for the love of water- The River

by Eoin Fairgrieve/Speycast Media

RiverTweed
hard not to love river Tweed and everything that goes with it.
enjoy it in full screen !

if you liked the map click here for a selection of collectable Scottish river maps with all their beats and pools.

Jim’s Reversed Spey

casting and film editing by Jim Williams

when learning or brushing up on any fly casting techniques, one of the better ways i’ve found is to (at least try to) analyse both theory and actual casts from as many perspectives as possible: reversed, inside out, diagonally, on different planes, through ‘third person’ video and in today’s case, backwards.
this kind of casting study might not be everyone’s cup of tea but at least its interesting to see the fly line defy the laws of physics by being pushed instead of pulled. enjoy !

btw, the cast is a Snake Roll off both shoulders.

Shared Mechanics Concepts between Overhead and Spey Casts

by Dr. Way Yin via Virtual Fly Casting

always a bit dismayed by comments both in real and on the internet of how different aerial and spey casts are, this great article by one of the more knowledgable persons in this matter should hopefully set a few things straight both for the angler assimilating one method to the other and for casting instructors who have gone astray.

shared mechanics concepts between overhead and spey casts way yin
hmmm, sounds like The Five Essentials so commonly associated to single hand overhead casting doesn’t it ?
among all the other goodies, of special interest is Way’s disassociating views between the standard roll cast and the delivery/forward cast of a spey cast.
we tend to define a spey cast as a ‘change of direction line move followed by a roll cast’ but maybe it’s time to rethink the last part a little.

way yin 2

click either text block above to access the complete pdf article. enjoy !

Line Dancing

with Pavel Kupstov

a lot could be said about Pavel’s excellent technique but for today let’s just sit back and enjoy a little fly line ballet.

brainwashem’ young- Isabella’s Spey

papa Matt Tripet says “My little Isabella is rocking some wonderful Spey casts!” and the rest of us can just stay in the background, admire and woW in anticipation of seeing just how good she’ll be at this by the time the little darling’s ten…

brainwashem' young- Isabella TLC 18-12-13

Spey Casting: Anchor/D-Loop Location and Angle and how it affects casting efficiency.

Aitor Coteron once again brings us a very insightful and thought provoking casting lesson all through the simplicity and non-arguable use of slo-mo video analysis.
as noted in the video, if the fly and rod legs aren’t parallel prior to the forward cast there’s a great deal of ‘misplaced energy’ needed to straighten the D-Loop out before the line can actually start moving forward. in a way, this is the equivalent of having slack in the system even if this slack isn’t apparent and it all seems nice and tight.
the beauty of slo-mo analysis shows this clearly when the apex of the D is moving perpendicular to the casting plane instead of inline with it.
sure, even with a sloppy anchor placement the casts still works (up to a certain point and this will be greatly influenced by the length of the line’s head) but who wants to be sloppy ? it’s much less efficient and regardless of head length we’ll notice that since the leader and fly are off to one side, once delivered, they’ll swing to the other at the completion of the cast just like when we swing the rod tip throughout the stroke in an aerial cast. in extreme cases, this will lead to line collision, a somewhat equivalent of a tailing loop.  not good.

what this all tells us or rather reminds us of is how important it is to learn and work out how to be as efficient as possible by regularly practicing getting anchor placement not only in the right location but in the right angle relative to the direction of the forward cast.

to finish off i’ll add what may seem as a minor rant but it’s intended to deepen our understanding and progression through analysis of this subject. go on Vimeo or Youtube and check out the casting hotshots and also your fishing/casting mate’s anchor placements and angles when on the water when out with them. i can’t put percentage numbers to this but you’ll notice that the vast majority have less-than-desirable anchor/D placement. work on doing it better than them :wink:

‘i’ll have mine Black please.

casts performed by Tom Bell filmed by Eoin Fairgrieve

strong and sweet with a delicate flavor, this hits the spot. enjoy !

‘Powered by Water’

SpeyCasting in Slow Motion with Eoin Fairgrieve/UltraSpey Fly Fishing

as it’s just a preview it’s unfortunately way too short but oh, what a treat to see such excellent spey casting from these different viewpoints. enjoy !

