Hey that Spey thing doesn't look too hard :thumb Those short video's are great and I am now inspired to look more into the world of spey fishing. For all the members who do use spey rods how long did it take you to get to the point where you can accurately cast? Is it hard to learn??
It's not exactly as easy as it looks. Some of those clips are of Dec Hogan and he pretty much invented some those "Skagit Style" casts. I started Spey casting back in November. I went to the Spey claves and people are always willing to let you try their stuff. To see it done in real time is awesome. Some of my buddies will stop fishing and watch me cast now, but I have had a lot of help from people here on this site and have had lessons with some of the Gods of Spey casting. Lessons will save you years of learning and keep your Spey rod from ending up on ebay. The best part about Spey casting is not the distance or that you can cast with trees behind you. It allows you to spend more time with your fly in the water instead of in the air, false casting back up stream. There are not to many fish floating nine feet above the river.
"Everyday that you wake up and decide not to go fishing...is one less day you'll go fishing." Forrest Maxwell
Kauffman's offered a class that I took a number of years ago on basic spey casting. They brought a number of different rods (lengths, weights, and lines) and allowed you to cast a few of them to see what differences they had before plunging in a buying a rod. The class gave you the basics, but like everything else, the more time spent the more proficient you become.
That said, I believe spey casting does take more time to learn than single handed casting but you also have to consider it takes considerable practice to cast a single handed rod correctly. You probably already know this, but spey casting can be done with a single handed rod. There is a great article in the latest edition of Fly Fisherman magazine by Simon Gawseworth on "Switch Casting" aka spey casting with a single handed rod.
Rio lines also produced a great video (I believe it is called International Spey casting) which features Simon Gawseworth. I think this is the best video out there to demonstrate spey casting.
The Sandy River Spey Clave will take place in May (17,18), check out www.flyfishusa.com/spey-clave.htm and or call (800) 266-3971 for more info. Lots of big name spey casters will be there.
Another place to check out is www.speyshop.com which is the web site for River Run Angler's in Carnation. They're located near the Snoqualmie / Tolt confluence and can help with all things spey related. Aaron who own's the shop puts together Spey Claves fairly often and has been very helpful.
I went to his last event on the Friday before the fly fishing show in Bellevue, along with many others, and cast a spey rod for the first time. I don't have one yet, but was impressed with how far it is possible to cast. There's lot's of useful info on his site as well!
After fly fishing for 42 years, spey fishing for the last eight: I'd say that spey casting is more demanding than routine, every-day single-handed fly casting, which can be done with 30 minutes' instruction. It's something like hitting a golf or tennis ball, in that you do have to think about what you're doing. On the other hand, spey-casting isn't rocket science (or, for that matter, hitting a baseball, said to be the most demanding sports skill of all). I've handed my spey rod to a curious bait-dunker, showed him where to grip the rod and anchor the fly; and on his first attempt, he produced a hesitant but successful double-spey cast. (He reacted as if he'd just won the Lotto.):7
Spey casting is a sport in which one can steadily and noticeably increase one's skill level. It's a pleasure and delight in its own right. And with the frequent spey claves, merchant-sponsored demos and private or semi-private paid instruction, it's an easy sport to enter and grow into.
Good spey casters make it look that easy. It's not. I've been at it for 5 years and I still suck compared to a good caster. There are a lot of spey guys out there but most of them suck like me. For perspective: I've been working a single handed for 25 years and wouldn't hesitate to call myself an upper level expert. Unlike single handed casting, you have to practice Spey casting to improve and maintain your current ability. Get a lesson, the proper matching gear, practice often, and remember you suck.
iagree: These guys have pretty much said it all. So about all I can bring to the table is to emphasize certain aspects.
First & formost is a well balanced outfit. By this I mean, don't bring a knife to a gun fight. A switch rod can not be expected to chuck big heavy sink tips & intruders any more than a 3wt single hand rod trying to cast tarpon flies. By the same token, if all you are going to fish are nymphs, you don't need a 14 ft 9wt outfit. Start with the fly, choose a line capable of casting that fly. Then pick a rod capable of casting that line. When in doubt, err on the heavy side. There is nothing worse than seeing a guy struggling with a two hand rod that is underlined. :beathead:
There is a certain amount of "black magic" involved in setting up a DH outfit. It is not as cut & dry as going into a fly shop and putting together a SH outfit.
No amount of advise is equal to time on the water. Take advantage of any opportunity to attend any of the on the river clinics. Monroe, Carnation, Sandy. Any time someone is offering show & tell on already setup, balanced equipment, you will come away light years ahead of the game.
This is it's eighth or ninth year running and bigger/better than ever (and they even feed you!!:thumb. Hundreds of different rods, reel and line set ups to 'grass cast' or take a short walk down to the River and actually try the equipment under real 'fishing conditions' ... save for no hook, just a fluff of yarn on the 'business end.'bawling:
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