Chasing the wind.
Back in the early 90's, my parents at the time wanted to get us more involved with the outdoors. They would set aside weekends for us where we would do nothing but travel all over the mountains west of town. We visited several places that I grew familiar with... one of them was a very famous place in the south park valley, known as Elevenmile reservoir. My mom suggested going there when she read about the place in the rocky mountain outdoors section of the now-defunct rocky mountain news. So we drove out there on that beautiful mid-may morning.
We arrived at a flat, perfect spot on the south end of the lake by a big island (there's your clue) and set up a picnic, and our fishing rods. My parents were the type of weekender fishermen that just like to sit on chairs and relax with a beer and hotdog in hand.. so we set up lines with powerbait.
unfortunately right at 11:30.. We learned that another frequent visitor decides to swing through... and that is the mighty winds of south park. it rushed through our picnic site, blowing away papers.. utensils. My mom and Stepfather jumped up cussing and screaming.. running to gather up what they could to hold it down. Me? I was unfazed... and decided to keep fishing.
I cast out again, with the wind blowing in my face.. and only made it about 30 feet from shore with my rig. I reeled in my slack.. and no sooner than I set down my walmart special fishing rod.. than it started to bounce hard.. and jerk out of the stick I set it up on. I screamed at my mom, who could barely hear me with the 3 foot swells breaking on shore and the roaring 40 mph winds.. and she ran down to shore and told me "SET THE HOOK!!".. and I did, and no sooner than I did that, my drag started to rip hard.
a few minutes later and with tutelage from my mother who told me how to bring in bigger fish... I brought in what is still my biggest fish I've ever caught from eleven mile. it was about 26 inches.
my mom cast out with her bobber, and caught another trout in the breakers that seemed to be getting worse and worse with the wind. at this time, both my younger brother and stepdad were just about over the wind... and wanted to leave. we packed up with our trout and left at a decent time... enough time to cook said fish for dinner.
This was when I first became familiar with how horrible wind is, yet how it is beneficial. It was a lesson I learned and carried until I was older... when I started to get re-familiar and commit myself to learning to fish better.
Most people will not screw with fishing in wind, due to how it impedes casting and is just downright miserable to fish in.. especially early or late season when it's accompanied with precipitation. Personally, I get stoked on wind because I know that if it's a bluebird or slightly overcast day in park or grand county.. with 20-30 mph winds... the chances of catching fish are going to be great. sometimes if the wind isnt blowing... I don't even bother with it at all. especially in wyoming.
What the wind does in a lot of mountain lakes, is it pushes the bugs that were currently flying above the surface into the water.. and concentrate them on one side. on lake shores with muddy bottoms... it'll create a mudline where prey gets distorted.. which creates an awesome ambush point for trout, pike or whatever may take the opportunity to score an easy meal.
Lures I love to use in a wind situation tend to be heavy... I like to use 3/8 to 1/4 oz kastmasters and krocodiles... if i can catch a break with the wind between gusts... I'll throw a trout imitating jerkbait or a tube jig tipped with some kind of fish meat. if it's a shallow lake... I'm gonna wade out as deep as I can get and cast parallel to shore, or towards where the waves break. When the lake was open.. it was a deadly technique to getting those nicer rainbows and cutthroats at antero when the wind was blowing. I also will use heavier tube jigs and cast them semi-parallel to rocks when I'm at a few lake trout lakes. lake trout will hug shore just as hard looking for easy marks when wind blows.
so just remember... if the wind starts to howl, don't take that as a cue to give up and go home. that just means you need to get your windbreaker and keep fishing.
I'm here to ruin it for ya,... I, spoiler.