn! Your guide this time down has it down to two words...hermaona macata~no worries!

I cuss the wind here in the High Sierras. You can set your watch, when the swirl begins at straight up noon!

We've got a lake up here at elevation 4800 feet that pushes big LCT (Lahoutan Cut Throat) and it's food sources right at you during the winds of March/April. So, wind can be your friend, sometimes.

Listen up Fly Talkers, those of you who haven't, try Pyramid Lake next year. Forty (40) fish days are not uncommon here. Dude, it's easy. Just bring an 8wt, a six(6)foot ladder, a salmon net and dropper rigs. Thanks again Deeter. I'm headin' out to the front yard now and practice on the grass...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Armchair Mike wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Fantastic! I had given up trying to cast into the wind because it seemed the harder I tried, the worse things got. I can't wait for the next windy trip now.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Peter Fallon wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Awesome. Great reminder to work less hard to cast farther.

I miss the Bahamas...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Soft forward into the wind? Not my approach. Speeeeed overcomes wind, not the line moving slow. Higher backcast, and a lower forecast turning the fly just over the water is a good approach, and then using the double haul increases line speed that bores into the wind.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from countitandone wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

So Deeter, we're watching the Outdoor Channel and it features Andros South Lodge. The guide's name is Josie Sands. Did you meet him or are there quite a few for hire? The "Familiar Water" show is being taped and here are a couple of the sponsored gear items...Winston Rods and Galvin Reels. The bones being caught are over 20in!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from blacknblu wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Yo Deet - great tip. Just last week tarpon fishing in the Keys, I also got one from the famous Islamorada pro guide, Paul Tejera.

Basically, don't try and shoot line into a stong wind on the forward stroke - it'll just blow back at you (as I proved many times...).

Instead, make a high backcast, and shoot the length of line you need on your backcast, when the wind is your friend.

Then, a firm haul, and stop the line short on your forward cast - which makes it straighten out.

Geez, why didn't I think of that? Shoot line with the wind and not against it....

Also, the high backcast / lower forward cast trajectory (rather than the other way around), also helps to punch your line into the wind, and not get blown back at you.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

blacknblue,
You've got it with the haul..that creates the line speed, and even tightens up the loop on the forward, and increases the line speed that is a must into the wind. What can be used as well is a TRIPLE HAUL. You make the forward haul during the forward, power stroke, and then, just as the fly is turning over near the water, make a short haul again, speeding up the turnover, and putting the fly on the water.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

¥es... I fished with Josie Sands one day, and played dominoes with him another. All the guides are great, each for a different reason. Put it this way, in 6 days of fishing, I caught about 75 bonefish, the largest being about 8 pounds, and I saw a permit, some tarpon, and several double-digit bones. It was pretty mind blowing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from PZabel wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

that's how you use the rod but what about the line speed?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

There are definitely things to be added to that approach besides slow on the forward. The slower you apply the "punch' the power portion of the casting stroke, the bigger the loop...quick tight moves with the wrist provide the tight loop, and a must is a haul. He is right in not forcing harder the forward stroke staying smooth and getting the line moving straight before forming the loop...many try to overpower the stroke causing more problems that benefits,(forms the loop too soon) but the key is the haul like you see in the video...more than 1/2 the power(speed) can be applied by the line hand. I can't believe the guide is casting INTO the wind by the plane he is casting on...most will bend over and stay low, and cast side arm, or at least 3/4 to keep the line low, and then the higher in the backcast, and lower in the forecast is beneficial.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from conway wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

wow! I'll have to try that...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Sayfu and Paul, blacknblu... You're right. I agree with you that line speed is critical. The important link here -- and the practical beauty of this tip -- is to get people to generate that line speed on the backcast, and direct the line speed on the forward. If you try to generate line speed on your forward cast, that's too little, too late, and a recipe for failure in the wind.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

deeter.
Sorry, I am not buying it. Line speed on the back cast does not translate into line speed on the forward cast at all. The back cast is merely made to put the line straight back in position so that when you start forward you are RE-loading the rod, and re-generating line speed. If the line isn't straight back behind, or you've backcasted the line in an open loop, then when you start forward you have wasted stroke not loading the rod right away. The slow move is to move the line straight and load the rod BEFORE you form the loop by applying the wrist, or stopping the rod, however you describe it. The slowness you describe starts the good mechanics rather than the loop forming power portion of the cast, but a key is the HAUL that increases the line speed, and can tighten the loop. You can move the casting arm slow, and throw the line at high speed with the use of the haul.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

