It was just another crappy day in paradise as Jimmy Buffet would say, the wind was up a little at the beginning of the day and we were forecasted to have at least 25mph winds for the rest of the day. That's nice if you're sitting under the palm trees and sipping on Margaritas. However, we were going fly fishing and we were not going to let the wind stop us. Sometimes you just have to deal with what the Lord gives you.

So my client Ron Gowan and I headed out to try our luck in the salty elements with the long rod. The first thing we would do is to look around in the back bays for birding action. We found sea gulls hovering over small pods of redfish in water too deep to actually see their tails, but you new they were there because the gulls were dancing on the surface waiting for the shrimp to jump up out of harems way of the feeding redfish under the surface.

We stopped far enough up wind to drift down on the pod of birds without spooking the fish. As we would get closer, the boat movement downwind had to be stopped so as to not blow through the fish before we could get a cast off into the mix. With today's graphite push poles it's not easy to stop the boat from a 2 .5mph drift without breaking it, so I slipped off into the water to hold the boat from a wading position. This would give Ron a chance to get off a cast or two into the pod.

Ron was a decent caster and had been here before, just not with so much wind to deal with on his back cast. As he tried to load the rod on his back cast he found that the wind would hamper his loading of the rod and would not be able to make the cast into the pod of fish. So I dropped the anchor and proceeded to show him two different strokes he could use to beat the wind.

The first is called a Belgian cast and it really is an easy cast to do if you practice just a little in the wind. Roll out about 30 feet of line down wind and keeping the rod in line with the line on the water, pull the rod back starting slowly and getting faster and faster at about a 15 to 20 degree angle to the horizon with a sharp stop. Don't wait for the rod to load as you would with a regular cast but bring it immediately over your head and with another sharp stop with the rod high at about 11:00. A double haul helps at this point as well to help bend the rod on the over head cast. With a little practice accuracy won't have to suffer either. Although this cast is great for any angle from about 45 degrees of straight down wind to straight down wind, it is not the best cast for a sideways presentation.

As those with a long rod can tell you the best casting is when there is no wind or very light. However even with a 25 mph wind it doesn't have to ruin your day. Another way to beat the wind is to make your cast sideways or 90 degrees of staright down wind. This way you do not have to back cast straight into the wind so accuracy doesn't have to suffer either. This cast will allow you to present your offering anywhere in the sideways realm of your casting stroke and because your back cast is also sideways to the wind it is almost like casting in no wind at all.

So just because the wind is blowing don't leave the fly rod behind or in the rod rack. Try some of these techniques and I'm sure you'll agree that the wind doesn't have to be your enemy but rather your friend.

Capt. Skipper Ray is a fishing guide and freelance writer in South Padre Island Texas where he also owns and operates Island Outfitters. (956-433-9935)

About The Author: Captain Skipper Ray

Company: Island Outfitters

Area Reporting: South Padre Island

Bio: Skipper has been fishing the Lower Laguna Madre area since 1977. Flyfishing is his passion but fishes trout, redfish, flounder, tarpon, and snook with conventional tackle as well. He is also a freelance writer for several publications in Texas.

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