why spey?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by golfman65, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. golfman65 Guest

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    So with all this what line and what set up do you use....

    I had to stop and wonder "Why"

    Personally I at first didn't like the spey guys, saw enough idiots on the river that couldn't cast further then me with single hander....would cast over to the water on my side, like there was no etiquette now with a fly rod....I would double haul it and send my fly to their feet as well and just look back at them..

    Then I followed a guy into a run who knew how to use a spey rod...worked both sides of the run and was on to the next one before I'd fished the top end of it on one side.....Then and there I decided...It was time..

    So that's the why....

    My reason for fly fishing in the first place was I was bored with gear, bored even with the pin I used to make it more fun...bored with bait, spoons etc.
    The fly side fascinated me, the idea your fooling a fish with something made of feathers or fur...not the normal instinct of biting bait,bead, metal or plastic...
    Etc. etc.

    The more I learned (single hand at first) the more I got engulfed in all of it and then started tying flies...trout ones still blow me away, spey ones even more so....

    Read books, fished some of the ugliest shit you've ever seen...learned, talked, argued over and debated which were best, which worked..what kind of dressing, feather, fur etc. was legit or was it just what you caught fish with and became your "comfort" fly....I still have this discussion with a bud who's become a traditionalist in a lot of ways...

    So here's the thing...The guys that I've talked with and fished with..who have caught some serious numbers of fish...seem to take it to another level...they become ultra purists in a way...swing dries even in winter, swing classics...tie some of the most beautiful flies I've ever seen and are a helluva lot more content to be on the water challenging themselves to catch a fish they hold more respect for then probably more then a few people they know..

    The spey for me started as a tool, a method...the more I fished one the more intrigued I became with all things spey..
    At first I only fished ultra modern gear/reels etc. didn't get why the hell you would fish the old stuff....found it hard to land a big fish on a clicker pawl you couldn't palm and kind of laughed under my breath at the old bastards..

    As time went by...after I'd a caught the odd fish here and there...my ties while still more modern then not..(especially for winter fish) I'm finding I try and tie (like Lani Waller) modern flies but with some link to the past if possible...some not so much..
    Summer runs I'm finding more and more I'm tying trouty flies and classic tubes (if there is such a thing) and exploring the skated dry fly and grease line methods...

    I always believed this was a process, that I was in no hurry to get there..frustrated at times yes...Challenge what others said wouldn't work but I had to find out for myself..certainly..

    My gear has slowly become more old school...not the rods so much (though I covet a bob clay and am saving my pennies for one) but the reels have slowly become classic's or old hardys...The challenge if you can call it that or the connection with the past...has taken time to sink in but there is a pleasure fishing these items...that I didn't think I would ever get...

    I guess that's why these skagit thread versus the world threads bemuse me...I like fishing all types of lines during different seasons...they are tools for getting the job done...for me that is....The old school guys...I get that, they enjoy what they are fishing and making it more of a challenge is all part of the game....I'm not there yet..but can see it in my future...

    What I don't get is this....From the beginning..I took up the fly because it was a challenge.....If I wanted to just catch fish then I would have stayed with gear....part of that challenge was learning the equipment..then it became learning to fish it effectively....
    Spey was like starting over...back to learning to cast..then to make your cast work..(i.e. it's fun to cast it 120-130' but is there a reason to?) then all the way back to reading water and fishing it properly again....

    But all I read now is how it's not about that..it's about how many fish you can catch..no matter what method you use or how you use it...tradition is for old farts...except for the gear...I see more old perfects on switch rods then I've ever seen on spey rods....Fuck what can happen to the fish...fuck the consequences for what you use...swinging is dead...I want a fish to hold up in a picture and don't give a good goddamn what happens to it afterwards....as long as my buddies see it that's all that matters...big hero shot please...and another and another....hmmm I think he floated away belly up...Who cares Dude...keep fishing...

    So why spey?

    Maybe I'm just lucky or unlucky in that the guys who taught me all seemed to be involved in steelhead society's or clubs that had strong roots to conservation...( SSBC, WSC, etc.) Where you respected the fish first more then the catching.....You were eyes on the river to make sure others weren't pouching or using illegal methods. Like I said before their fly boxes were amazing...their stories more so...going to places I've only dreamed of where these might fish would take such a fly got into my sleep cycle...I dream now I'm fishing a run in my bed..pisses me off when I wake up and I've been inching over as I work down that run...Never catch a damn thing either..but I've been to a couple of those places now..not many..but a couple and damn....My respect for these fish is even more amazing...

