What is Spey Fishing
Spey casting (Skagit Casting) is a casting technique used in fly fishing often accomplished with double-handed fly rods where obstacle avoidance and long distance casts are required.
Spey casting is used for fishing large rivers for salmon and large trout such as steelhead. Spey technique is also used in saltwater surf casting. All of these situations require the angler to cast larger flies, over long distances. The two-handed Spey technique allows more powerful casts and avoids obstacles on the shore by keeping most of the line in front of the angler.
Spey casting originated in the heart of Scotland in the mid-1800s. The name comes from the River Spey in Scotland, which is where the cast originated. The Spey cast was developed so one could successfully cast on a large river such as the Spey.
Spey Fishing Basics
One of the most obvious differences is that with Spey type casts you don't have to make long back casts.
But all those extra moves in the cast? The early steps in a spey cast are just there to get your line and your fly in the right position for the final forward stroke in the spey cast, which is really just a big roll cast.
For relatively long casts using two hands can be less fatiguing than casting a rod single-handed. When fishing currents, the longer double-handed rod is more effective for mending the line and controlling the fly on the swing.
Spey casting uses fairly short, fairly heavy lines that are good for casting big flies in big sections of river. Over the last several years manufacturers have made significant improvements in fly lines designed for Spey type casting. Unfortunately, this has also led to considerable confusion which our Michael & Young staff can help explain.
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