The Blow Technique does just that. It uses the wind to cast your fly and lay it down softly and gently. No back casting or wrist flicking required. In fact, it is so easy that even fresh beginners can become accomplished at it in no time. So what exactly is the Blow Technique? Well, to clarify, it’s actually more of a casting technique than a presentation technique. Or rather a technique to get your fly out there, in the absence of an actual cast. The first time I used this technique was in Patagonia where the wind blows non-stop on the rivers just below the Andes (and I’ll be returning to in February). There were days in which the wind was blowing so hard I could hardly stand upright and it created white caps on the river – flowing in the opposite direction of the actual current (which might I add, can be very discombobulating).
On one particular day I was fishing a tiny spring fed creek in the middle of grazing land owned by a local gaucho. There were huge brown trout in this little thread of water. At it’s widest, the creek was maybe 8ft across. At its narrowest maybe 3ft. Sections of the creek’s edges were lined with varying undercuts and the whole length of it was surrounded by marshy, grassy pastures. Every foot step left an impression and I was certain, created vibrations that would make any trout leery and suspicious. Casting had to be from a little more of a distance, stealth was an absolute and, the cast had to be accurate. The fish lay submerged in small pools literally the size of a shooting target. These were one-shot, one-strike opportunities. To add to the set of complications, the wind was in all its glory blowing hard.
After two casts were hijacked by the wind and I missed my targets, rather than get frustrated, I decided to employ the wind for my advantage. Ever-so-quietly I made my way directly upwind from the pool. I then held my rod in hand, my line in the other. Slowly and gently I began to deploy the line allowing the wind to pick it and my fly up, making it airborne. As it settled in the wind stream like a taught kite, I could tell I now had control of it. Positioning the fly above the targeted pool, I slowly began to lower my rod. Gradually my fly came down with it and landed, quite naturally, on the water’s surface.
Like a massive submarine emerging from the ocean’s depth, so too a large, beautiful brown rose, in what felt like slow motion, with the wind whipping around me. Then, is a suspension of honey-thick liquid time, this magnificent trout sipped my fly…just…like…that. It is a memory that will forever be with me.
Tight lines and happy fishing.Karin