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Game Fishing

Fly

Caster

Part Seven – The Double Spey Cast Andrew Ryan gives you some tips on performing the double Spey cast. It’s an even easier cast to learn and perform than the single Spey, apparently…

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he name ‘double Spey’ conjures up an image of a difficult and complicated cast. In fact, it is easier and simpler to perform than the single Spey. Once mastered, you will find this a very easy and pleasant cast to perform. Also, it is entirely practical for changing direction and requires less physical effort from the caster than other casts. As I stated in last month’s article, a Spey cast is a modified roll cast. Many of the principles of the roll cast apply to the Spey cast, such as forming a D-loop, anchoring the line on the water and the forward ‘hit’. For this casting example, we will assume that you are right-handed and that you are fishing a river that is flowing from the left to the right. The wind is blowing downstream.

T

Double Spey casts are always chosen when you have a downstream breeze or something stronger. The casts can be executed from the left or right shoulder. In the photo sequence shown overleaf, the cast is executed over the right shoulder. With this cast we are not switching the line across our body, so the double Spey movements are there to straighten the line as a prerequisite to the forward-cast movement. If you study this in the photo sequence you will see where the line straightens. The effort to perform this cast is minimal but the reward is that you can place your fly into an area that looks impossible. I use this cast for much of my river-wet-fly and nymph fishing, but also for dry flies in very tight situations where there are lots of overhanging trees and bushes.

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Game Fishing How To Double Spey Cast – Six Easy Steps

Step Two The angler sweeps the rod tip slowly ‘upstream’. You do not sweep the rod entirely upstream, but enough to put momentum in the line. Step One The rod tip should stop 45 degrees The angler’s rod tip should be upstream in the direction you are pointing downstream with the tip close facing. Sweeping upstream too far will to the water. This is the starting cause tangles. position of the cast. Note that I am Ideally, you should have about 10 to looking down towards the line but my 15 feet of line remaining downstream body is facing my target, the direction in of you after performing the upstream which I am going to cast. sweep.

Step Three You now need to sweep the line and rod tip back downstream in order to form a D-loop over your right shoulder. The rod tip is maintained at the same height until it is 45 degrees downstream of you.

Basic Mistakes To Avoid Don’t sweep your rod round too far. If you do you may place the entire fly line upstream of you. Then, when you execute the forward hit, the line will tangle on its way forward. Study the difference in the correct and incorrect photographs. It is important to ensure that between 10 feet and 15 feet of line is still downstream of

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you after completing the upstream sweep. Another basic error to avoid is overpowering the forward cast. Do this and your fly line hits the water with a heavy ‘slap’, frightening the fish. Ensure that you aim your cast upwards and not downwards, so that your line will straighten before landing gently. Look upwards, not downwards, to achieve this.


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Step Four

Step Five

Step Six

When the rod tip is in the 45degree position downstream of you, dip it slightly. This allows the line to hit the water and form the ‘anchor’ point. If you are wading in deep water the dip is very minor, but if you are standing on the bank the dip is more pronounced.

The sweep continues until the rod tip reaches the 2 o’clock position. The line is behind the angler and a D-loop is formed. The line that was previously downstream of the angler has now straightened and is ready to be propelled forward. Once the D-loop is formed, there is a short pause to allow the line to ‘anchor’ before performing the forward ‘hit’.

As with other roll casts, the final stage is to flick the rod forward towards the 10 o’clock position. The shorter and sharper the flick, the tighter the loop will be formed. The line should now present your fly well in front of you, as in the photographs.

Spey Casting Tips The wind direction should determine whether you use a single or double Spey cast. For instance, if the wind is blowing downstream you should choose a double Spey cast. For an upstream wind, a single Spey cast is ideal regardless of which bank you are fishing from. The cast can be performed efficiently at slow speed or at a slightly faster speed, which should achieve greater distance. Personally, I prefer to perform all of the movements at quite a fast pace so that there is less resistance from the water, except when I anchor the D-loop when I make the forward stroke. I suggest that when practising the double Spey cast movements you do it in slow motion at first. Remember to put enough power into the upstream sweep in order

to move the line upstream of you. During the close season, it is a good idea to go out and practise your casting so that you become a better caster by the time the next season opens. Roll and Spey casts need water to be practised on, but most other casts can be performed on grass. I run one-to-one casting lessons during winter months, which are becoming very popular. They are a sure way of improving techniques ready for next season. As always, I like to end these articles by recommending that you visit an APGAI-qualified instructor, as this series is meant only as a guide. By using a qualified instructor and following these tips you are sure to become a very good caster indeed.

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Double Spey Cast  

An article by Andrew Ryan published in the Irish Angler Magazine

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