Any flyfisherman can cast well on a calm day. It’s how you deal with wind that separates the men from the boys. Here are three tips that can help you “shoot the breeze” with ease.

fly casting into the wind
Make the fly dance on the surface. Bryon Thompson

Insects hovering just above the surface are trout magnets, and wind coming from behind can be used to “skitter” a fly. Make a downwind cast. Hold the rod nearly straight up, and allow the wind to move the fly around just above the water’s surface. By raising and lowering the rod, you can make the fly dance on and off the surface, just like a real insect.

fly casting into the wind
Throw a tighter loop. Bryon Thompson

If the wind is coming straight into you, throw a tighter loop. This reduces the amount of line affected by the wind and increases the speed at which the line unrolls—both of which help the line punch through the breeze.

fly casting into the wind
Cast sidearm. Bryon Thompson

In a crosswind, cast sidearm in order to unroll the line under the wind. If the wind is from the rod-hand side [a], you’ll need to cast across your body to keep the fly away from you. If the wind is from the off-hand side [b], all you need to do is perform a normal sidearm cast.