Spey or Single [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Spey or Single

07-26-2006, 08:40 PM
For some reason, during the past few seasons, I've found myself out of place with my rod. Either I'm somewhere with a 9' single handed rod while ALL others fish 16' spey rods, or I'm fishing a 16' spey rod, while All others fish 9' single handed. This could be another symtom of "I'm right while everyone else is wrong".

Frankly speaking, I was quite surprised on my last recent visit to the Gaspe. I only saw one other spey rod being used besides mine. Even during a drive by on the Matapedia, quite a decent size river, I saw no Speys being used. So again, I found myself the outcast. In fact I would often hear that familiar comment; "Ya dont need that long rod on this river".

The "sound" of those comments were very familiar because I've been in the exact reverse position, being the only one with a 9' #10 weight single handed rod, while all others donned 16" Hardys. I got the same comments there, but in reverse. "Ya neare gonna take a big bugger on that wee bit of a stick". Actually I made that guy eat his words several times, BUT the point is, I was quite humbled while casting in their presence. I had to compete with their effortless 100' casts while they barely wet their boots, while I double hauled, wading deep, well over my arse in the swift current.

It all made sense to me on that trip. Have to get myself one of those big rods. Instead of covering one side of the river, and working hard for the distance, why not effortlessly cover both sides with one cast. Made sense to me. Of coarse hooking and landing a fish on a 16 foot noodle is not as pleasurable as a stout nine foot outfit, but the positives sometimes out weigh the negitives in many cases. Learning this from the Europians, I've come to love a Spey rod, not only to perfect better the challenge of true spey casting, enabling me to hit those lies in the canyons, but for better coverage when casting conventionallym not to mention the effortlessness that it takes.

Anyway, after many years, now I fish both. Big water, fish spey. Smaller water fish, single handed.....and soometimes even vice versa. Forget the comments. They do no one any good, especially to the one making the comment. Both have their place where ever one sees fit.


07-26-2006, 11:14 PM
I have only one thing to say:
Many people cast right by the fish at their feet to get to the fish at the other side of the river.

07-27-2006, 05:55 AM
And others have no idea whats on the other side.:smokin:

It's best to cover both. Howie alluded to covering both sides with a single cast. That's exactly what Spey provides to the river angler. The other dimension is time. There are no false casts in Spey casting by which this coverage is afforded.

You might fault Spey casting for some things, but coverage is certainly not one of them.

07-27-2006, 06:49 AM
A properly fished pool, will eventually leave no fish at your feet, other than the one who met you at the very top of the pool while you started short. And eventually you'll pull a fish from the other side, taking your fly dead drift.

07-27-2006, 06:49 AM
To be fair there is one situation where the spey angler often overlooks... the initial 'blind spot'.

When the angler steps to the river they often do so at a good spot. The anxiety to start fishing after a hell week at work often has him put out a full cast immediately, missing the triangle along the shore where he is standing.

Working with a very short line to cover the pocket in front has rewarded me on numerous occasions and it's very exciting to hook a steelhead or salmon with just a few feet of line out :)

However once that fixed triangle "inside pocket" is covered the Spey cast subsequently reaches out even in limited backcasting space and covers right to the shoreline on the following hang downs, then does it again with a step down the bank throughly covering the pool like no other technique could given challenging banks and current.

07-27-2006, 07:24 AM
This thread is very familiar to me. I went out the the O.P. in Washington this February and was by far and away one of the few guys slinging a single hander. I beat myself up all week and went home with a really tired shoulder and only covered effectively 1/3 of the water. I say 1/3 because when booming out 70' of single handed heavy tipped line I feel that the first 15-20' of your drift you aren't really fishing but just trying to mend into the propper depth. Now I would work a very good run on the Queetz with a couple of Norwegens with a couple of loop set-ups that could if they so chose hit the bank 120' away and be ready to fish almost immediatly. After that trip I decided to join the spey cult and fish the whole river.

