If you do check out the spey pages there is a short interview with Mike Kinney regarding "Skagit" spey casting or more aptly "Skagit" style "fishing"
Having said that, I have been fortunate in being able to take a lesson with Mike and various other notables. Learned a ton--but the conclusion I came to is there is a myriad of casting styles that have the same result--huckin' some line--what might work for me may not work for someone else or visa versa. At the end of the day I mainly rely on 4 casts that cover any situation I might encounter. The best advice I can give a novice--from experience--is when you go fishing leave the single hander at home and try to go fishing with someone who has a good grasp of the basics and will spend a little time with you. It took me about a year to really get it down. And by no means am I a pro--I'm learning all the time and there are days when I just ain't got it--then the next day I'm the king of the world. Go figure.
I agree totally, if your serious about the spey don't put it down. As for myself it took a good year just to realize the bad habits and correct them. I wouldn't be too concerned about learning the many styles, get the basics down first then move on from there. There will be bad days and then there will be days where it all seems to come together, practice, practice.
If you can get someone that is seasoned with the Spey like Mike K. they can give you your first big step in the right direction.
How often do you get down to western Washington? If you happen to be in the area during the weekend you can get lessons from Mike Kinney and Aaron Reimer in Carnation every Saturday from 9:00 AM to noon and it won't cost you a dime. This event (aka Saturday morning on the river) is advertised on www.riverrunanglers.com and is organized by Aaron Reimer. Arron has not only Mike Kinney to help with Spey casting instruction but also Brian Styskal. In addition Aaron has a "try rack" of various Spey rods for people to try out.
I've been going to this for the past 2.5 years and its been extremely helpful. I was an absolute train wreck at Spey casting when I started. Now I've graduated to a train fender bender. LOL However, I have improved a lot with great thanks to Mike, Aaron and Brian. I know you live in Alaska but if should you be in the area come down and check it out for yourself. The price is hard to beat. :beer2:
P.S. I agree iagree with Double D and the first SteelieMike. Be persistent with Spey casting and it will eventually come to you. Pretty soon you'll be able to use Spey style casting with your single hand rod.
I found last spring I was using a single spey a lot while fishing in the wind on the Missouri in Montana. Also when fishing in close quarters with fries it can really come in handy. Spey casting is a lot of fun and can really helps add to your arsenal. I just need to get batter with the double handed rod.