Wind lately has been the most detrimental part of our weather. Some members of our fly fishing clubs have been using spin tackle because they felt it was too windy for fly rods. Inexperienced fly fishermen might be better off leaving the long rods for better wind conditions. You occasionally will see someone fly fishing in the wind who seems not bothered in less-than-ideal conditions. If you plan a distant trip, days without wind might be scarce, so learning to deal with wind is important. Keep your loops very tight, meaning the fly rod leg and the fly leg will not only be parallel but will be very close together. Cast very close to the water, holding the fly rod horizontal instead of vertical. Keep your rod, fly line and fly on the downwind side of you in a crosswind. Using a longer rod keeps everything away from you. Use smaller flies that are lightly dressed. Shorten your leader and make it heavier and stiffer than usual. Avoid open-water fishing, find areas where there is protection from islands, trees, buildings and bridges.
Fly fisherman Pat Damico runs charters in lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at captpat.com and (727) 504-8649.