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D-Looping with Jason Borger

MF in JB's casting book 12-8-13
the pic should say it all but there needs to be a big woW ! to make it complete.
having The Limp Cobra and myself mentioned in Jason’s upcoming book ‘SINGLE-HANDED FLY CASTING – A Modular Approach’ is about the coolest thing that can happen to a casting instructor. to say it’s an honor doesn’t really my feelings justice but i’m sure you get the point.

in the making now for what seems like an eternity the last several years, a completely reworked edition of NATURE OF FLY CASTING  - A Modular Approach seems to be close to completion.

” I am continuing to flail away on SHFC, grabbing writing time as I can. Everything that I plan on including in the book is in the book, but not fully fleshed out. Some chapters are about 97-percent, others are more like 67-percent. It’s the 67-pecenters that I am focusing on right now, including the D-Loop chapter (Rolls and Speys).

I am still optimistic for an end-of-2013 finish, with the print run soon after that (figure that I’ll let the book sit for two extra weeks so I can check it over again, then six weeks for the press).”

bring on 2014 !

the Dry Fly Spey

we’d already seen this same cast from Christopher Rownes in ‘A spey cast for dry flies‘ in slomo and here’s another demonstration of this very useful cast by an unknown but fine caster on the Kupa river in Croatia and in real time as it’s nice to compare the two. of course, Chris’s video is as always superb but i thought it would be nice to share this other video because it compliments the first and demonstrates the cast in a more confined environment. as a reminder, here’s the cast’s whys and hows for those who aren’t familiar with it:

” ordinarily, spey casts are reserved for sinking flies and nymphs or big deer hair Bomber-style dries that don’t require being constantly dried before being cast out again.
but what about your average trout-size dry fly ? wouldn’t it get drowned by being repeatedly dragged through the water during line repositioning and the subsequent anchoring before rolling out the line again ?
yes it would but there’s a way out and it’s not only fun and efficient but it also lets you present your fly in situations where you couldn’t have before.

from Christopher Rownes, here’s a single-hand rod spey cast version of what both him and Simon Gawesworth call a Dry Fly Snake Roll. the cast is basically the same as Simon’s, but Chris initiates the snake roll part from the right side of the body instead of Simon’s left, combining a Jelly Roll and a Turbo spey (either single or double hauling with a single-hand spey which just like with aerial casting, increases line speed).
as an ex ample of this cast’s usefulness, on the video below let’s imagine that Chris is near the bank and has  trees or rocks behind him and he wants to cast across the river. (the new video below demonstrates this situation clearly)
this cast avoids casting the D-Loop into the trees, enables to dry the fly by false casting left to right out of the presumed holding area of the fish, initiate the Snake Roll and cast the fly out towards it’s target all in one smooth move. a really nice cast to add to your repertoire. “

and a sexy one too…

side note: just to be picky but more of a reminder of things to look out for when learning or practicing spey casts, we’ll notice in this video that the fly leg anchors aren’t in line with the D-Loop/target plane but rather cross-over this plane on the upstream side. ideally, and something to strive for, is to place the anchor just a little bit downstream (reverse that order if on the other side of the water) to separate fly and rod legs just as we would with a standard roll cast.
the solution is easy, perform the Snake-Roll portion slower, start it with the casting arm extended and slowly pull it in towards the body while ‘drawing’ the e.
in other words, take it easy, don’t force it ! :wink:

brainwashem’ young- George

“15 year old George learned to cast a few weeks before this and was casting the Double Spey and Snake Roll for the first time… “

just shows what a great natural talent combined to a great casting coach can do. of course, it doesn’t hurt if that particular coach happens to be Ian Gordon

Spey Casting: The Double Spey

351px-TheSwitchCast-The_Salmon_Flyfar from the quaint yet confusing spey cast presentations of yore (and not-so-yore… ) here’s a lot of very good explanations and demonstrations on this foundation cast by one of the best, Eoin Fairgrieve.

the double spey’s main purpose is to easily and safely reposition the line prior to D-loop set up on the downwind side of the caster while creating a pronounced waterborne anchor*.
in the video Eoin points out that he’s on river right ** and has a downstream wind, therefore to cast safely, the D-loop needs to go on the downstream side, something the single spey couldn’t do.
whether using a single or double hand rod, short, middle or long belly line, this cast is not only pleasant to perform but can get you out of tricky situations easily. unfortunately,  the whole roll/spey cast family is most often referred to as the casts to use when there’s obstructions behind the caster but that’s just one reason.

