What is Skagit casting?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Paul Huffman, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. Paul Huffman Lagging economic indicator

    Posts: 1,434
    Yakima, WA.
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    The Speypages had a thread on this a few months ago, but it got so long without consensus, that I thought I would ask this esteemed group. The gear manufacturers are promoting rods and lines for Skagit style, but I haven't been able to figure out what it means. Is it all about short headed lines with sink tips?
  2. inland Active Member

    Posts: 600
    Ratings: +50 / 0
    The same can of worms will be opened here. Search the spey pages member 'riveraddict' for his posts. It might take a bit but all the info you will ever need on the subject is there and straight from the horses mouth. There are several variations of the method but if you want to get info from the guy originally credited with the method...that be him.

  3. Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator

    Posts: 1,858
    Somewhere you don't know about, WA
    Ratings: +52 / 1
  4. speyforsteel Degenerate Caster

    Posts: 316
    Eastern Washington
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    The Skagit cast is where you load the rod from the line stick on the water instead of loading the rod with the throwing back and forming the D- loop.
    It kinda looks like your drawing the D-loop with your rod tip.You sweep back somewhat low to the water,draw the D with the tip and make a high stop, the acceleration(gentle) is when you start to draw the D with the tip, and yes the worms are free again.
  5. cnaka New member

    Posts: 56
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Reread the posts on speypages then watch the skagit casting, circle spey, and Perry Poke sections of the new Rio video (excellent by the way). After you think you have a partial understanding, be prepared to be confused again because as the video points out, there are as many variations of "Skagit" casting as there are experts in the NW. Beware: this topic is a qaugmire. There is so much debate around this topic. It's worse than the old campy kungfu movies where everyone is trying to show whose version of snake / crane, monkey, whatever style is the true way. Good luck.
  6. john wells New Member

    Posts: 36
    la conner wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I learned to cast my two hander in the late 80's on the skagit river the lines that I built for my first rod where similar to the lines that I had fished my IMX with short heavy heads level floating sections and small dia. running lines,thos system reguired holding a lot of coils in you off hand ,seems alot of the guys on the river fished this system and naturally built similar lines 'for their spey rods there wasn't alot else to offer then.so for years suppose I had been skagit casting not knowing that the debate on style had been going on 3 years ago though I made a switch back using a long belly hybriad and slowing down my casting goove all this rambling asside I am curious? how many out there have tired of holding all those loose coils in your hand and switched to another system???
    johnnys 2cents :hmmm:
  7. speyforsteel Degenerate Caster

    Posts: 316
    Eastern Washington
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    I fish two basic lines,Airflo skagit heads and SA XLT,and I must admit it's nice not to have 60 feet worth of line coiled up and flopping in the water but a easy tradeoff as 13 feet of super sink,a lead eye exasperator and a tight bank is waaaaaay beyond my casting ability with the XLT.
  8. Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator

    Posts: 1,858
    Somewhere you don't know about, WA
    Ratings: +52 / 1
    All the loops in your hand gets kind of annoying. You have to hold them just right or the cast dosent work out right. I have contemplated a stripping basket. I had the same problem fishing salt with lots of line hanging in the current or looped in my hand. Got a stripping basket and Problem solved.
    I was taught how to cast on WC and midspeys. The short heads are still relatively new to me. I have one rod set up with a skagit spey and another in the mail.
  9. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    these short heads lines were developed simply because winter steelheading typically involves full sinking shooting heads often along with BIG heavy flies. getting this up and out with a 'normal' spey rod is a chore for most of us. can you do it? sure. but the 'skagit' type of set up makes this far more efficient. to me that it is the reason to move to this casting stroke.

    so river right, double spey with a pause to allow the head to really get sucked into the surface film. river left, circle spey with the same hesitation before forming the 'D' loop.

    lots of words have been put out by folks far more famaliar than i am with this whole deal but thats what it cooks down to for me. actually pretty simple and like most spey casting, learn a couple of strokes and be a happy FISHERPERSON. casting is only a means of getting the damn fly out there, not the end-all-be-all for crips sake :thumb:
  10. speyforsteel Degenerate Caster

    Posts: 316
    Eastern Washington
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    The skagit cast is for sure a getRdone approach but it can look good when the power is taken out,sorta a momentum cast,when perfected you can cast the big junk fine and far all day and week and month and on and on, well you get the picture.Time to go the river awaits
  11. Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    Posts: 4,032
    Olympic Peninsula
    Ratings: +708 / 0
    Paul, One way to get a great introduction to this method will be to watch out for the events postings this spring, around April, as Marlow Bumpus hosts the Jimmy Green Casting Day at the Howard Miller Steelhead Park on the Skagit each year. Ed Ward- "Mr Skagit Cast Hizsself!"- usually attends that day, as do many other extroadinary casters. That is a very generous group and you will learn a lot from some of the best casters. There is a fun and friendly competition that day, but the best part is all of the sharing and pointers you will get, and the chance to cast a lot of good rods and lines. A day well spent in an angler's life.
  12. speyforsteel Degenerate Caster

    Posts: 316
    Eastern Washington
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    Ed Ward's style is the one I try to stay focused on but as said before the skagit style is for sure a braided river of style's but the Master Po's of skagit all have one thing shared,that is the sustained load,start at the sweep and keep going to the stop,Mike Kinney,my name is Grass hoppa:ray1:
  13. speyfisher Active Member

    Posts: 1,067
    State of Jefferson U.S.A.
    Ratings: +139 / 3

    To answer your question, Yes, it is all about short head lines, sink tips, and huge flies. That aside, gear manufacturers will jump on any band wagon they can in order to sell more product. A few years ago, fast action rods were the hot item. Now with Skagit casting, the pendulum is swinging back towards more moderate actions.

    Not that you can't Skagit cast the fast action rods. You can. It's just that you have to adjust your stroke and get the timing right. And the margin for error is much smaller with the faster action rods.

    There has always been, and will coninue to be, debate on the pro's & con's of shooting line. Same for the difficulty in lifting and casting sink tips and big flies. Skagit style is just another option.