On windy days when fish aren’t as skittish, or when casting into a feeding frenzy, you often can get by shortening your leader down to 10 feet or even 8. Shorter leaders greatly increase the power transfer required to turnover heavy or wind-resistent flies. Be sure to shorten each portion of the leader, the butt, mid section and tippet, proportionally. And beef up your tippet, too. Unless it’s a still, sunny day, and you’re fishing in very clear, shallow water, fish probably won’t be as leader-shy as you may think, and 12- or 15-pound tippet will turn your fly over far better than 8-pound. So experiment with leader lengths until you find a happy medium for the situation.