Fly Casting- The next Level ?

as the Advanced Fly Casting Demonstration title alludes to, is this advanced casting or not ? well, yes and no. let’s start with the no.

the no-casters will be quick to point out that all this fiddly-fancy rod waving is completely unnecessary; its just ‘trick casting’ to impress the peanut gallery which would probably scare off fish anyhow.
fine. assuming that the angler has decent control of their rod/line/leader/fly combo and can place the fly to the intended target with reasonable regularity, then that’s probably good enough for them. after all, a good chocolate cake doesn’t really need a scoop of ice cream or sauce to make the cake any better does it ?

well, i’m the kind that likes good ice cream and good sauce on good chocolate cake. they enhance the experience, offer a variety of tastes with the overall result of having a more complete dessert. ditto for fly casting.
now, i know very well that all this extra fiddly-fancy rod waving in itself isn’t going to lead to any more landed fish and to be honest, i’ll refrain from doing all this excessive stuff when actually fishing but !, its all going to make me a more efficient caster if i know how to do it at practice time plus, its a lot of fun and fun makes casting sessions a lot more productive than doing simple, basic movements over and over again.
but why ? casting as Klaus displays in the video needs a highly developed sense of spacial and temporal awareness and the ability to act/move very precisely on several planes in sequence with different rhythms and speeds all the while controlling varying degrees of slack in the line. in real-world situations, these capabilities allow the caster to improvise in real time, a little plus considering all the continually changing variables that happen when we fish.
this is hard-core multi-dimensional traverse wave casting and one that needs visualisation before and during the casts to not mess up ! very much akin to Zen-like activities, in a sense, movement needs to happen before thought or maybe more precisely, movements need to happen based on pre-visualisation and not a more ‘traditional’ step-by-step as-it-happens method. i don’t know if that makes sense but i can’t find a better way to describe it with words.

so, is this Advanced Fly Casting ? you bet ! but when/if acquired, we can consider it a hidden skill set that pops up when needed most, when situations get tricky and we still want to stay in the game while pleasing one’s self and not the peanut gallery. whether we chose or not to get to this level is a personal choice and most definitely non-necessary. at worst its eye candy but its a lovely candy that won’t make us fat like the ice cream, sauce and cake… enjoy !

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.

Spey Casting- the Snake Roll

devised by Simon Gawesworth in the ’80’s as a quicker, all in one continual motion alternative to the Double-Spey, this one can be of use for any fly angler. not only fun and quick, it’s usefulness extends to any situation whether it be on large salmon rivers or teeny-tiny trout streams, a boat or lake or sea, basically whenever a quick change of direction cast is needed.
here’s an example: i’m on a lake shore fishing to my right and suddenly i see a rise or a cruiser on my left. instead of lifting the line and doing several aerial back and forth false casts to get the line in the fish’s direction, i simply lift the line, initiate the ‘e‘ mentioned below and bang ! it’s out where i want it in about what ? two to three seconds !
cool, huh ?

” Many, many years ago my father and I ran a fly fishing school in Devon, England on the river Torridge. The pool we used to teach Spey casting on was almost ideal. It was wide enough to throw a full line, shallow and gentle enough to wade to the other side and teach casting from both banks and had a nice high bank from which we used to video casters under tuition. The only thing that was wrong with it was that there was not a lot of current. The caster would stand on the left bank (river flowing from right to left) cast a Single Spey across the pool and then have to wait quite sometime for the current to wash the line back to the dangle. This got frustrating and so I used to use two Roll casts to get the line back downstream (there were too many trees lining the pool to do an overhead cast). The first Roll cast was to get the line in the right area and the second to straighten it out. Over the course of time I started to speed the two roll casts up, merging them into one fluid movement and thus became the Snake Roll. “

read Simon’s full article here.

drawing the ‘e‘ shape with the rod tip to pull in the line and set up the D-loop. be sure to keep the rod tip in plane as much as possible on the imaginary wall.

in the video below we see Christopher Rownes‘ absolutely gorgeous  performance of the Snake Roll cast with a single hand rod. trés suave !

let’s always keep in mind that contrary to what many people perceive them to be, Spey casts are casts that can be done regardless of equipment, with both single and double handed rods. they are not a designation of how many hands are holding the rod or a type of rod.
in it’s simplest form, we’ll define spey casts as ‘change of direction casts’: a repositioning of the fly line resulting in the anchor and D-loop in line with the target followed by a roll cast.
the Snake Roll is one of the alternatives in doing this all in one continuous, graceful and highly effective motion.
it’s an easy and quick cast to learn and a definite bonus to your casting repertoire, give it a try !