    Guess having that pounded into me and putting the time in..many months if not a year of pounding the water hard before I caught my first steelhead on a swung fly...made that catch and every subsequent one very special to me....there is nothing that can replace that feeling..that tug..nothing!!

    Something was written in another post about if there are twenty steelhead in a hole, maybe only a couple of them will take a swung fly...Well those are the two I want to catch...If they won't take a swung fly maybe that's because they have been pricked before by another fly or bait or spoon and are resting so they can pass on their gene pool....I don't want some worn out beat up fish...I want the fresh one...the one that will hammer that fly and dance down river with my old bougle or perfect screaming....If I lose it..that's fine....I danced with it for awhile and that's the important thing to me...and to those I fish with...

    So what's important to you? is conservation just something you stick on the back of your truck or do you actually live it? Is it the cool gear and showing it off for your buddies even though you don't know how to use it, the social thing....Do you look at the different lines, have you tried them? Do you want to learn them or is it just...this is my method and it's all I care about? Do the scots and their long lines totally blow you away...or are you a skagitmaster and think that's all b.s. ? Tell me you side of the sport...enlighten me to this new breed of fisherman....

    So why do you spey?
  2. Dustin Bise Active Member

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    That was even longer then a spey cast! :p
  3. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,399
    Kitsap Peninsula
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    Wow, there is a lot in there. At my age I am not sure I'm a new breed of anything. I started fishing a two handed rod because it was something I had not tried. I've seen some really cover a lot of water, not just way out there, but really cover a run from inside to outside, top to bottom and all points in between. I'm barely just learning, more and more each outing. More and more each time I rub elbows with those that have the skill and know the drill. Those fishy folks are old and young, and use a variety of preferred lines/systems, rods and reels. Bottom line is they are all fun to be around and learn from. I am sure there are plenty of pricks out there, unwilling to groom those in the grow, but I've not met any of those guys yet. I try to fish the two hander because if I can get somewhat proficient with that tool I will be a better fly angler, have better balance and understanding of how the physics of all things fly fishing works.

    I fly fish, single, switch and spey rods....because I can. What tools and techniques I use are only important to me.
  4. Jmills81 The Dude Abides

    Posts: 1,888
    Spokane, WA
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    great...great post
  5. inland Active Member

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    Golfman,

    Great post.

    I came to the game after spending a week pounding a renowned wilderness summer river full of glacial till with a single hander and sinktip line. Had seen a couple of vids, magazine articles, and rods in person to realize there is a better way to pounding the water. That was 1993. Not sure of the 'better way' part anymore but it sure has been 'more fun' for me. That is where the journey started.

    Love to tinker with just about everything. New. Old. Really old. Flies. Rods. Lines. Reels. Casts. Tactics. Whatever.

    I really like catching fish on flies that take me sometimes hours to put together. Full dress classic salmon flies. Dee's. Spey's. And of course as many old time traditional steelhead patterns as I can. But that isn't to say I don't fish leeches, intruders, templedog style, etc. Everything has its time and place.

    Love to cast the long lines. Long drylines are a dream to cast and fish. But they too have their time and place.

    Catching winter steelhead swinging a fly deep from the dryline is another favorite.

    Figuring out full sinking spey lines of late is also a lot of fun. As is fishing full intermediates. Lightbulbs started popping using these lines. Putting to bed many of my concerns and creating a whole host of possibilities.

    Working short shooting heads. When the timing is perfect they have 'that feel'. The same feel you get from casting everything well.

    Catching summer fish on a wood rod with a greased silk DT. Great fun. Learning curve to casting these rigs is long.

    Solving casting obstructions on the go. Meaning that you don't go back to the truck to get a different line you work the angles and timing. Put the anchor here. Keep the rod tip below there. Don't rotate your shoulders or hips. Power the forward cast like so. Lo and behold it fires out there defeating the wind/trees/rocks. Or whatever you need to accomplish to make the cast.

