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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my club is hosting it's first spey casting tournament and I have questions that I hope others here who have competed might be able to chime in on.

BTW I have never competed so this is all new....

In a nutshell it says from their webpage:
Who: Open to All - beginners to expert - Skagit to Long Belly
What: The inaugural LBCC Spey Casting Tournament
Why? Improve your casting (and fishing!) - Learn from among the best. Join us for fun and friendly competition
THREE COMPETITIVE CLASSES! Class A - Open Class B - Intermediate Class C - Novice


1. What areas do they judge - accuracy, distance, or..... ???
2. How do the equipment levels affect judging ? Short light trout spey all the way up to 16' 10wt big sticks ? Ultra short skagits, scandi, mid belly, long heads ???
3. Class levels - how do you classify entrants into novice, intermediate or open class ?
4. What is an Open class ?


thanks all!
 

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I've always advocated for "stock" divisions at events, say a 13'6" or shorter - 8wt or lighter division using only factory stock rods and lines. The equipment being used at SOR is highly specialized and costly. I believe the stock division(s) would get a lot more participants because they already have the gear are comfortable using it. Casting a competitive comp setup following SOR rules is anything but easy and most casters would struggle to even get the line off the water and cast just the head!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've always advocated for "stock" divisions at events, say a 13'6" or shorter - 8wt or lighter division using only factory stock rods and lines. The equipment being used at SOR is highly specialized and costly. I believe the stock division(s) would get a lot more participants because they already have the gear are comfortable using it. Casting a competitive comp setup following SOR rules is anything but easy and most casters would struggle to even get the line off the water and cast just the head!
Yes, I agree because I have seen these "pro" casters practice on our casting pond for the events. They use very exotic rods and lines which are intimidating to those who are "amateur" or recreational casters. And the funny thing about them is that they never fish for real fish - they just cast.

BigK1 showed a link above that has a very good regular folks event at Golden Gate pond- this one sounds like fun and practical rather than elite exotic casters.....

"The "Spey for Trout" competition will be held again and it will be all for fun
• Three person teams (Fly Shops, Rod/Reel/Line Manufacturers, Clubs - team members may be recruited)
• Maximum 12.5 ft Rod Length (must be available off-the-shelf)
• Floating line required - any type (must be available off-the-shelf)
• Any type Spey cast technique, but must employ an anchor
• Three targets at 50, 65 & 80 ft, one cast at each target
• Casting order determined by draw
• Team with highest accuracy score wins"
 

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That does sound like a practical division. One for larger rods would also be well attended.

With regard to "elite exotic casters" I will share some of my own experience. Competitive casting is actually EXTREMELY practical for fisherman. It forces you to be absolutely correct as the comp setups are incredibly unforgiving. If you can consistently cast a comp rod then everything from a skagit head to a long belly is a total no brainer on the river. I was recently joking with Gene Oswald that you can hide a lot of faults with a FF70 that eat you alive with a comp setup.

And yes, casting further can provide you with the opportunity to catch fish that most others cannot. Also, if you can cast well for distance then more typical fishing distances are automatic. Don't know about down in California but up here in the Northwest I don't know of a single competitive caster that doesn't fish a lot. In fact I know several who spend a month or more on the Clearwater every year. I've had the opportunity to fish with a bunch of guys who compete at SOR including several who have qualified for the mens finals multiple times and one guy who has won it twice. When you see them fishing the first thing that comes to mind is "that's the best caster on the river". Everything is easy and consistent, they don't miss...100 casts in a row and they are all perfect regardless of the type of line they are using. That kind of consistency leads to more fish in hand and is the reason that all the competitors I know got into competitive casting in the first place. Guess that's my $0.03 worth.

TMc
 

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With regard to "elite exotic casters" I will share some of my own experience. Competitive casting is actually EXTREMELY practical for fisherman. It forces you to be absolutely correct as the comp setups are incredibly unforgiving. If you can consistently cast a comp rod then everything from a skagit head to a long belly is a total no brainer on the river. I was recently joking with Gene Oswald that you can hide a lot of faults with a FF70 that eat you alive with a comp setup.
Yup.

FWIW, I'm an average caster...when NextCast was having semi-regular casting days in Pdx, I attended a number of them. I had just started trying my hand with stuff other than skagit and scandi heads and was struggling quite a bit. I was using 6126 beulah platinum and had started to think that it just wasn't up to the task of casting the 45ish foot line I had (which is hardly long, some might just consider it a long scandi). I can't remember who I handed my setup to first (it was either Greg Bencivenga or Bryan Styskal) and they proceeded to cast it 100+ feet within a minute or two. They gave some casting instruction and said while it probably wasn't an ideal setup to cut my teeth on that it was nicely matched and once I got the hang of it I'd be good.

I also had the opportunity to cast some comp rods and lines which was quite the eye opener. Very unforgiving and even a minor flaw at any point of the cast was very detrimental. If you're anchor isn't right you can't just hit the forward stroke a little harder to make the cast go.

