Who fishes Spey in the salt?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Dale Dennis, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Dale Dennis Formally Double-D

    Posts: 527
    Arlington, WA
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    As a long time salt fly fisher and spey (in rivers) I am curious as to how many of you are now effectively fishing the spey in the salt.

    1. Are you fishing a switch (10’-12’) or standard spey rod?

    2. Are you fishing this from the beach or boat?

    3. Advantages/Disadvantages?
  2. afried New Member

    Posts: 9
    Port Townsend, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I'm no great caster, whether one handed or two, and I'm just getting started on doing mostly spey casts from the beach. That said, I think I'm pretty much going the spey route for salmon fishing from the beach from now on. Last week for the first time I beach fished a Skagit Flight on an 11' 6 wt switch and really liked it. The beaches I fish almost always have current in one direction or another so setting up for a Skagit cast usually works pretty well. The advantages I see so far are not having to check behind me for passing people or dogs before each cast, not ruining flies by hitting rocks on the back cast, and better distance on the casts with a lot less effort. On my trips to the beach last week I was fortunate that they were not crowded - it remains to be seen how well this will work when side to side room is limited.

  3. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,502
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,475 / 9
    I have tried both. I like a switch rod off the beach. Two handed overhead casting is my preferred delivery. This is tough with a long Spey rod at my skill level.
  4. Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    Posts: 4,021
    Olympic Peninsula
    Ratings: +686 / 0
    During Salmon Season I use my spey rods on the beaches for fun, and because it keeps me in shape for winter fishing. I use a combination of overhead casting and spey casting, depending upon how many other people are around, proximity to other anglers etc.
  5. Fishee Member

    Posts: 156
    Ratings: +18 / 0
    So is it better to use spey line like the Skagit Flight on a switch rod on the beach? or use outbound line on switch rod on the beach?
  6. Bill McAllister New Member

    Posts: 27
    Centralia, WA
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    A few weeks ago used a skagit on the beach. What a blast, don't have a chance of hitting beachcombers and can get a weighted fly exactly where I want much easier in the wind. Now If I an catch something!
  7. Dale Dennis Formally Double-D

    Posts: 527
    Arlington, WA
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    I don’t know that using a Skagit flight will work that well on a switch (haven’t tried it) but I know Airflow has just come out with a Skagit Switch line that is getting great reviews.
    Not getting a lot of response on this thread which leads me to believe there may not many testing these in the salt.
  8. DKL Nude to the board

    Posts: 171
    West Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +23 / 0
    For the past two years I have used my 12'6" 6wt on the beach. I primarily fish it with a one handed overhead cast. I use an a compact scandi head with a poly leader. I think it works just fine and I don't use my single handers on the beach anymore. By no means to I bomb my casts out there, but I definitely get significantly more distance with less effort than I do using my single handers.

  9. 2kayaker New Member

    Posts: 23
    Sedro Wooley, Wa
    Ratings: +8 / 0
  10. 2kayaker New Member

    Posts: 23
    Sedro Wooley, Wa
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    DKL makes some good points ,here are some more pro spey ideas : A short head line, 22 feet will allow you to strip retrieve half your cast distance and keep slack from wavelets out of your line best to keep the rod tip in the water, pointed almost at the fly.When the shooting head reachws the rod tip, lift and fish out another ten feet then recast. Long rods go over waist high breakers and keep control of the line. Most speys are really too heavy for 14' cutthroats - but a 'trouter" spey or switch light enough to equal a 6 wt single hander is ideal. Most speys are rated 2 line sizes under - so a 4wt spey uses a line more like a 6 wtt single hand would. Barbless hooks given a slack line once the fish is in close will frequently release the fish without even holding it- this is a little less gratifying , but easier on the fish. When ccasting to a breaking fish , the quick change of direction possible with a spey cast is helpful. Several bonefish guides in hawwaii are embracing the speys for their game. Of course the speys are fun and the longer rod gives the fish more leverage against you - the fish feels bigger.
    Paul Potter likes this.
  11. Paul Potter Member

    Posts: 59
    Westport, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    I'm with Mumbles in preferring a switch rod off the beach rather than a longer rod. However, having said that, 2Kayaker makes some good points and has got me thinking I may give a light spey a try...hmmm...nice discussion.
  12. SeaRun Fanatic Member

    Posts: 412
    Northwest, WA
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    I find it important to continue the retrieve until I can clearly see the fly and whether I have any followers. For example I had two nice silvers turn away at the boat a couple of weeks ago, and my buddy watched a ~10 lb clipped blackmouth nail his clouser just off his rod tip on the the same morning (yum!). That's 3 nice fish that followed close!

    That being said, how do you deal with getting a spey line back out to casting distance, especially with a long-ish head? Seems like a drag. I guess I'd rather quickly fire a shooting head w/ my single hander and be fishing again sooner...
  13. DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

    Posts: 918
    Marine Area 9
    Ratings: +399 / 0
    I agree. A spey rod from the beach seems too awkward in situations where salmon are following the fly all the way into the beach. You need to strip the fly in up to the leader or you will miss opportunities, especially for mature salmon. A switch rod is a better choice to fish the beach effectively and can help if you have shoulder issues. Too many folks think that casting a mile with a spey will magically catch them a beach salmon. In reality you will catch salmon when you learn your beaches, understand tide and currents, baitfish patterns, observe feeding birds and seals, and wake up very early.