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!
IFFF Certified THCI @ 2005
Capeflyfisher Guide Service
Island Hopper, Guitarist, Incurable Dreamer
and Founder, Worldwide Flyfishing Forum
Last edited by juro; 04-10-2006 at 10:09 AM.