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On My Own

2762 Views 12 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Grampa Spey
Greetings from the far Northern Coast of CA!

Well, Dave and Mark who both post here came up and fished with me recently. They have cursed me for life now by allowing me to cast their two-handers. Who knew it was going to affect me this way?

It's time to wade in on my own and learn to use my right hand, too. Got some good lessons from these fellows, but I'm on my own now and once again I feel like a little kid who just doesn't quite know which end is which.

My question? Just how much can I be expected to learn "on my own"? I know that the optimal way to learn would be to hire a guide or teacher - maybe buy some books or videos, but with a young family, it's just going to be me, the rod, the river, and the Steelhead. Maybe I won't be able to learn the fanciest of the casts, but I should be able to get along... right?

BTW, I have been single-hand fly fishing for Steelhead the past few years after pursuing inland Trout most of my life. Just have to get that extra hand in there, though =)
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Welcome, and nice picture! Durham Ranger if I am not mistaken.

If you're interested in learning about Spey fishing, you can't find a better place than Dana's anywhere on the internet!
A Popham, actually, but the image is a little too compressed to tell. It started as a very large image. Lost something at 100x75! LOL

I have been all over Dana's pages! A lot of help. The only catch is that I am a lefty (not Lefty, a lefty.), and sometimes that gets a little boggling. Perhaps it shouldn't, but it does. There is so much to learn there, though, and it has been very helpful.

This might be a dumb question, but I don't find anything in the FAQ, etc. Why the "dot" on the envelope next to this post? I don't see others with dots, and there are no dotted versions at the bottom of the page.

Thanks for the welcome! =)

Yes welcome, I surf over to your salmon and steelhead board every few weeks to see what is going in the Northern CA and southern Oregon area. Always wanted to fish the Klamath and Rouge rivers. Got some nice fly tyers over there which have given me some good ideas for great lakes steelhead patterns. Have not joined in the conversation since I am not familiar with your local waters.

I am also new to the spey world this past spring but have been fly fishing for 42 years. Have learned a lot from the spey board information here.

I can see how you may have difficulty applying the techniques to a left hand scenario, hard enough to apply it to the right hand scenario.

Really think the spey technique though is a more efficient delivery system for river fishing. Not sure about the lake scenario but I think it also may be better there than single handers.


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My 15 year old son is a lefty who was given a 13 foot spey rod for his 15th birthday in May, and he has had no trouble spey casting with his left hand on top and right hand on the bottom. I am a righty and at times cast with my left hand on top because it is best when the wind is blowing upstream from my right to avoid hooking myself with a right-hand double spey.

My son simply uses a single spey or snap-T where I use a double spey, and he uses a double spey where I use a single spey or snap-T. That really is that only difference between left-handed spey casting and right-handed spey casting. And this is due to the flow of the river.

If I stand facing downstream and the bank is on your right, a lefty would use the single spey or snap-T, while the righty would use a double spey or snake roll. If the bank is on your right as yu face downstream, a lefty would use the double spey or snake roll and the righty a single spey or snap-T.
Learning to spey cast

There are getting to be more spey casters up in the Eureka area so maybe you will get in with a group up there. I recently moved down from there to SR but still fish the Klamath every chance I get - I got the Scott 1287 mostly for that river and it is a great fishing tool though the half pounders are still much more fun on a 4 wt!!

You can learn on your own especially if you are a good single handed caster that understands casting dynamics - I would highly recommend two videos - Spey Masterclass by Derek Brown and the Rio International video - both excellent learning tapes. The very beginning of Derek's tape really explains the hand and arm motion better than anything I have seen except for the Seminar I took from Way and Steve on the Rogue. It is very important to watch what the caster is doing with his hands and arms rather than watching the rod and line - just keep rewinding and studying what Derek and Simon are doing and you will get the hang of it.

And of course try to plan to attend the next Spey Clave where you will receive all the instruction you want
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flytyer and pmff: I can execute a fairly passable circle spey for river right circumstances where others might employ a double spey. It isn't pretty by any means, but it gets the job done. A snake roll, though? Now you're pushing me! ;)

Rick: I hear about plenty of spey fishing going on up here, but don't see a lot actually being done on the rivers. I mostly fish the Mad, though, so that might be the caveat there. I imagine it's a great way to fish the Russian, Gualala, etc.
Roger on the use of spey rods on the Russian.

Lived in Healdsburg for many years and all I used for winter run fish was a 7136-4 or a 9140-4. first was strictly a dry line rod, but did use the 9wt for tips and a few of the deeper runs. Most 'fav' place was up in the Cloverdale area as I usually had the river to my self .... everybody else ganged up at Dry Creek. Think the term for it was "cluster .....?"
lefties UNITE!!

I am also a southpaw and have had no trouble swining a spey rod. I hold it left hand up and for the most part I single spey over my weak (right) shoulder. I do this cast when I face downstream and the bank is on my left. (90% of my fishing) I'm sure a double is the way to go for others but this is what feels best to me. The forward delivery over my right shoulder causes me to stop the rod higher and the line shoots out nicely. If I'm on the other bank a standard LH single spey will work. However, I have a knack for complicating matters so sometimes I'll throw a double with the delivery once again over the weak (right) side. It just seems to feel better for me. I figured a lot of this out on my own after learning the basics from some highly talented speycasters. The best thing to do is get out there and practice practice practice.

Leftie have an advantage

In most things, I have learned that us lefties have an easier time going "right" than vice versa. strive for being able to fish from both sides with both hands and you'll quickly improve.

What I often do when I am fishing and its slow is the following casting sequence....single spey, reverse snake roll, reverse double spey, snap t - in succession. then switch hands and cast reverse single, snake, double, reverse snap-t ...

try this for a day or a dozen from both ides of the river and you'll be good in any situation.

stay off my river
Hey Pastor!

Thomas! Nice to see you here, I too have caught the interest in these big stix and have been lurking here. Haven't bought one yet, but I feel another Loop coming on. Gotta save my pennies.

Hi Gus; several board members here in Medford, as you

well know. Maybe a mini-mini "clave" this winter. Either on the Rogue or do a group grip on the Chetco?

Bring 'significant others,' and stay at the Best Western on the beach in Brookings. Fish in the Morning, "entertain" the ladies with walks on the beach, etc., during the afternoon, then hit the river just before dark to catch the last tide change.

Libations, then off to a good sea food dinner.

"Watson, I think there is skullduvery afoot." (Well, that crashed the English Language... sigh)

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fredaevans re Winter mini clave

Define winter, like the general time this coming winter?

My wife loves the Brookings Area, Flora Pacifica, the beaches and the Banana Belt Days that happen sometimes in Brookings in the winter. :hehe:
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