: New to Spey/Two Handed
03-03-2006, 04:00 PM
Just bought my first spey rod- Scott 11' 9" 6 ARC ( on ebay) for use on the Penobscot, Kennebec and anywhere else it will work. I have basically never cast these rods beyond lawn casting at a show. What's the best way to get started? Can I lawn or snow cast- what's the best video or book? I would like to be proficient enough to give it an early season try on some landlock rivers up here in the woods of Maine. Any help would be greatly appreciated.:confused:
First, match it up with a line that suits the pursuits. In this case I would guess that you are looking for a floating line possibly with exchangeable sink tips. I don't know the grain range for that rod but you would either look it up on the Rio line chart (sponsor: www.rioproducts.com) or contact Scott rods directly (google).
Then I would suggest a few options -
- take private casting lessons from a certified instructor
- join a group class from a capable instructor
- study videos
in all cases practice, practice, practice.
In your area, Topher Browne is the key resource you might contact in Maine. He is a pro over at Bean's school. I am FFF certified and reside in the Boston area.
For video, I suggest Simon Gawesworth's new Spey video (3 dvd set). He suggests a few others on the DVD that you might consider, if necessary.
Once you get the basics there will be plenty for you to work on. I think your goal of working landlocks this spring is achievable and you should definitely go for it!
03-06-2006, 01:55 PM
Thanks Juro- The Orvis website was selling their "Short Head" floaters for $19.99, so I bought a 6 and a 7. Probably match up with a Battnekill mid-arbor and start practicing. Our season opens April 1 and I am itching to get up to Grand Lake Stream and see what I can do at the dam pool with it. After two full seasons up here, I can see the utility of spey or two-handed as there are places we just can reach with conventional roads and the rivers are largely unwadeable in those spots. I went with the light rod as most of the fish I will be chasing will be 20" or less. Looks like you guys had a great time on Acklins, I got back from Eleuthera last week and I'm hooked. I actually didn't fish as much as I thought I would just because I was having so much fun cruising around the island. I'll be back there or somewhere in that neighborhood next year, no question. See you on Monomoy this summer maybe. I fish out there with a friend as much as I can. Black 19' Cape Codder.
03-06-2006, 04:29 PM
I have that rod, and fish it with a 7wt. steelhead taper.
LL.Bean will be having a Spey demonstration @ their flyfishing fair (coming up, I forget when). I suspect that Topher Browne will be giving the demo, and he is very helpful. I would definitely consider taking a private lesson with either Juro or Topher. This will allow you to take full advantage of the begining of the season.
03-06-2006, 05:14 PM
Thanks Eddie. I think that is this weekend, so I'll miss it. I need to get down to see Mike Holt and he'll "hook" me up.:hihi:
Hey titleguy -
Definitely let's hook up this season on Monomoy! Acklins is amazing. I will pick your brain on Eleuthera then.
As a side note, most rods that match up with the 7wt SA steelhead taper like the Rio 5/6 windcutter too and it comes with tips optionally.
03-07-2006, 08:31 AM
04-04-2006, 09:49 AM
Juro- I'm finally rigged up with this rod, although have not had it in the water yet. I only have the 7wt short head rigged. I plan to try it out this weekend on the Kennebec. What about leader set-up? Can you fish a two-fly and indicator set-up? My normal set up is a 12' leader w/ 15" to 24" dropper with indicator way up on the butt section of the leader. Try casting just on the lawn, didn't work that well.
Any input would be greatly appreciated. As mentioned in the striper thread- I'll be in Chatham with two friends, two boats for the weekend of the clave, look forward to hooking up.:D
Some experts say that if you are putting the proper tension into the loop throughout the stroke all you need is a piece of straight mono, say 15#, approx the rod length to make good fishing casts. The point is Spey casts don't need to be ultra-picky about leader design like singlehand casts may.
That being said I would recommend building a leader of the standard 60/20/20% proportions with a taper down to the tippet you like (search on leader formulas on the forum search box).
One note Spey casting is most suited to the swing, but you can adapt it to anything you want.
I am a zero-indicator type guy so you'd have to ask someone else about that - there is a lot of bobber talk on Speypages.com lately you might check out, I haven't read those particular threads but they appear quite active.
Drop by one of the spring Flyfishing Forum Nor'easter Spey Claves to get some great first hand instruction (dates TBD).
04-04-2006, 10:04 AM
Thanks Juro. I have a 20' fast sinking head which I may attach to my line to get the fly or flies down a little. Have to experiment a little. :confused:
04-05-2006, 05:40 PM
Titleguy; over the years I've used indicators in creeks and estuaries with a floating line, a leader the length to get me near bottom ,some split shot to keep it there ,and flatwings.It requires a lot of line mending to control the speed of the line to keep the fly deep and hanging suspended below the indicator as much as possible.It can be a very effective way to fish.Another way is to walk along side your line as the current carries the line,this will cut down on the amount of mending required.I've picked up alot of fish at the end of the drift ,for instance if there is a change in depth or if the bottom starts to rise on your drift ,mend up current to swing your fly or flies with the current, alot of the strikes will happen almost at the end of the swing.