    Practice. Spend as much time as you can practicing. Work thousands and thousands of casts per month to develop muscle memory. To develop solutions through angles and timing. What happens when I do this or that? What happens when??? The possibilities are endless as to what you can do with these rods and lines. Don't limit yourself to just one. Practice and if needed instruction to get the ball rolling. The so called experts weren't born that way.

    A good friend and superb all around fly angler/caster has a saying he picked up from his grandfather "all fishing habits are bad habits". Meaning if you stop thinking of new solutions you are done.

    Losing fish is part of the game and should be embraced. Somehow it makes the really nice one's you bring to hand just a little sweeter. Classic fly on a classic hook beating the odds playing a beatiful wild fish for what seems like an eternity. Runs across the river. Up and down. Somehow the big iron holds. Wondering the entire time when the hook will pop free. Headshakes and barrel rolls. But it holds and you can revel in that special magic contained in the moment. Send the fish on its way and for a little while life's concerns and problems take a backseat.

    William
  6. golfman65 Guest

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    William, I'm no where near your level..that's an amazing read....

    I also have played with the intermediate heads and am interested in how that full sink one works...I think the sweetest thing about the intermediate one is how slowly it travels across the run, unaffected by the chop...very interesting those lines..

    My tying is no where near yours either ..if it requires a feather wind (dee's) I'm useless so I normally cheat and use hair..lol.....I try my best on tubes...I don't have the faith in those classic hooks keeping their points and have succumbed except for dries and bugs...

    Ed, I met you...your a lot older then I thought....LOL....spend time on a river and walk awhile and look for the guys that aren't fishing with crowds, guys who slip in and out of your view....Avoid the poplar guys...If you don't you'll spend a lot of time standing around posing and not enough fishing....I've only met one guy off the internet that I fish with....Off a Canadian site...and even then it was more correspondence, met in person and hooked up for a trip...turned out well...Knowledge and ethics...works for me...

    I am nobody...lucky to have met some good people who have passed on a few things...and it makes me wonder what has changed in that short of a time that guys think methods that kill the fish we so treasure are fine?...

    I have a buddy who was a moderator on a pin site up north, they had this little back room they would all go in and talk smack about the other people on the site...seriously the gayest thing I ever heard and I was embarrassed for him to hear that....anyways...what got really old and was the downfall of their site was how self righteous they all were about conservation...yet they fished pins and guts....Kind of weird huh????

    So I don't want to go that route here hopefully...pm's if you feel the need..but interested in hearing stories like Williams and very thankful for that...
  7. Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

    Posts: 2,288
    bellingham wa
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    I like fishing the swing. My back is bad, making my shoulders worse. I really love skagit lines. They don't hurt.

    Go Sox,
    cds
  8. stewart dee Guest

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    I fish my stuff just to look cool, casting two or three strips of running line = its not a sport for me. Its like a social gathering kind of like passing a beer bong around. Who cares there are no fish out there anyway.
  9. yuhina Tropical member

    Posts: 2,320
    Boston-Idaho
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    Well said! William

    Good post Golfman!

    Why spey? well... proximate reason: that is the only way I can reach the fish, a 20 feet cliff behind me and I was wading out on a big rock. (of course it took a LOT of practice to hook the first fish, still remember the thrill!) Utimate reason: keep me learning something new... and fun.

    keep them coming gentlemen...
    Mark
  10. bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

    Posts: 2,266
    m-ville
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    Because I saw WW doing it and it looked cool!!!!! trouble is even with a few lessons I never became as cool a speycaster as WW or kerrys
  11. flatheadmatt Member

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    Alberton MT
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    cause its fun and another way to spend time on the river
  12. jeff bandy Make my day

    Posts: 2,243
    Edmonds, Wa.
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    Tendentious and a lack of backcast room. Simple as that.
  13. Panhandle Active Member

    Posts: 4,103
    Selkirk Mountains, Idaho Panhandle
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    Ya, good topic.

