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Flycasting with a tailing wind

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1st practice session results

Hi Paul.

So, there I was, standing on the yard outside my office, practicing my casting. Cue normal Neanderthal comments from colleagues hanging out of the window: "Caught anything yet?" or the particularly edifying: "You’re too late – the sea receded 10,000 years ago".

Anyway, I took no notice. I was using my 3-piece rod reserved specially for monstrously huge pike, which will now stay in the car ready for impromptu practice sessions.

So I got experimenting. It was pretty windy, so I tried out the techniques you showed me on Saturday for dealing with the wind. I used the double-hauling technique to get the line going into the wind, and it was great! No probs with that. BUT! Turn around and cast with the wind coming from behind, and as soon as I let the rod drift, the line bunched up in the air, and the wind blew it back.

All suggestions much appreciated, as always!

Cheers now,
Bug-Man Mark.

Mark Whittaker

Mark is a well known Karate instructor, who meditates before flycasting, and sells ladybirds to farmers.

Paul answers

Hi Mark,

Carpark flycasting is a minor branch of the sport, and as you have found, a not fully understood one. This is, undoubtedly, due to it's non-mainstream status (pun intended, hell every pun is intended on this site), but it's pioneers like us, who will make this sport thrive in the years to come. The best way of dealing with the 'Anti-CarPark' brigade, is to simply catch something and throw it at them. Failing this you can always try the trusty old karate chop.

Fly casting with a tailing wind is a problem. Check this page out and then come back! Beginners and tailing winds.

I hope that you paid attention to the diagrams; I am rather proud of them.

However life is always more interesting beneath the surface, some bumcastsand this case is no exception. Creating an (intentionally) low backcast is not easy. One of two unfortunate things can happen in my experience. By taking the rod so far backwards, the stroke may be too great for the bend in the rod tip, hence the rod tip follows a circular path, and not a straight one, and you cast an open loop. The other bum cast scenario, is when the line clashes with the rod tip in the backcast.

Fortunately I have some solutions.

The first thing I would suggest is that you don't try and do the whole cast in one go; stick in at least one false cast and you can tilt the second back cast lower.

The real answer, however, is to hook the back stroke. Instead of bringing the rod tip straight up and down in one plane, by taking the rod tip around to the side during the backstroke you can avoid the bumcast (b) scenario. The line will now travel around the side of the rod, and therefore the loop can travel beneath the rod tip. If you make this your first false cast you are now in a situation where you have that low angled backcast necessary and can now false cast over the top of the rod.

And it gets more interesting.

Through judicious timing of the haul you can choose to throw narrow loops by hauling at the and of the stroke, and open loops by hauling through the stroke. An open loop on a forward cast with a tailing wind is no bad thing and to be encouraged. Of course they are not sexyloops, and so you may feel it necessary to turn around and cast into the wind after all. Have a look at this for the full treatment: hauling advice.

Taking it further still, I should point out that tight fast loops have a tendency to kick over as they straighten. An extreme example of this would be the tuck cast. So by chucking a tight fast loop into a low backcast we are likely to create new problems when the hook catches on the brambles behind us (there are always brambles behind us... except in car parks, but even in car parks it pays to keep the fly away from the tarmac).

So what we do now is the Belgian cast. This, in essence, is a side backcast, followed by an overhead forward cast. When the loop straightens here, the fly kicks sideways and not downwards.

The pièce de la résistance (and did I have fun trying to find the html for those? - thanks Steve) is the pendulum backcast followed by an overhead forward cast. This has the effect of popping the fly upwards at the end of the stroke. For this to work most effectively it is best not to drift after the stop. But in practise you shouldn't need to since your rod tip is already further back anyway.

Have fun and watch out for those motorcyclists; you'll need plenty of backing :-)


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