04-10-2006, 08:42 AM
Tried the spey out yesterday, boy that is frustrating. I got the overhead down OK, could get out about 60' with some modicum of control. I am left handed, had wind blowing downstream at my left shoulder and fishing from river right; I had a a hell of a time trying the single spey. I was sort of able to do some kind of perverted double. I assume from yesterday that in the scenario I described above, a single won't really work and that's why you do the double? HELP:confused:
Hang in there brutha!!
There are a few rules to Spey casting...
One of them is downwind anchor, as you soon found out. Being a lefty on the right bank with a downriver wind means casting off your right side, in this case the weak side. Think about what you would do single hand. You would still cast off the offside. It took a while to master, but you have it down now I am sure.
Since you are just beginning, I would highly recommend casting with the right hand up in this situation. You don't have much muscle memory to overcome and it's a great time to get it set for the future.
To do the double, make sure you raise the rod high on the downriver side and allow it to drop closer to the water as you bring it to the upriver side. But don't watch the tip - watch the end of the flyline where it meets the leader. Make your motion so that the end of the flyline comes to a point downstream about a rod length down current and 45 degrees out away from you as well.
The rod tip should be pointing upstream and parallel to the water when you finish the setup move. Turn your body to face upstream as well, looking at the end of your line (the anchor point) to make sure it's in the correct position.
The rest of the line should be laying on the water in the shape of a candy cane "J" with the shorter curve end attached to your rod tip.
Then sweep the rod around with a very slight incline like the threads on a sheet metal screw or the take off angle of a plane until the rod passes your centerline. You should feel an increasing amount of flex in the rod the whole way. Be careful not to stutter or stop as you make this sweep. This is where the "white mouse" as Simon puts it comes up in spray as the line is pulled around. Don't go too fast, nor too slow.
The speed of this sweep should keep the rod bent as it comes around but don't fight it. Carry the load along. The rod tip will come up into the "firing position" only after it comes to your right side. The firing position is the same as a roll cast, the rod is up and ready to make a cast with the line folded beneath and behind the rod.
As you turn your hips, face the target as you come around. Allow your shoulders to swivel back a bit but for the most part let's say the target is at 12 o'clock straight ahead, and 6 o'clock is straight behind you. Do not let your rod tip go past 5 o'clock or the line will continue around behind you and get out of alignment with the target.
When the rod come to 5 o'clock, stop abruptly. If done right, all of the line will continue behind you except for the little bit of line near the leader butt, the anchor. This continuation of line will form into the shape of a "D" where the top end is at the rod tip and the bottom is on the water.
Be patient - it can take up to 1.5 seconds for that sail to billow out after you stop. You want that D loop to have all of the line off the water except for that last bit of line near the leader.
Keep your eyes on that anchor and when you see that the d-loop is pulling on it, sliding it and pulling it back - that's when you make your forward cast.
This is not a vicious act, it's more like ballet than rugby. There is very little power involved on behalf of the caster, the rod does all the work. The caster just puts it into motion.
You should begin with just your finger tips (thumb opposing index and middle) to start out. This will ensure that you do not use too much force and kill the cast.
As I tell all my students "the body should accomodate the arms, the arms should not accomodate the body".
We tend to stay in a fixed position and move our arms around to get something done. Instead, keep the arms with the elbows fairly close to the body with the slight exception of the 5 o'clock stop where they can come up slightly for a longer stroke length and clearance of the d-loop. You will learn to manage that drift over time for more distance, don't worry about that now.
One more critical rule: "the bottom must must not rise higher than the upper arm's elbow" otherwise the rod tip will plummet and the d-loop will deflate.
When you make your forward cast don't kill it - slide the anchor off the water, don't rip it. A good cast is a smooth acceleration not a sudden tear. Speed it up and stop it hard and high. Watch the beauty unfold.
Man you are making me want to go out and cast on my lunch break!
04-10-2006, 10:21 AM
Thanks Juro- I think I understand some of what you're saying. I definitely was trying to overpower the rod ( which resulted in very tired arm and shoulder) rather than using the lever to its advantage. Coordinating the moves will take some time. I had a couple that went right and zip, out went the whole head and 20' of running line, with the fly landing on the far bank, never touched from that shore before.
I really need to stand and watch someone do it right. So far, other than a couple of lawn sessions, which are pretty much useless, and yesterday, I've been watching the trailer to the RIO DVD, just to get an idea of the movements. One of the keys is to preserve the energy in the loop, just as you do in single handed, but the "preservation", as it were, is a much more drawn out process.
I've got the two-hand overhead OK, man can you shoot some line, but that defeats the no-back cast room theory behind purchasing this rod.
Keep the info coming, I'll buy you a beer or three in Chatham. We'll be there late Friday night until Monday morning. :devil: