Ask any angler new to bonefishing the most difficult part about flats fishing and they’re likely to say casting in the wind. Dealing with wind can be tough, and because of it we’ve written quite a few articles on it in the past (like here, here, here, or here – okay you get it).
However, when the wind is really blowing (especially on your casting shoulder side), sometimes the most difficult part is not making the cast, but starting the cast.. Consider the following scenario.
While standing on the deck in the ready position, your guide spots a fish and tells you, “bonefish, 1 o’clock, 40 feet.” You toss your fly from your hand to begin your cast towards your target. But, as you make your first backcast, a gust of wind pushes your fly into you, causing the fly to wrap or hook around your fly line, rod, or anything else in the general vicinity before you’re even able to work out enough line for a cast. Sound familiar? Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us.
A simple fix to this problem is to start your cast with a sweep.
In other words, when it’s time to make your shot, toss your fly from the ready position and start your cast with a wide-horizontal arc that accelerates into your backcast. Doing so allows your fly and leader to steer clear of your rod (and you) until you’re able to work enough line out to properly load the rod.
Whether you prefer to cast in traditional 10 o’clock/2 o’clock fashion, or in a more ‘sidearm’ plane, starting your cast with a sweep will help get your fly in front of the fish, as opposed to wrapped up around your rod.