That's way too complicated, and exactly why most novice casters are intimidated and turned off by cast "gurus"... and exactly why "Rugged Man - Soft Man" is a plainspoken, practical, and valuable tip.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Detter...fishing in the wind, and especially fishing salt water IS a complicated casting situation. I can take a guy on a freshwater guided trip that doesn't know how to cast. A saltwater guide expects you to be able to cast in the wind, and have it down before you show up. But you have to be correct in understanding casting technique....you make two casts..a backcast, and a forecast. The backcast loads the rod(bends the rod if you want to make it seem uncomplicated) the rod forms the loop, and the line straights out. When the line straightens out on the backcast the rod UNbends..it straightens as the line comes to a stop....NOW you start over from scratch. You now start the forecast. The backcast has nothing to do with the speed of line created on the forecast. It does provide different amounts of line wt that will bend the rod on the forecast...short backcast less wt. less bend, and longer, more wt.more bend, but you have to generate line speed on the forecast that is independent of the backcast.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

I get your drift, Sayfu... and I actually agree with 95% of what you are saying. I'm intentionally pushing your buttons on the thread...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 45 weeks ago

deeter,
Agh, you chain jerker you!! :) May you throw an 80 ft. cast into the teeth of a hurricane, and gently land the fly right in front of a big kahoona's jaws. I did that to perfection on time, and then woke up in a cold sweat.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from countitandone wrote 3 years 45 weeks ago

Man I love these thread sword fights...with rubber tips!
Power back, easy forward, no worries...that rhythm works here in the 30 mph wind and gusts of 40 of the High Sierras. Man back, woman forward...alright, I stay out of this one.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 45 weeks ago

countitanddone..please..you are going against basic science! Easy forward into the wind?
Please don't tell me you can transfer the speed of a fast backcast into a forward, fast moving line by moving the rod forward easy. That can't happen without a good haul with the other hand. I, like any good casters, can demonstrate a very fast line speed by moving my rod hand forward, and easy, but the haul with the left hand is creating a lot of the speed...more than half the speed generated by that hand, and I still have to make a good, tight wrist puch with the rod hand. And the angle that you cast on when casting into the wind is a huge factor. Cast like that guide in the video is casting into the wind?...very poor results. He's turning the line over quite high over the water. At that point the line has no speed, and the wind blows it back.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from LJRguide wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Good tip.

Most guys cast much harder into the wind, and overpower their forward cast. This causes a tailing loop which does not cut through wind. Tight loops cut through wind.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Yes... the soft forward forms the loop.

And no, the hard snap is what causes the fly to recoil, the easy stroke turns the leader over nicely.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

#38...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from countitandone wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Thanks Deeter, now this is why I tune in...I learn! Your guide this time down has it down to two words...hermaona macata~no worries!

I cuss the wind here in the High Sierras. You can set your watch, when the swirl begins at straight up noon!

We've got a lake up here at elevation 4800 feet that pushes big LCT (Lahoutan Cut Throat) and it's food sources right at you during the winds of March/April. So, wind can be your friend, sometimes.

Listen up Fly Talkers, those of you who haven't, try Pyramid Lake next year. Forty (40) fish days are not uncommon here. Dude, it's easy. Just bring an 8wt, a six(6)foot ladder, a salmon net and dropper rigs. Thanks again Deeter. I'm headin' out to the front yard now and practice on the grass...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Armchair Mike wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Fantastic! I had given up trying to cast into the wind because it seemed the harder I tried, the worse things got. I can't wait for the next windy trip now.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

That's way too complicated, and exactly why most novice casters are intimidated and turned off by cast "gurus"... and exactly why "Rugged Man - Soft Man" is a plainspoken, practical, and valuable tip.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

I get your drift, Sayfu... and I actually agree with 95% of what you are saying. I'm intentionally pushing your buttons on the thread...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

The soft forward is what gives you a tight loop which is easier to punch into the wind? (My guess).

Either way it is good advice I'll have to try out next windy day.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Do you have problems with the fly rotating over or does it fall backwards and you have to strip line in to straighten it out?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

I've always gone with a hard low cast into the wind, the fly would turn over and smack the water. I'll give this one a go.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Awesome tip Deeter! I've quit early on quite a few windy days lately, so I can't wait to try this out.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Peter Fallon wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Awesome. Great reminder to work less hard to cast farther.

I miss the Bahamas...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Soft forward into the wind? Not my approach. Speeeeed overcomes wind, not the line moving slow. Higher backcast, and a lower forecast turning the fly just over the water is a good approach, and then using the double haul increases line speed that bores into the wind.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from countitandone wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

So Deeter, we're watching the Outdoor Channel and it features Andros South Lodge. The guide's name is Josie Sands. Did you meet him or are there quite a few for hire? The "Familiar Water" show is being taped and here are a couple of the sponsored gear items...Winston Rods and Galvin Reels. The bones being caught are over 20in!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from blacknblu wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Yo Deet - great tip. Just last week tarpon fishing in the Keys, I also got one from the famous Islamorada pro guide, Paul Tejera.

Basically, don't try and shoot line into a stong wind on the forward stroke - it'll just blow back at you (as I proved many times...).

