Which Spey cast do you use?


You're fishing the left bank. There is little to no wind (not enough to effect your cast). You are a Chronic Gumby (like me) that's been spey casting for about a month. Your left handed casting is weak at best. As is your back handed casting. What's the best cast to use?

I typically resort to a snap-t (to get the line upstream) then a single spey. I realize that I need to develop my left hand and I've been working on it. But sometimes when fishing it is necessary/easier to resort to the right hand.

Also I've been casting pretty much perpendicular to the current (ie; directly across the river). But have noticed (from the Rio International video & Speypages video) that a lot of casters tend to angle more downstream. Just curious what everybody else is doing. Maybe I should just shut up and fish :confused:

Big K1

Large Member
If you are fishing river left Snap T or circle spey or just perform a single spey.
If the wind is blowing downstream do a double off your left shoulder. Right hand is still up.

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Actually, you should learn to use your opposing arm to spey cast. Actually that "oddity" in using it is to your advantage. Slows you down, making the rod load up. I know when I first started spey casting several years ago, it was on the advice of a friend to use my "left side" to cast that got me into the groove on casting. You should just try it. Got me to slow down on my cast. Was very odd to cast with my right side, and barely boom out 30'. Then switched to my left, which was ackward and slow, and boomed out all the line to the backing.

But, a snap T works as well. I just switch hands now.
I am right handed and love to use the single spey in that condition. I believe it is the most fundamental of all spey casts. I am getting better myself with the reverse on the other bank. It really is amazing how much line you can throw with a reverse cast but still like the single with my dominate hand up.
Thanks for the response guys. And Jerry, I have been working on my left hand. It's just not as effective for me (in terms of both distance and accuracy). When I'm just out to practice I use the left as much as I can. But when I'm fishing I revert to the Snap T as to not put all the fish down with my usual flogging of the water.

On a side note. I'll be hitting the Ronde this Weekend and just found out that we'll be fishing River Right most of the time. So I can just do a right handed double spey. It appears that I'll be caching in my get out of jail free card. ;) Thanks again for the advice and I'll definitely work on my left handed casting.

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Ah, guess I'm lucky that I'm semi ambidextrouse. Just depends on what I'm doing. Weird how I work sometimes. LOL. Shoot rifles and handguns right/leff (handgun better right, rifle better left). I write right. Can toss a baitcaster both hands. Spey is pretty close to both hands. But single hander better right. I think it was growing up the only right hander in the family. My Mom and Brother were both full fledged southpaw, my Dad was ambidextrouse but prefers Left majority of time). But was funny that I predominently cast right with one hander. But couldn't get it with the right side with spey. Switched to Left under the advice I had mentioned and BOOMED casts. Actually right were I wanted it to go. LOL. Still gotta think about it and slow down with my right side.
Funny you should mention ambidextrousness. Reminds me of that B-Ball player for Golden state (don't remember his name). After the draft he was interviewed. Something along he following lines.

Press: "One of the things that made you successful in college was your ability to use both hands."

Draftee: "Yeah man.... I'm amphibious." :rofl:
On the other hand...

Last question first: I think that the decision to cast downstream, across, or even upstream is a tactical presentation issue, and has nothing to do with spey casting as such...except that the single spey is slightly limited in its ability to change directions compared to other spey casts. I normally cast across stream, in order to maximize the area that my fly is exposed to.

If you can get to where you're comfortable and efficient at casting cross-body when casting from river left, ok; but that's not as complete a solution as learning to cast with either hand up. I haven't seen statistics, but it seems that most spey casters learn to cast ambidextrously. I know I did, rather quickly, with at least 95% efficiency, and I never thought of myself as being ambidextrous before.

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Actually, that's the point I was making Nooksack. It's easier with a spey to use both hands. I didn't mean I picked up casting left hand easier because I was ambidextrious. But because my left side was my "slow" side with a fly rod. So was casting slower. Letting the rod load correctly. I think it's a VERY good thing to learn to cast both ways with a spey.
Well I got out and practiced for afew hours yesterday. Even took the time to video tape myself. And I worked primarily on the left hand. I did do some right hand casting just to get tape of it.

Let me say that the tape was a big help. I can see that my timing is off with the left hand casts. This seems to result in too much stick. So I guess the lesson learned is that I just need to spend more time on the water practicing. Which is certainly not the worst thing I can think of.