Anchor Placement - Page 3 - Spey Pages
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post #31 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 07:32 AM
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I can't figure out how to place my anchor in front of me and only seem to be able to place it behind me. This is all with a single spey cast.
It's a common problem, but, there are a bunch of possible contributing causes, hard to speculate without more details and/or video. Typical ones are poor/rushed lift not releasing line tension, pulling top hand, body over-rotation, improper upstream rod movement, improper lift direction.

Most common defects are also different depending on the stylistic variation of the single spey you are executing -- are you doing the Gawesworth-style alpine spey with pronounced dip, a lift or motion to the bank first, or a flat / always climbing stroke ?
I wasn't really aware of the different styles until seeing these videos. I have generally used a flat stroke with a raise to the key at the end. Once I practice some more I'll try to shoot some video so I can get better feedback. I really appreciate all the feedback.
I far from qualified to be offering advice on the single Spey, I started my journey with longer lines this past summer but I think this is a valid point. I never realized there were different styles or methods of teaching (dip vs no dip) and things were very confusing for me at first because I was blending different methods. It’s not unlike the teaching of a golf swing where each method has its inherent faults and normal things that can go wrong (two plane vs single plane swing etc). Where I really screwed up was combining two different ways that bring in a whole new set up problems to diagnose.

My goal now is to rebuild my cast based on those Robert Gillespie videos. The incline lift seems to be the most repeatable method with the least amount of variables.
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post #32 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-10-2020, 02:20 PM
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Lift and sweep. There is always an off-setting sweep in spey casting. How much you off-set the anchor determines how wide the change of direction can go without casting over the anchor and then having to dip the rod to avoid collision on the forward cast.

The dipping motion is very good at setting down just a minimal amount of anchor when it is done correctly the way Simon Gawesworth actually teaches it. It is like scribbing a shallow saucer with the rod tip. It is subtle and deliberate, and when combined with the "circle-up" motion ( drift) the anchor will consist of the fly and only a short section of the tippet where all of the line and most of the leader are in the Dloop, wedge-shaped, high and energized. To me - this sounds exactly the same wedge shaped D loop that Al Burh describes.

Simon also describes a second method where the initial lift/swing of the rod is slightly towards the bank before sweeping out over the river. This second method is the same "figure 8" method described earlier here.\

Simon also teaches what he calls an advanced single spey were the lift/sweep back stroke is low, and fast and nearly flat. The dipping is far more subtle, but there is still a shifting of weight from the front leg to rear leg. Most of your weight should be on the front leg at the hang down and you should have shifted onto your rear leg as you initiate the lift/sweep. The knee of the rear leg will be slightly bent which causes your shoulders to drop and the rod to dip coincidently. Im willing to bet that those who dislike the dip are unwillingly doing this.

All in all - it seems more like there are several different methods of teaching the single spey rather than different ways to do the cast. For example - a strong, prominent dipping motion is never a good thing. The sweep, change in direction (large or small "off-set") it is always there. Don't let yourself be confused by figurative speech or the fact that there are different instructors using various methods and words to teach the same thing.

As you become more comfortable casting you will realize that the anchor does not have to be exactly at the same spot every time. You might want to cast further across( a large change in direction) or further down and across (reduced offsetting.) You might want to place the anchor further from you to reduce the amount of space that it takes up to your rear and avoid obstacles. And you might also want to adjust the amount of anchor when casting heavier weighted flies.

Mike Kinney's video is a good example of how to do a single spey with skagit heads. I recommend watching. Look for the subtle dip/drift and how it effects the dloop. Note how close to him the fly lands and the amount of anchor on the water.
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post #33 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-10-2020, 07:16 PM
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One very basic tip, probably the simplest, is to look at the spot where you want your anchor to land. I was amazed at the difference it made for me--I was always looking ahead to where I wanted to cast. Whitney Gould is pretty good instructor, her emphasis on the lift, as mentioned by someone earlier, is a good place to start.
https://www.deneki.com/2015/02/spey-casting-the-lift/
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post #34 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-10-2020, 08:11 PM
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I'll try to offer something which may not have been already mentioned here, simply that if you're blowing your anchor, it's most likely due to making the D-loop sweep too fast. Try slowing it down so that your anchor is where it needs to be, the D-loop has formed and the line is not "stuck" in the water next to you, nothing more. For novice casters (I was there myself), it's difficult to trust that the skagit head and its rather small D-loop will be sufficient to cast your rig but it is. Having that anchor where it needs to be, well-planted below the surface, will enable you to make a powerful forward stroke with zero possibility of being blown on the backward sweep and that thick skagit line will do its work for you once its set in motion.

You'll find that with practice and a better sense of timing, that the cast will happen with almost no major effort. Like golf, it seems that trying harder does not render a better result. Be realistic in your objectives too, as most fish are caught within 50-60' of you and casting further is rarely needed. You'll get there, just keep practicing and maybe get a lesson or two before some bad habits form. Good luck.
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post #35 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-12-2020, 03:43 PM
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One very basic tip, probably the simplest, is to look at the spot where you want your anchor to land. I was amazed at the difference it made for me--I was always looking ahead to where I wanted to cast. Whitney Gould is pretty good instructor, her emphasis on the lift, as mentioned by someone earlier, is a good place to start.
https://www.deneki.com/2015/02/spey-casting-the-lift/
That is a great point about looking where you want the anchor to land. If you break a cast down into its constituent parts, with eye contact on anchor placement and d loop formation, it will definitely help. Then remember to slow it all down. Slowing down was the hardest part for me.
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post #36 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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More great feedback! Thanks everyone, so much to absorb and practice. Once work slows down a little I'll try to practice and get some video. Any other insights are certainly welcome and appreciated.
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post #37 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 07:32 PM
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You obviously never took my advise & watched Skagit Master #1. Quit trying to do casts the Skagit system was not designed to do! Concentrate on the double spey or the Perry poke. Drag the anchor point (junction of floating/sinking line) further upstream of where it needs to be. Allow it drift down into the ideal position before making the sweep.
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post #38 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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You obviously never took my advise & watched Skagit Master #1. Quit trying to do casts the Skagit system was not designed to do! Concentrate on the double spey or the Perry poke. Drag the anchor point (junction of floating/sinking line) further upstream of where it needs to be. Allow it drift down into the ideal position before making the sweep.
I switched to a scandi line to continue trying the single spey. I haven't watched the video yet, but certainly will once I can find a copy for a decent price. There's a lot of free material I am trying to absorb until then. Right now work has me so busy casting is not getting any attention :-(
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post #39 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 10:59 PM
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Check your P.M.
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post #40 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 11:11 PM
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Your form will be unique to you, your rod, and head type/length. It's all about getting your anchor in the right place whether it be sustained or touch-n-go.
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post #41 of 41 (permalink) Unread Yesterday, 08:17 PM
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I found this thread super helpful as a relative Noob to the Spey game. Agree with the guys who chimed in regarding just getting out and experimenting. I watched YouTube videos until I was blue in the face but once you hit the river, you just have one "ah-ha" moment after another lol.
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