Instead, make a high backcast, and shoot the length of line you need on your backcast, when the wind is your friend.

Then, a firm haul, and stop the line short on your forward cast - which makes it straighten out.

Geez, why didn't I think of that? Shoot line with the wind and not against it....

Also, the high backcast / lower forward cast trajectory (rather than the other way around), also helps to punch your line into the wind, and not get blown back at you.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

blacknblue,
You've got it with the haul..that creates the line speed, and even tightens up the loop on the forward, and increases the line speed that is a must into the wind. What can be used as well is a TRIPLE HAUL. You make the forward haul during the forward, power stroke, and then, just as the fly is turning over near the water, make a short haul again, speeding up the turnover, and putting the fly on the water.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

¥es... I fished with Josie Sands one day, and played dominoes with him another. All the guides are great, each for a different reason. Put it this way, in 6 days of fishing, I caught about 75 bonefish, the largest being about 8 pounds, and I saw a permit, some tarpon, and several double-digit bones. It was pretty mind blowing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from PZabel wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

that's how you use the rod but what about the line speed?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

There are definitely things to be added to that approach besides slow on the forward. The slower you apply the "punch' the power portion of the casting stroke, the bigger the loop...quick tight moves with the wrist provide the tight loop, and a must is a haul. He is right in not forcing harder the forward stroke staying smooth and getting the line moving straight before forming the loop...many try to overpower the stroke causing more problems that benefits,(forms the loop too soon) but the key is the haul like you see in the video...more than 1/2 the power(speed) can be applied by the line hand. I can't believe the guide is casting INTO the wind by the plane he is casting on...most will bend over and stay low, and cast side arm, or at least 3/4 to keep the line low, and then the higher in the backcast, and lower in the forecast is beneficial.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from conway wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

wow! I'll have to try that...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Sayfu and Paul, blacknblu... You're right. I agree with you that line speed is critical. The important link here -- and the practical beauty of this tip -- is to get people to generate that line speed on the backcast, and direct the line speed on the forward. If you try to generate line speed on your forward cast, that's too little, too late, and a recipe for failure in the wind.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

deeter.
Sorry, I am not buying it. Line speed on the back cast does not translate into line speed on the forward cast at all. The back cast is merely made to put the line straight back in position so that when you start forward you are RE-loading the rod, and re-generating line speed. If the line isn't straight back behind, or you've backcasted the line in an open loop, then when you start forward you have wasted stroke not loading the rod right away. The slow move is to move the line straight and load the rod BEFORE you form the loop by applying the wrist, or stopping the rod, however you describe it. The slowness you describe starts the good mechanics rather than the loop forming power portion of the cast, but a key is the HAUL that increases the line speed, and can tighten the loop. You can move the casting arm slow, and throw the line at high speed with the use of the haul.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Detter...fishing in the wind, and especially fishing salt water IS a complicated casting situation. I can take a guy on a freshwater guided trip that doesn't know how to cast. A saltwater guide expects you to be able to cast in the wind, and have it down before you show up. But you have to be correct in understanding casting technique....you make two casts..a backcast, and a forecast. The backcast loads the rod(bends the rod if you want to make it seem uncomplicated) the rod forms the loop, and the line straights out. When the line straightens out on the backcast the rod UNbends..it straightens as the line comes to a stop....NOW you start over from scratch. You now start the forecast. The backcast has nothing to do with the speed of line created on the forecast. It does provide different amounts of line wt that will bend the rod on the forecast...short backcast less wt. less bend, and longer, more wt.more bend, but you have to generate line speed on the forecast that is independent of the backcast.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 45 weeks ago

deeter,
Agh, you chain jerker you!! :) May you throw an 80 ft. cast into the teeth of a hurricane, and gently land the fly right in front of a big kahoona's jaws. I did that to perfection on time, and then woke up in a cold sweat.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from countitandone wrote 3 years 45 weeks ago

Man I love these thread sword fights...with rubber tips!
Power back, easy forward, no worries...that rhythm works here in the 30 mph wind and gusts of 40 of the High Sierras. Man back, woman forward...alright, I stay out of this one.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 45 weeks ago

countitanddone..please..you are going against basic science! Easy forward into the wind?
Please don't tell me you can transfer the speed of a fast backcast into a forward, fast moving line by moving the rod forward easy. That can't happen without a good haul with the other hand. I, like any good casters, can demonstrate a very fast line speed by moving my rod hand forward, and easy, but the haul with the left hand is creating a lot of the speed...more than half the speed generated by that hand, and I still have to make a good, tight wrist puch with the rod hand. And the angle that you cast on when casting into the wind is a huge factor. Cast like that guide in the video is casting into the wind?...very poor results. He's turning the line over quite high over the water. At that point the line has no speed, and the wind blows it back.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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