Unbearable Winds? - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Unbearable Winds?

I've read advice about how wind benefits casting but what is too much? As a beginner to fly casting I've only fished local rivers that had little to no gusts (maybe 6mph) or wind gust of 25+ and intolerable. What mph wind speed is too much for you to handle?
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 03:03 PM
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A lot like knowing when you've had too much to drink, I suppose.

I've never enjoyed casting beyond sustained 20mph, but if somebody invited me to Tierra del Fuego, I could learn to love it.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 04:02 PM
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Casting with the wind can be easier than against it, or if it's a cross wind, watch out. 20 knots is about the limit I'd try to fish, but realistically for a fun day of casting, up to 10 knots sustained is about all I consider enjoyable, even with extreme shooting heads.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 04:03 PM
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I like Yoda's take on this. For me, as soon as I begin to fear that the wind could get me hit or hooked by one of my own casts I quit. Wind is like distance or water depth when it comes to impediments to fly fishing. Some water would best be fished with spinning gear, some distances would best be reached by boat or safe wading rather than trying to cast that far, and wind............ Well you'll know when to reel it in when it gets strong.


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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 04:29 PM
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Having fished in Tierra Del Fuego in extreme wind it is amazing exactly how you can cope with a big wind. The guides in South America are used to it and help a lot although I have to admit when the wind was so strong it was nearly blowing you over in the river and the waves were breaking over your head I did give up until things calmed down.
Modern tackle does help and light narrow blanks with skagits and other shooting head lines really make life easier. When you have travelled a long way to fish you will put up with a lot. I have not complained about high winds since.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 04:31 PM
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You just know when it's to strong, a sharp slap to the face will be a great reminder, but again if you are catching fish I have yet to meet to strong a wind.

Tierra Del Fuego-Different story deal with the wind and enjoy it!!!!

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 05:56 PM
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Never attempt a spiral roll with an upstream wind!

All kidding aside, wind sucks but is a way of life on many rivers. You deal with it until you can't and then you quit or go somewhere else.

My first fish from a notoriously windy BC river came at near last light in a gale. I would drop my sunglasses to the bridge of my nose, get pointed to cast upriver 30 degrees or so, raise my glasses and let it fly blind. The line would land about 30 degrees from straight downriver. Then came the slow purposeful grab of a great northern fish. Good memories.


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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 06:30 PM
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Like a lot of things, wind can be your friend or enemy. Unless you get up to over 40-50kts, you can usually fish, but the issue will be the winds direction. Making up a cast in strong winds is tough and could be dangerous. My first spey adventure was the Rio Gallegos in Argentina. My friend told me the wind was always downstream and we would always fish river right. SO, that is what I practiced. Day one, the wind was upstream and we fished river left. It was not pretty!!!! But the rest of the trip was as my friend told me it would be and I caught a beautiful BIG brown in winds gusting to 50kts. Take advantage of to bad winds and experiment. However, you might want to use a fly with the hook cut off at first and have good protective glasses.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 07:17 PM
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I caught my first atlantic salmon on a wet day in Ireland when the gusts hit 100K (we hid under the big rhododendrons for that)

i had to switch to casting overhand with a 15' spey rod

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 07:22 PM
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Never quit due to wind - frustrating I know, but adapt & overcome by altering casts used, casting between gusts, or, failing that, move pools to a more sheltered one!


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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 07:56 PM
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fish shorter

I happen to enjoy casting and frequently have to remind myself that I'm fishing, not casting. When the wind is howling, fish shorter. I have caught steelhead within 10 feet of my rod tip. The wind may limit the water you can fish effectively - but there's lots of fish within reach. Be stealthy.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 08:35 PM
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On the Deschutes, the wind is ever present. I can handle the stiff upstream wind that is typical, but in one spot the wind was blowing across the canyon and hitting the wall on the other side. You never knew which direction the next gust was coming from. I opted for some single malt that evening instead. I agree that shortening up is wise, but add that protecting your equipment (fly rod) and yourself from getting hit by an errant cast is a big consideration.

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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 03:26 PM
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I have seen a Caribbean guide demonstrating single hand overhead casting while standing in the front of a very fast moving flats boat right into the wind - it can be done!!!!

The worst wind in my estimation is, as someone else pointed out, the swirling type rather than a constant direction - this has happened to me more times than I can count and it can get really tricky - need to know when to pull out of a cast you are making when the wind shifts or potentially end up wearing a feather duster!!!
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Speyducer View Post
Never quit due to wind - frustrating I know, but adapt & overcome by altering casts used, casting between gusts, or, failing that, move pools to a more sheltered one!

What Mike said. On this particular evening on the Rio Grande the wind was blowing at...well, you wouldn't believe me if I told you. But the bite was on and there is always a cast that can be made, an angle, a brief lull, etc. Just don't leave a lot of skin exposed.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-06-2014, 12:07 PM
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Was raised in Lethbridge, Alberta. Average wind speed 30 -40 miles per hour, every day -all day,at least that's what it felt like when I lived there,awfull, up to 70 -80 miles an hour and always on weekends, naturally. Took a trip to B.C., Fernie, Cranbrook, Castlegar, wow, no wind or very little at Castlegar. I now live in Castlegar, on the Columbia, mild winters, and the Columbia, almost like paradise. Did I mention the Columbia. Average fish but almost no wind.
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