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Atlanta Fly Fishing and Camping Meetup Group Message Board › Spey Casting terms and applications

Spey Casting terms and applications

Rene J. H.
user 5695310
Group Organizer
Alpharetta, GA
Post #: 170

Welcome to a bit of spey casting information that will get you started if you have questions on,
what spey casting is, when to use it and the terms to solve the riddle of the spey casters. I'll do daily
short messages that will build your skills with out leaving your desk!

I'll start out by explaining, a spey cast differs from an over head cast because the fly will not go behind
the caster on the back cast. This sounds like a roll cast doesn't it.

The spey casts can be defined as a (short answer) 'Change of direction roll cast'.

Since the fly stays in front of the caster this cast is useful for casting where there is something behind
the caster and they are wanting to move the fly to another location. We use fewer false casts to change
directions say from down stream to up or across. We keep our fly in the water longer with less effort.

These casts are soooo- coooool to watch and not hard to learn. Like anything else, the first thing to do is
understand why and when to use them. We will start with a few definitions for references and build on them.

These are good terms to learn for spey casting and they lend themselves to fishing in general:

RIVER RIGHT- When standing on THE BANK of a stream, the water is flowing from your left to right.
(down stream is on your right hand)
RIVER LEFT- When standing on THE BANK of a stream, the water is flowing from your right to left.
(down stream is on your left hand)

Okay think ya got that?

THE LEFT BANK- When standing IN THE STREAM facing down stream, the bank of the left.
THE RIGHT BANK- When standing IN THE STREAM facing down stream, the bank on the right.


The reason for understanding these terms is for, believe it or not- safety! You will see what I mean in time.

Think about being on the water and casting to the flow of the water with trees behind you and we will
start tomorrow with a single spey- when, where and how.

Good reading on the subject is SPEY CASTING by Simon Gawesworth.
An excellent video is SPEY TO Z


Rene J. H.
user 5695310
Group Organizer
Alpharetta, GA
Post #: 171
Day Two

Single spey ----When, Where and How. These examples will be from the prospective of a right hand person.
(sorry fellow left handers)

We use a Single Spey (ss) when we want to change directions less than 45 degrees.
(20-40 degrees is best)

Where we use it is; river left with an up stream breeze.
(I told you it helps to know the terms)

Here are a few more terms to get down to 'talk the talk' of a spey dude.

Splash and go- a type of cast that lifts the whole line from the water, and then touches the water for an instant
before we start the forward cast.

Lift- Same as on a regular cast where we raise the rod tip up to about 45 degrees before we continue on with
rest of the cast. The lift breaks the 'major' water tension, takes out slack and starts the line in motoin.

Anchor- The contact with the water that our line makes after we have done our lift and repositioning
of the line. Too much anchor or line on the water and it will be hard to break the water tension.
Not enough anchor and the line will sail off in to the woods behind you.

P-Point- The exact spot that the line is touching the water closest to the rod. (Lift the rod tip up and you
will have the P move further toward the fly and less line will be on the water. This makes the line
easier to move )

The Dangle- The position of your line when it is washed down stream (starting point for spey casts)
We want the line straight or tight on the dangle= no slack.

How do we do it? Stay tuned

Here is a question in the mean time...What is a single spey 'without' a change of direction called?
Rene J. H.
user 5695310
Group Organizer
Alpharetta, GA
Post #: 172
Day Three

The answer to yesterdays question was 'Switch cast'

The single spey cast is going to change directions from down stream on the dangle to
up stream, approx. 40 degrees max.

Lift the rod tip up vertically to about 11 o'clock while keeping it in line with the line down stream.
(We want to move the 'P' point down the line as far as we can to break the water tension)

Do not pause or the line will slide back towards you and create slack.

With the rod at the top of the lift start your dip toward the middle of the stream, with slight acceleration.
The dip will be like sliding down the side of a mountain then across a valley and then up
another mountain that is behind you at 180 degrees form the target.

I like to say to my self - 'Lift, circle around and up'
The circle around and up should be a smooth ever increasing rate of acceleration to a stop.

You want your line to be lifted off the water and then the fly land about a rods length in front of
you and a rod lengths to the rod side of you. The D loop should be in line with the target so when
we make our forward cast we don't cross over the fly line.

When the line kisses the water (anchor) we do a forward cast to the target.

There are a lot of variables involved with this cast and it takes a lot of practice to get it right.
The first step is to understand when and where to use it and then study it a little more, then
practice constantly.

More later....I'm whooped.


Rene J. H.
user 5695310
Group Organizer
Alpharetta, GA
Post #: 173
Quick summery,

Single spey;

Use to change directions when the wind is coming up stream.
Use the up stream hand to make the cast.

Place the fly (anchor) up stream of the target line you are aiming for.
Use the 'D' loop's energy to pull the anchor in line by directing the back cast 180 degrees from target.

On the touch and go (forward cast) have your hand in the proper place to start the cast.
It is okay to drift if you need to lengthen the stroke but don't be caught on the drift when the line
anchors. Work on the timing.

One stroke to move your line upstream in a single cast....sweet!
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