So in closing these are my thoughts. Big rivers, oceans, use a spey rod. Small spring creeks limestone streams, single hander.

Just my .02Cents

07-27-2006, 08:10 AM
Just started using 2 handed rods in Iceland a few years ago, and after having to use them to fish in Russia the last couple of years I can really see the advantages:

1) Probably the biggest is line control, where I can raise my 15 foot rod and make a series of mends to get the fly to do what I want it to do across complex currents between me and the fly.

2) Using heavy sink tips of 15 feet with tube flies, you cannot cast this system without some form of spey techniques. What I would do if possible was either a single or double spey to get the line up in the water and in front, then an overhead cast or another single spey to shoot the hole system out.

3) Big fish handle better with big rods. I have caught 25 pound salmon on single rods, but the 2 handed 15 footers make even a 35 pounder a much quicker battle ( and if you believe quicker is better for the fish then this is a good thing).

4) The 2 handed rods have re-invented salmon fishing for me. I've had to go take several casting courses ( including private lessons again this year), buy new gear, tie new flies. What an excuse to load up on a whole new line of salmon gear.

Don't worry about being the only one on the river with a spey rod, I had this same thing happen to me last year on the Miramichi, where I brought out the ugly yellow 13 foot loop rod to howls of disdain until I landed a fish. Just always bring multiple rods with you on every trip and mix it up.

Tight Lines,

Jim Y

07-27-2006, 08:25 AM
Anyway, after many years, now I fish both. Big water, fish spey. Smaller water fish, single handed.....and soometimes even vice versa. Forget the comments. They do no one any good, especially to the one making the comment. Both have their place where ever one sees fit.


I think your last paragraph sums things up very well and it is the way I feel about fishing with spey or single-handed rods. I think those anglers who tell you that “you don’t need a spey rod for this river” or “you can’t land a big fish on that little single handed rod” are trying to justify it to them selves. I like to keep my opinions to my self unless they are solicited.

I tend to use spey rods for most of my salmon and steelhead fishing because I enjoy fishing with them and casting them. However, I usually have a single-handed rod close at hand. Bottom line is that the type of rod an angler uses is a personal decision the angler must make for himself based on his skill level and the situation at hand.

Interesting that you mentioned the situation on the Matapedia, and believe me, it is a situation. In recent years there has been a group of spey fishing anglers on that river who have gained a reputation for being extremely rude to the single handed anglers. Hogging pools, low holing other anglers and other such atrocities. Consequently, any anglers who use a double-handed rod on that river are looked down upon.


07-27-2006, 08:57 AM
Yo Charlie..

I must say, your group introduced Spey fishing to many of us,,,,,,,,,,,, The guys fishing with those big long "telephone post" rods!!""
( I won't tell you what we were saying in town about these rods!! haha)

I must also add....... gentlemen and respectful on the rivers!!

They do come with "A bouncer!!"" :rolleyes:

Ann :)

07-28-2006, 12:04 PM
It's one thing when a guide or someone from another fishing group makes comments along those lines. In my case, it was the owner of the lodge. I was fishing a lodge in Labrador, and when I started to assemble my 12'4" Loop yellow he said in a particularly unpleasant way that there's no way I needed a rod like that on his river. He suggested I use one of the lodge's rods (I think they came in a bubble packed-rod-reel-line-leader, etc.) When I explained it was just an eight weight rod he looked at my as if I hadn't a clue in the world about rods or salmon fishing. You would think at least an owner would have developed better "people" skills over the years. I've never gone back.

07-28-2006, 06:48 PM
I never cared about what other people had to say about my twohanders.....for most of my fishing I use a 16' Hardy Sovereign and for all the other situations ( like NOW , when there is NO water to be found on South/Central Vancouver Island...unless it's sprinkling some riverside B&B lawn:tsk_tsk: ) i use a 10' Loop single hand or, even then, my 13' Orvis- even if it feels a little too "snappy" for me.
Tell you man, let them talk...the proof is in the pudding......
Fish hard,