Spey Pages banner

caught my first fish on the spey and lessons learned

2388 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  New Spey
Well had a good day yesterday fishing wise. Caught a nice buck on the snoqualmie which was a ton of fun. Had been a month without a touch and a relief to feel a fish on the end of the rod.

My spey casting still sucks though. Am having tons of trouble and I think a lot may be due to the line. The DT I am using seems to not be doing the job. What do I know though....

Lessons learned observations from the past two trips out actually casting the rod:

-Barbless hooks are a good thing. However the still hurt like a son of a ***** when you bury one in your love handle.

-Having problems with the snap-t to single spey. Cannot get the anchor right at all. I cast better left handed doing a double spey. Guess I need more practice.

-Find I cast better if I try and focus on keeping the rod butt centered around my midsection. I get into trouble when I let it drift to far up to my chest.

-This is not a tough guy sport. I find about 90% of the time I am overpowering the cast.

-Mending is fun with the long rod. You can actually mend your way out of some pretty bad casts.

-Probably due to my inability to get a good anchor but I have problems throwing a good D loop. Always seems to track to the side instead of up and back like I think it is supposed to go.

-Landing a fish is way different than with the short rod. I must have looked like a bafoon out there when landing mine.

-I am having a ton of fun. Even though I am horrible it is really really fun.

That is it so far and I have a ton of learing to do and I am looking forward to it.

1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Hey Sean

Quote by Sean: Even though I am horrible it is really really fun.
Horrible? How bad can it be, you caught a fish. I thought that was why you were fishing. I sounds to me like you are doing just fine! :)
I finally had the time to spend several hours, over several days, to practice various casts. I am comfortable with some to actually tie on a real "working" fly! I will be fishing the spey rod this year.

Some notes from a spey casting beginner, most stated by others:

- Don't overpower the rod. MY best casts are those which require me to cross my hands (casting from my weak side) which minimizes my power stroke.

- (My favorite), toss yarn or flies cut at the bend until you are really comfortable with the "casts" technique and timing.
- When frustrated, stop for a while. Smoke your pipe or a good cigar and enjoy the scenery. When you feel right go at it again.
- Watch the VHS tapes over and over and over...:chuckle:

Beginning to love the Sage.


Oh, oh, most important - stay with the floating line! I can not emphasize this enough for the beginners. Save the sinktips for later and spare your back and ego some hard knocks.
See less See more
Nice work dude! Glad my lucky IMX is taking good care of you ;)

Looks like the river has given you a nice send-off to your new life as a married man.

You know my opinion on all this DT stuff. I'm no expert just an average hack who has been thru the wringer.

IMHO if you can keep the d-loop up&out on a DTF and stroke in-line against a lightly placed grip it's going to fly nicely, and these principles apply to all other lines except for short heads. There is a trick to keeping the loop up to get the most out of that d-loop into the rod for the casting stroke with a DT and it's very much worth learning.

FWIW - It's not necessarily bad to have the butt hand up, but if it comes up your other rod hand must also come up to maintain the angle up to the 1-2 o'clock firing position. If the rod dips down in the back as a result of raising the butt hand, then the d-loop will fall into the water and you will have to lift a wet mattress to make the cast.

In fact while watching the d loop one might tend to raise the rod at the end of the kick as you time the landing of the grip. The better your set, the less you have to raise to compensate. Coming downward and forward with the casting stroke (if I am not mistaken) is common technique of the underhand cast and seems to add a little power to the stroke. So it's more a matter of rod position and load from the d-loop than butt hand position IMHO (others please correct if I am wrong).

A dense head (like yours truly :rolleyes: :chuckle: ) lets you get away with things that you can't do with long spey lines, particularly the formation of the D-loop. You can pull that head behind you any way you want and still load the rod for a tip cast. You can stop, check your watch, pick your nose while the head sits there in the ready and still complete the cast . Not so with anything longer than 40, 60, 70 feet or more.

But what do I know - my learning was put on hold for the last 7 years - I've only Spey cast once a year. I just wasn't getting the time in, and was stuck in head chucking mode. But this year, thanks to the inspiration from the Spey Clave, I've dedicated many fishing days to Spey casting with a puff of yarn 3,000 miles from my old home rivers. After getting some advice from Simon Gawesworth at the Sandy Clave, and spending many hours casting I recently debugged a component of my cast that was nothing short of a revelation.

Excuse the giddy ramble, but it was when I went back to those DT principles and spent days just casting (and not fishing) I finally got over a major hump and can produce a consistent D-loop, small grip, and tight effortless loop on a change-of-direction cast.

It's been a relief and I am totally psyched to cast more rods and lines - when is the neXt sPeY cLaVe i NeEd a fIx bAdlY!! :chuckle:
See less See more
Hey Coho Mojo,
Congradulations! I think junkyard spey is right on. if you're having fun you are doing it right. learning the casts takes time and patience and hard work, but if you are going out and having a good time, you're doing things right.
I was fishing the Willamette the other day. I was just spey casting the long belly section and not getting into the running line. I was feeling pretty good and even hooked a fish for a brief run. Still don't know what happen. It grabbed, ran, jumped and was off.

Later in the morning I made the mistake of deciding I should be able to shoot the line. My cast went to hell. Once in a while I could shoot a little line, but if there were any fish there they had to be shooting straight to the dam. Then when I went back to the shorter line, my casts couldn't recover. I like Watersprites advice of just stopping and collecting your thoughts.
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.