    Mine started watching guys two-handing on the N. Santiam and other W. Oregon steelhead rivers. I was a pretty accomplished single handed caster and didn't want to start over and be inadequate at a new technique. I must admit I did feel inadequate being the only guy on the N. Santiam still fishing a single hander. I messed around with the two-hander, but only in secrecy where no one could see my flailing. When I moved to the Clearwater almost 9 years ago transitioning to the two-hander was no longer a matter of pride, it was a necessity, so I dived in. I picked it up fairly fast ( I thought), but still sucked. I thought I should be a great caster in a few days. I'm very competitive if nobody here hasn't noticed. The big transition in my spey life is when Inland (William) invited me to meet him on the river for a day; probably 6-7 years ago. I was absolutely blown away by his casting. I had seen hundreds of guys two handing on the CW over the past couple years and I didn't feel like that big of a loser until I saw him single spey with a long belly. I was in total awe. He took me under his wing for a few years then kins cut me loose, like saying, "you're on your way, now figure the rest out like a big boy." The casting was so effortless, efficient, and beautiful. It was really cool of him to waste a day fishing with me because he is an obsessive steelheader and I knew it was eating at him to not be running around like an animal. I made it my goal to achieve this level of excellence. I'm far from it to this day, and even further since I don't fish long bellies that often. However, that experience has set a standard for me to go after. William, you better get a new truck this coming year. :rofl:
  14. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

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    Pan, who's under your wing now?
  15. Phil Fravel Friendly

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    Bonney Lake
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    Simple the casting is just plain fun, and challenging to master. And Steelhead are kind of like that Hot girl you just couldn't land.
  16. Luke77 I hope she likes whitefish

    Posts: 1,514
    Yakima, WA
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    Spey casting because in a lot of situations it's more effective to reach the place you want to reach. Just another arrow in my quiver.
    Spey FISHING because sometimes you want more from the experience than just to catch a fish.
  17. DocDoc Member

    Posts: 121
    Walla Walla, WA, United States.
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    For me, it was 2H overhead on the Deschutes for distance, to fight the wind, and to avoid double hauling all day. I found places that the OH did not work, but it took too long to get the spey down. I should have taken lessons up front. That would have saved a couple of years of frustration. Some time on the Saturday at the River with Aaron, Byron and others helped. A class with Mike Kinney was a great boost on the Clearwater.

    Now those tight quarters are not much of a problem. I fish a long belly as much as possible. I am still working on distance to get at some holding water with little space behind and well over 100' out there.
  18. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,708
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
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    I got back into fishing with the fly after a brief but successful career as a gill netter and started hanging out with a few of the Skagit early adopters. They were all fishing these big ass 2 handed rods and looking super cool doing it. They got all the girls and were getting laid almost every night. I thought to myself that has to be the life and I could get the girls also. So I purchased a 9140. Of course one was not enough so the purchase of more and more rods soon followed with high dollar English made reels to adorn the handles. Hand built lines and tips to fit every circumstance. Trips to far away rivers to chase the steel that swam in them. Of coures there is a downside. The need for new and better rods. The latest in line technology. Hand built reels that annouce the hook up down the entire run. The cost to stay on top has financially ruined me. I can no longer afford to purchase new equipment and the old stuff isn't doing it anymore. It has been a downhill slide from stardom and I would warn any young man against trying a career as a 2 handed fishing god.
  19. sandspanker Member

    Posts: 314
    Camas
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    I'll awnser this one in 2 parts. The frist one is Why not?. In college I had a classmate that on a exam day not only started his exam but finished it in 2 minutes, and got a A for his quick work. The essay had one question. WHY??? nothing more then that. He sat there for a minutes and then simply wrote Why not? turned in his work and left the room. Makes one think for sure. It always makes me think of it when some asks me Why?

    The other one is almost as good. I bow hunt which is hard in its self but for some reason I like to over complicate things so I started hunting with a longbow,recurve. Every one I knew always asked me Why? Josh why? I always awsered the same way " If you have to ask you just wouldn't understand"
  20. soundflycaster Member

    Posts: 191
    Mossyrock, WA
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    At first spey fishing was just another tool in my fishing quiver to be brought out at the right time in appropriate conditions. The more I did it the more the artistry of it inspired me. The next was the challenge of just swinging flies....... Now I'm a spey geek. With the production of switch and spey rods that are just right for trout I chase them also by spey casting. I still fish other methods at times but prefer spey. Once you spey it is hard to go back!!