Fly Casting with Laura Palmer

laura-palmer

~ Ein Laura Palmer film~ presumably named after everyone’s favourite girl-in-a-bag -at least that’s my guess- well, caught my attention. whether it has to do with an inexplicable interest in like-minded producers what give weird titles to their stuff combined with a good dose of fly casting… i’m happily digressing just to get to this: here’s a really nice, short and sweet video of Wolfgang Heusserer demonstrating an equally nice variety of single-hand spey casts.
Circle-C, Snap-T, Jump Roll/Switch cast, standard roll cast, wiggles and probably fourteen others i missed because i was too busy watching the line being first manipulated, then flying about. all the great presentation skills a river fisher should imo, have down pat.

not a how-to tutorial, this one’s just eye candy. more than the line dancing itself, we’ll notice how effortlessly every action is done. it looks easy and that easy is a sign of someone who’s worked a lot on their skill. i hope you’ll enjoy.

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 in the same river-side and wind scenario.
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. HERE
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) both the static and dynamic Roll Cast
b) the Double Spey
c) the Single Spey

in that order and off both shoulders and preferably with a longish-bellied line. (long belly 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 basically 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 (much longer than in traditional Spey casting) 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 ( pointed this out recently on a fly casting forum) wouldn’t agree with his term being used in this video’s context. whatever…
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 or Snake Roll.

**
river right/right bank- the angler has the current going left to right of the intended fishing area.
river left/left bank- the angler has the current going right to left of 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.

related articles

Fly Casting- a roll cast tool

courtesy of Mike Heritage

one of the most ingenious casting practice tools i’ve seen, this one’s not only perfect to practice roll casting but accuracy as well since the fluff needs to be in the bottom of the tool to do the former ! another bonus is we don’t need an assistant (my experience is assistants get bored after two-three casts, run away as fast as they can walk away and never come back… ) or to be walking back and forth to replace the fluff after every cast as with some other devices.

also, whether performed with a single or double handed rod, since all spey casts are concluded with a roll, this tool will be a great asset to work on this part of the cast.
don’t go searching for a place to buy it as it’s not sold but luckily, a little steel wire and some elbow grease is all that’s needed to build your own. enjoy !

tip- you might want to slightly increase the size/volume of your fluff-fly so it doesn’t pull out of the groove before the completion of the cast.

Oliver Edwards demonstrates the Snap Roll Cast

part one of what’s going to be an ongoing series on the Roll Cast, it’s uses, what, how, why, when, debunking myths and etc and etc and etc, here’s Oliver Edwards demonstrating the Roll Cast pick-up or Snap as he calls it for fishing small streams and rivers. we’ll see later how this exact same method can be used just about anywhere.

most often described as a way to cast when there is little or no backcast space, i’ll be explaining the many other uses of the Roll Cast and if i manage to get some of those ideas across while suggesting how it’s a marvelous tool for just about any fishing situation from the high altitude to open sea, we’ll see that the idea of it being just for no-backcast room situations is really reductionist and that we might be missing out on something really useful yet very easy to do.