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Discussion Starter #1
Hello to all! Must declare to all of you how much I truly do enjoy scrolling through all of your posts as it does help me learn the Spey routines. I have a long way to go; however, I'm closer today than yesterday. Now, I need some advice as to the great Video by Derek Brown entitled "Spey Masterclass." I have a question as to how far one should stand away from the place where one's line is "pegged" on the grass to get the body/mind in sync with the Spey moves? I'm clear on 4 rod length's of line out the rod tip and peg the tip to the ground. What is unclear is how far do I stand away from the peg point?? Maybe it would depend upon one's rod/line?? I have a T&T 1410-3 lined with a Windcutter w/tips in 9/10/11. Can any of you help me with this as I tend to be a perfectionist (to my shame) and its tough to function and practice if I think things are not correct. Any of you have to fight through that dilemma as I'm forced to do? Thank you for any/all help you can give me. Best regards, Stiver
 

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Good question Speyflyman. I have suggested people try this, but I've never given much thought to how far from the peg one should be.

I would think that since you are trying to simulate the anchor, that it would make sense to peg the line about where you would want the anchor in the water. I guess a rod length in front of you and probably a rod length out to the side.

Let us know what you find out.
 

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How big is Ground Zero?

Fortunately, there's considerable latitude in where the anchor point is properly located for a D/V loop; otherwise, setting up a spey cast would be extremely difficult. After all, we move the fly to the anchor point by pulling it back toward us from a considerable distance downstream. Anywhere from 2 1/2 rod lengths away to under your elbow works, more or less. Optimum placement would be something like 1-1 1/2 rod lengths out, 1/2 rod length up or downstream.
There's a better device than Brown's peg as a training aid. I use a one-pound lead sinker. It's easier to place and remove than a peg. And it has the advantage that you can use its behavior to judge and modify the amount of power you put into your D loop. Try to make it hop in place during the backcast, but not move its location. That way, you can learn to "kiss the water with the fly" while on dry land.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My thanks to both of you

I have been out on the grass twice now and must report that your suggestions work just fine. I know that I have a long way to go as I still seem to want to choke the life out of my rod as I am doing the practice motions. I must continually tell myself to "lighten up" and then it goes well. Our little creek running through our subdivision is almost out of its banks with all this rain we've been having and it is an added help to now be able to go on both sides of the creek and do the switch cast repetitions both right and left handed. The more I practice and study this Spey Casting out, the more I realize how far I have to travel to become proficient at this. I will plan to practice at least once each day as long as I can. I am convinced this will only develop with hard, consistent work and self discipline. Thanks again for your help, guys. I do truly appreciate your counsel. I must add that I can hardly wait for the time when I can "Spey my Steelhead" with my Spey Rod instead of swinging Speys with my one hander. Tight lines and best regards, Stiver
 

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Semi-tough

Don't be intimidated by the prospect of learning to be a competent spey caster. I think it's more demanding than learning to cast with a single-hand rod, but less demanding than some other common recreational skills, such as golfing.
Come to think of it, that would make an interesting poll or survey: How does spey casting rank on a general degree-of-difficulty scale?
 

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Comparative difficulty question

As a golfer for 25 years until about five years ago when I completely gave up the game(at my best, a 7 handicaper), a fly fisherman for the past 16 years, now learning to spey beginning six years ago with a couple of classes at the Kaufmann School in Maupin with Derek Brown(not trying to name drop, but wanted to state I had good instruction to begin my spey 'career'), for me the question is very easy. Golf is much much more difficult. Golf is a game of 18 holes, at a very minimum on the usual course, 72 shots to negotiate those 18 holes, and your success, the number of shots it took YOU to negoitiate those 18 holes is the measure of your success. That success is directly proportional to the quality of EVERY shot you took. In tennis you may be asked how well you did and you can reply with "won" or "lost" six-four, six-three. . . and no one has a CLUE to how well you played unless they were there to see you. In golf you answer the same question with "oneohsix"(106) and no one NEEDS to know more about how you played! In golf you are continully fighting Father Time. Your physical skills decline and your scores rise. In a way your rising scores remind you of your mortality. No fun. Don't remind me. And the better you have been, the harder that part of golf is for you. But, I didn't leave it for that aspect alone(constant numbness in my left hand that my profession had no answer for was a factor). I left because I got BORED playing golf. The artificiality of the scene and lack of excitement in the game---everything you needed to do was there before you--sort of got to me and I left the game and the guys I played with for years.
Fishing? I don't need to make 72 good casts to have a good day. In fact a bad cast may catch the biggest fish of the day. Or, and the essence of why I fish and love it----I don't have to catch any fish in a given day to have a WONDERFUL DAY. I am sure my friends are very suspect of my activities when I head from here to the PNW or Montana. They have known for years that I will put back everything I catch. Since I have taken up the spey and the search for steelhead I now tell them that on any given trip I am mentally prepared to not catch a single fish! UMMMMMMM. Ellen, you better check on Clyde and find out what he is really doing on these trips of his! Some will just never understand and that's just the point. It's the excitement of not knowing what will happen on the next cast. The non-excitement of standing on the 8th tee looking at the 8th green is replaced by the not knowing what's around the next turn in the river. The excitement of knowing the better caster I become----a goal that was not possible in golf because of my mortality--the more successful I will be in the 'catching' part of this hobby of mine. The excitement of knowing that the day before I part this orb we are on, could have been my best day of fishing. That was not going to happen playing golf. I could go on, but you get the picture. Sorry to ramble so long, but I guess the question really punched my emote button.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That helps, Clyde...thank you!

Clyde, I have played played only 18 holes of golf in my entire life back in 1963. On one of these earlier holes I hit a smashing (pun intended)long drive that sailed across the fence and broke a man's picture widow in his home across the road. That certainly was the end of my failed golfing. I too find fly fishing for Steelhead and Browns so much more satisfying. Now that I "have been Speyed" I am almost like a little boy with a new toy. I do certainly enjoy my practice sessions on the grass and a nearby big river; however, nothing can beat (for me) an opportunity to make a float down either the Muskegon or the Big Manistee Rivers in pursuit of the "Chrome Phantoms" lurking in their flows. Its just great to be out and I too don't have to catch any fish to have a fine day. I have never had a bad day on the river and I've been fly fishing since the early 60s. The best thing with our sport is that there is no competition to see who is the best, who catches the most and largest fish, or who can cast the longest. To me these issues detract from the real issue. Thanks, Clyde, I do appreciate your narrative as it spoke good music. Best, Stiver
 

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Where do you hang your hat?

I fish the rivers you list as your home waters, especially the Muskegon. I live in Grand Haven. I'd enjoy casting with you, whether it's on a field or on water. Until my mother-in-law built a house next door on an open lot, I spent more time casting on grass than on water. Now it's more even, but I've gotta go two blocks to the middle school soccer field to air a line on the green.
Carl
 
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