often ignored, safety issues such as when fishing from boats with a friend(s), casting very heavy flies or in extreme wind situations are other areas where rolls and spey casts shine.

the only real limitations the double spey might have is casting very far (the single spey definitely outclasses it there) or when using easily water-logged dry flies as they tend to not stay dry when dragged through water during the set up or presentation roll cast but i’ll have an alternative spey cast created just for this purpose for you soon.
on the other hand, the double spey is safer and usually easier to get ‘just right’ than the single spey when using fast-sink tips and specially, big and heavy flies.

to conclude, if you’re new to spey casts or want to get better at them, the best you could do is learn:

a) the roll cast
b) the double spey
c) the single spey

in that order and off both shoulders and preferably with a longish line. (long lines teach us to cast better as there’s less room for mistakes. from there, adapting to shorter lines is a breeze)
once those skills are acquired all other spey casts and spey styles will be a simple matter of slight adjustments as they are only variants of the three above.

*
Eoin refers to this as “sustained anchor”, a term coined from the Skagit spey casting school. according to Ed Ward, the creator of the term, the sustained anchor, a deliberate and prolonged pause before line reversal into the D-loop can only be applied to Skagi-specific casts with i guess, Skagit lines, fast sinking tips and heavy/flies. in other words, Ward (and he pointed this out on Sexyloops) wouldn’t agree with his term being used in the video’s context.
a more universally accepted term for the double-spey’s anchor is ‘water-borne’ and it’s counterpart, ‘airborne anchor’ applies to the single spey.

**
river right/right bank- the angler has the current going left to right to the intended fishing area.
river left/left bank- the angler has the current going right to left to the intended fishing area.
should the angler be in the middle of the river the left or right bank/river designation will be determined as above by current direction and intended fishing area.

should there be any confusion, imagine you’re on a bridge looking downstream. on the right is right bank, on the left is left bank.

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Barrio Switch Fly Line

just out and designed to do everything listed below very-very well, i’ll add that as an added bonus it also brings a smile to every cast.
after playing with one of the prototypes for the last several months that last part is indeed subjective but that’s what really sums it up to me.

from Mike Barrio’s online page:Barrio Switch

The Barrio Switch floating fly line is a full floating line designed for two handed Spey and overhead use on Switch rods.

Many Switch lines on the market are sold as lines for both one and two handed casting, thus being a little light for two handed use and too heavy on a long rod to be comfortably managed single handed.

The Barrio Switch features a compound rear taper similar to our SLX single handed line, this helps to produce sharp controllable loops from dead line roll casts and allows more line to be carried into the D loop when we have space and the need arises. The head length to the colour change is approximately 30ft on the Switch and up to 6ft can be overhung for long range casts where required.

Barrio Switch Lines are designed to work well with poly leaders or 10 to 15ft heavy butted tapered salmon leaders. With the right leader set up, these lines will delicately present a micro tube on a long leader in low summer conditions, yet will also carry “heavier gear” for fishing bigger waters, high flows on spate rivers, or bouncing flies at depth for Pacific species.

The 7/8 and 8/9 lines will carry fast sinking 10ft salmon poly leaders, lengths of “T” tip material and moderately sized copper or brass tubes straight from the box, however if your fishing dictates that fast tips and big flies are usually the order of the day, then the line can be cut back by up to 18 inches from the tip.

Our 5/6 line will carry any density of trout poly leader up to 10ft in length and the 6/7 will carry 6ft to 8ft salmon poly leaders in any density and short “T” tips, plus long tapered leaders for fishing small flies to spooky fish in thin calm water.

Target head weights:
Switch 5/6 – 340 grains (approx 22 grams)
Switch 6/7 – 380 grains (approx 24.5 grams)
Switch 7/8 – 425 grains (approx 27.5 grams)
Switch 8/9 – 470 grains (approx 30.5 grams)

* Please note that our fly line profile diagrams do not include information regarding any compound tapers that we may have included within the profiles and that the dimensions may also vary for each individual line weight.


since i get asked all the time: Barrio fly lines are not available in any store but only through Mike’s online shop. not going through middlemen explains why they are all at more than reasonable prices and those prices include shipping anywhere in the World.
they are all highest quality premium fly lines more often than not better than any of the big-name brands in their respective category.
click the image to access the Barrio Fly Line page.

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