Spey Casting the Big Ditch [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Spey Casting the Big Ditch

02-06-2001, 03:44 PM
A couple of years ago I posted a question on reel-time about fishing the canal using spey casting technique and it generated a bit of interest. I forgot to pack my 15' spaghetti stick on my next trip so never got to try it out.

Spey technique gets mentioned a lot in connection with steelheading and the canal seems set up well for it - plenty of current whilst the tide's running. Also, since, when executed properly, the fly never passes behind your head there's less likelihood of lawsuit from unsuspecting/curious passers-by!

Anyone interested or any experiences to share?

Maybe during the herring run, late April/May?

02-06-2001, 04:42 PM
I think it's a great idea! I've only made a few spey casts with "Doublespey" out west and it would be a blast to try it out on the canal. Do you think a spey cast will handle the bigger flies we use for stripers?

02-06-2001, 04:53 PM
That's what I was going to say as a possible limiting factor... especially herring sized flies. Also sunk lines are a little harder to punch out there and the two together could make life hard.

On a positive note - since striper fishing involves stripping the line in to impart action on the fly, the use of compact Spey / shooting heads could be a possible way to accomodate big flies, shorter stroke, and more suitable lines.

When I played around with Spey rods in various SWFF situations I found that although it excels in big surf (like Harry Koon's backyard), one of the places I did not like the long sticks was on rocks. It's not easy to get down to your fish to release it with a 15' flyrod. It's hard enough with 9' for me. If you choose your spots judiciously or team up with friends it would work.

Overall, rocky shore spots with difficult access to fish has been one of the spots where I had questions about the suitability of Spey rods in salt.

Shorter, faster two-handed overhand rods are great in big surf beaches IMHO.


02-06-2001, 11:41 PM
Good points Juro, particularly long rods and rocky shorelines.

Regarding bigger flies, I can only relate experiences on the River Tweed in November when we threw 3 - 4 inch heavyweight brass tube "flies" on fast sinking lines to get the "fly" down deep. The sinking line leaves a lot less room for error but the spey cast is a whole lot safer than a sabot round whistling past your ear!

I have two main thoughts with the canal, the first being sufficient current to load the rod for an effective cast and second, fish holding within 60 - 70ft of the bank given a "down and accross" cast. Of course "down" in this context would depend on which way the tide is running. Given the right pattern and mobility of materials, swimming the fly slowly back accross the current, "dangle" and short strip retrieve might just work.

It would be fun to try and I'll probably give it a go this year. I'll post a note in case anyone else fancies making an idiot of themselves or just stopping by for a laugh.

02-07-2001, 06:38 AM
Adrian -

Despite my concerns I will definitely contribute to the "safety in numbers" principle by joining you http://www.flyfishingforum.com/images/flytalk/Wilk.gif

I will probably go with the 15 foot 10wt 4pc Sage. In any case I will be there.

JayC - What say you? Solo?

02-07-2001, 07:43 AM
Great - the more the merrier! I don't see much point until the herring run gets going and there are fish arround.

At least if it doesn't work we'll know it's in the method rather than lack of fish.

How many days is it now?