Single hand spey casting


Waters haunt me....
I was fishing one of the southwest rivers last week and had a great time although I had to work really hard to get my fish. (talking about paying my dues- 14 hours of fishing to get my fish the first day)

The night of the first day when I was winding down after a looooong day, I stood at the bank of the river watching several people fishing a popular hole. I was trying to look for rolling fish which would indicate if there are any fresh fish coming up the river so I can plan the next day's fishing. While standing on the bank I noticed this one particular fly fisherman side by side with the other 3 gear guys fishing the hole. I was wondering how he can be right next to the other guys and flyfish with them. It was not until I observed him closely that I noticed he was spey casting using a single handed rod and he was darn good at it too. Not only does not need a lot of space but he can get his fly out there too.

So here's my question to you savvy folks in this forum. I know I've heard people talk about it, in fact I am pretty sure that I saw an article once in a magazine (which I didn't read since I am a stubborn person and did not want to cross over to spey casting) but I have never seen anyone do it until last week. Needles to say I was greatly impressed on how effective this cast is and if I can learn it, it would definitely improve my fishing. Not so much that I could fish alongside other gear folks ( I am one too) cause when I pick up a flyrod, I want to have some sort of solitude, but for the simple fact that i can definitely use it in areas where back cast space is limited.

I know some of you are avid spey fishermen, but I am not ready to convert yet although I'm willing to compromise and do a spey cast with my fly rod.

Any thoughts on this? Any of you guys been doing this for a while now? Any material I can read or view about this? Or maybe a casting instructor that I can hire for this particular reason.

Any thoughts or comments welcome.
Yeah I rarely cast my single handers overhead anymore it seems.

The fundamentals to spey casting with a single hand rod as compared to a two hander are the same. For single hand casting you can incorporate a haul on the final delivery that can really help you throw a lot of line. It is called a turbo spey and is covered in the RIO International Spey Casting Video which should be available at most shops. A great video to start learning about spey casting. Simom Gawesworth's new book Spey Casting also touches on single hand spey casts.

If you can make the trip on a Saturday head over to River Run anglers in carnation where they do free beginner instruction on the snoqualmie river. They are a sponsor and the best place to start your spey journey. It is worth the gas money.

Have fun,



Active Member
Many speycasting techniques translate easily to the single-handed rod. I use a single or double spey (depending on which side of the river I'm on) as an easy change-of-direction cast all of the time and I almost always use a modified single spey in place of a conventional roll cast. Of course, the longer your rod is the easier it becomes.
Single-handed spey casting is not going to replace conventional, overhead casting, which remains the method of choice. But when trees and other obstacles prevent safe backcasts, spey casts are a perfectly practical alternative. I frequently use them (us. single or double spey casts) when fishing with my back to a limb-sprouting bank. The biggest drawback is that it's no way to dry out a dry fly when false-casting.


Waters haunt me....
Thanks for the input guys, I will definitely try to learn this thing, the sooner the better. I do believe that the drive to Carnation is going to be well worth it.

I tried it for an hour or so the next day but there was a couple of times there that I thought I was going to hook my eyes out. It's just different when you have someone to critique your casts or at least a video to follow. Needless to say I give myself an "A" for trying but I downright suck at it. I'm not sure if the spots I were fishing were empty because there was nobody around or nobody wanted to even come close to me while I flail around looking like an idiot.

Tight lines

Speycasting with a single-handed rod is not new.
Many people do it as a part of their fishing arsenal.
“Mastering the Speycast lets you master the River”
Quote by Hugh Falkus in Notes to Arthur Oglesby from Mortimer’s tackle shop in Grantown on the Spey River in Scotland. (1981)
Hugh Falkus was a big proponent of Single Handed Speycasting.
The equipment remains the same the longer the rod the efficiently you can cover the water.
I have Speycast with my 6ft 2wt bamboo midget rod on small stream where you have no back cast room.
Granted it is a lot of fun with the long rods but the short ones have their place also.
Single-handed flyrod spey lines.

I recommend line lengths 3 to 3 ½ time the rod length of the rod to begin with this may include the leader. Keeping mind that you just have to have a long enough head to get a anchor.
I’ve used Deer Creek Lines by Mike Kinney, Jim Teeny’s Nymph lines and Lanny Waller’s B.C. Dredgers when I first started.
Now I prefer a tad longer line Like 3M Steelhead tapers and Rio’s Atlantic Salmon and Steelhead tapers cut back and looped a 15ft.
Most single hand lines will work just fine you have to work on placement of the anchor and the haul.
Rest assured the only difference between long belly lines and short belly lines is the amount of line you will have to shoot.
They both will work fine.