Spey Casting- 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 example 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 ! 😉

6 thoughts on “Spey Casting- the Dry Fly Spey

  1. Hi Marc,
    thanks for sharing my videos and nice comment. I’m glad that you find it appropriate to illustrate your very fine article. But that is not exactly the same cast which is shown on Christopher Rownes video. Purpose of this is the one you’re describing, but I dry my fly in a more horizontal plane and change direction with more snap like, not snake roll movement. The purpose of this is to go lower because branches are not only behind me but also beyond me. At exactly the same place with technique demonstrated by Christoper I would be wrapped up in the trees. Perhaps a better name for technique shown on my video is Dry fly spey semi side cast or something like that. It’s not for distance, but serves well when you fish under the trees.

    • hi Aleksandar, thanks for your great video and reply. 😎
      sorry to maybe disappoint you but even if you’re casting on a slightly lower plane, the two casts are so similar that it doesn’t really warrant a different name and it’s easy to explain why.
      it’s just an air-initiated Snake Roll. (instead of the original Snake lifted from the water)
      the trajectory the line takes and it’s subsequent anchor shape before initiating the forward roll is exactly the same. whether you’re drawing a ‘perfect- rounded’ e or not as originally taught by Gawesworth or making more of an e with sharp edges shape, you’re still moving the rod tip in the same manner as a Snake.
      besides, watch your hand closely, it’s not snapping !
      if i may suggest, since casting short amounts of lines need to be cast in a fast manner, making it more difficult to analyze, the best way to really understand what’s going on is to go out to an area where you have a lot more space and do this with 20m or so of line. this will exaggerate the amplitude of your movements and you’ll have more time to see what they’re doing.

      ps- here’s a little article on the Snake roll. check out the diagram.

  2. Hi Marc,

    I‘m quite familiar with Gawesworth books. But, from time to time, I like to do things a little bit my way in order to adapt to the conditions on the river and catch fish. In this particular case priority is how not to hit branches above my head with high line or my rod tip.
    However, if we disregarding the conditions on the water and analyze only the snake roll technique, there are at least few roads that lead to that part of Rome. Just for example, in my unpretending video you can see three quite different ways of performing snake roll.
    Standard let’s say in 0:26 seond, “Z” shaped in 0:37 second and multiple spiral version in 0:50. The forth well-known method with the single ellipse instead of circle is shown in the Christoper video.Which is unquestionably the best way for distance, but only if there is enough space around.
    Furthermore there is number of ways how we can make the air snap. For example dry your fly with left-right moves and make Snap-Z not vertical plane but a bit on the side, etc.
    Must admit that I never try to make a snake roll with 20 m of line and I never will, even with my DH rods. I’m too old and to lazy for that. And, I have too many fish around. I prefer shorter stroke and heads from 6 to max 12 m for distance spey. I’m talking about fishing distances up 25 m for SH and up to 35 m for light DH, not about tournament casting.
    However, thank you for your advices and sorry about my bad English. I hope it was understandable enough.

    See you on the water,

    • hi again Aleksandar,
      to me, and i’m sure you’ll agree, this all comes down to style.
      whether it’s for practical purposes to be more efficient in a certain situation, because we all move our bodies differently and maybe most importantly, because variants are always fun.
      it’s our own little personal touch that makes us who we are.
      in this particular case, my perspective is that the basic substance of the cast is the same.

      your english is great. (in fact better than many native english speakers… 🙄 )
      thank you for the time and effort in expressing your thoughts. it’s very appreciated.
      happy fishing !

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