Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: west coast steelhead/salmon, BC/Alberta trout
The short answer is "yup!" While I do believe that you can practice speycasting on stillwater it is important to be able to execute all required casts no matter whether you're on moving or stillwater. When you take the test you might be on a pond, a slow section of river, or a rapidly moving piece of water, and without lots of practice on all of the above you'll likely have trouble making the adjustments. The testers aren't likely to give anyone the benefit of the doubt during the test. All casts need to be pretty close to flawless.
Since you are working with a friend it might not be a bad idea to get comfortable on stillwater, then take a trip somewhere so you can run through the test on moving water. Take a video camera along and film both casters, then sit down and carefully and objectively analyse what you are seeing. Then, subtract at least 10% - 15% proficiency to allow for the nerves you are likley to experience during the actual test, and then ask yourself "Do I need to spend more time on moving water?"
It will be interesting to see how the spey certification develops. The ideal is moving water, but it might be tough to get moving water for most or even many casters. The guys who tested in San Francisco were on a pond, while others (including me) were tested on moving water. I don't think it matters which you are tested on, and if you can find out where you are likely to be tested then it will help you to know where to focus your practice time. When I was preparing for the test I practiced on both a pond and a river, and once I knew where my test was to be administered I practiced there for the last few weeks prior to the test.