Wind is a reality stillwater fly fishers face on almost every outing. We hope that there is just enough of a breeze to ripple the surface to provide trout a level of comfort to forage in the shallows. There are those days however that these helpful breezes transform into a full blown gale. As long as it is safe to venture out trout can be caught in these challenging conditions. Search for rocky shorelines that are taking the full brunt of the wind and waves. Swamped and pounded by the swells many food sources are swept off the rocks and debris. Attracted to this tumbling smorgasbord trout move right into these shoreline areas to pounce on targets of opportunity. Anchor a cast length from shore and position the boat in a safe position, typically with the bow pointing into the wind. Using a floating or Wet Tip Clear line place a quartering cast tight to the bank and begin a slow handtwist or 4-inch strip retrieve. Mix in pauses so that the pattern sinks and follows the sloping contour. Favorite patterns to try include scuds, water boatman, leeches and dragon nymphs.
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