I do think a 'stock division' would be great fun and probably get more people to turn out and participate, if only because more people are actually capable of casting the setups. If those 'elite exotic' casters participated they'd likely dominate that division as well.
 

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So my club is hosting it's first spey casting tournament and I have questions that I hope others here who have competed might be able to chime in on.

BTW I have never competed so this is all new....

In a nutshell it says from their webpage:
Who: Open to All - beginners to expert - Skagit to Long Belly
What: The inaugural LBCC Spey Casting Tournament
Why? Improve your casting (and fishing!) - Learn from among the best. Join us for fun and friendly competition
THREE COMPETITIVE CLASSES! Class A - Open Class B - Intermediate Class C - Novice


1. What areas do they judge - accuracy, distance, or..... ???
2. How do the equipment levels affect judging ? Short light trout spey all the way up to 16' 10wt big sticks ? Ultra short skagits, scandi, mid belly, long heads ???
3. Class levels - how do you classify entrants into novice, intermediate or open class ?
4. What is an Open class ?


thanks all!
Hi 4silllypat,

I was member of the Long Beach club for years, great bunch of people, I learned a lot from them. I used to attend the Spey-O-Rama every year too. They are also a great bunch & a lot of fun. But casting is one thing & fishing is quite another.

Poppy (Mike Cummings/Red Shed) has a saying about how you get the line out there,,,http://poppysspeycastingforum.forumchitchat.com/ He hosts the Clearwater Spey Gathering where they have THE CLEARWATER OPEN AKA *******-O-RAMA (ha, ha) quite different than SOR.

There is also the Sandy River Spey Clave http://flyfishusa.com/pg/246-Sandy-River-Spey-Clave-2018.aspx in the spring, held @ Oxbow Park on the Sandy River. Not competition, but a sharing of information on all things regarding two hand rods.

A lot of the steelhead/salmon rivers have long standing traditions associated with them. The Clearwater is all about long rods/lines & skating flies. Show up on the N. Umpqua with a Clearwater rig & you'll be picking your D-loop out of the trees. And no weighted flies in the summer. Some rivers are fished almost exclusively with sink tip systems & large, heavily weighted flies.

Say hello to everyone down there for me. I wish you well with your spey casting tournament.
 

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Ha! I meant casting distance and angler skill. I've actually done a couple trips this summer with the single handed rod just to force myself to not overcast.
Would love to fish behind you on a big river and see if having the skill to cast far does not matter :p
 

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Would love to fish behind you on a big river and see if having the skill to cast far does not matter :p
Distance certainly matters but there's more to it in my opinion...casting at the right angle, actually getting proper turnover, etc. I swear half the dudes you see with a spray rod are one trick ponies when it comes to cast angle, and often times their fly never actually turns over so the swing is fucked
 

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Distance certainly matters but there's more to it in my opinion...casting at the right angle, actually getting proper turnover, etc. I swear half the dudes you see with a spray rod are one trick ponies when it comes to cast angle, and often times their fly never actually turns over so the swing is fucked
Angle is huge especially when casting far. I always talk about it with clients and doing demos. Turnover is also big of course but all the guys I know who can really huck it, of course have no issue with it either as it's all part of the skill of being able to cast far
 

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Shorter controlled swings are best. There is no one angle that does this sometimes a shallow angle is best on a short cast sometimes a steep downstream angle with a long cast is better.
 

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angles for big casts are easy....the faster the current the more downstream your angle of cast is. Even with short casts most guys are too square to the current and their fly is not swimming while they are mending......I like my fly to be fishing as soon as it lands and that's why turn over is so important....nothing more satisfying than a big grab on a big cast when your fly has only moved a foot or so!!!!
 

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angles for big casts are easy....the faster the current the more downstream your angle of cast is. Even with short casts most guys are too square to the current and their fly is not swimming while they are mending......I like my fly to be fishing as soon as it lands and that's why turn over is so important....nothing more satisfying than a big grab on a big cast when your fly has only moved a foot or so!!!!
hmmmm not sure I entirely agree with that.. if your fly is in the water it is fishing! I suspect my differing point of view has to do with the different rivers we fish. I catch a fair number of fish when they fly is actually dead drifting or under only the slightest of drag before the fly starts to swing. However I tend to fish lots of rivers that due to very complex structure your angles and distances are constantly changing to hit each bucket just right. There is one run you cast straight across let the fly dead drift for about 50 feet then mend half the line so that it swings off the hinge of the line.

I think the thing to keep in mind is that you want to keep the fly in the strike zone as long as possible use the angle and distance that accomplishes that.

There is one run on the Umpqua I always fish twice the first pass I cover the whole thing but the second pass i slow down and use short casts with more cross stream angles and sometimes downstream presentations so that I can hit each little pocket with a nice slow presentation. Often on the first pass the fly is swept quickly out of these spots due to conflicting currents It's almost more like trout fishing,

it all really depends on the water..
 
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