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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Snap T Cast - Spey Casting 101

The "Snap T Cast" is a two directional cast. One in which the fly will anchor on the upstream side of the caster. Therefore this cast provides a level of safety when you encounter an upstream wind. This will prevent you from wearing an "Intruder Fly" earring. This cast also is good when you encounter limited backcast room. This cast can be set up with a minimal "D-loop" behind the caster if necessary.

The "Snap T" cast was developed by Pacific Northwest anglers, George Cook, John Farrar and Dec Hogan. It is used as an alternate to a "River Left", "Single Spey" cast. This cast is quite east to master and is great for when learning to spey cast.

Here is a video of spey casting teacher extraordinaire, Bill Lowe.




The video is pretty good wouldn't you agree. Thanks Bill.


So back to the why, when and how, 

When to consider using the "Snap T" 
  • Upstream Wind
  • Limited Backcast Area
  • Makes little disturbance on the water
  • Minimizes line positioning and maximizes fishing time
Situations when to use a "Snap T" cast for a Right Handed Caster
  • Single Spey From "River Left" with an upstream wind over your strong shoulder (Right Handed)

  • Reverse Single Spey from "River Right with an upstream wind over your off-shoulder (Kackhanded)
Fundamentals of the Snap T Cast

  • The principal of the Snap T cast is to bring the rod and line partially upstream, then imediately "snapping" the rod to the starting position in a ">" move. 
  • The "snap" will flick the remaining line, leader and fly upstream. 
  • After the fly lands upstream at the anchor point, the rod is swept around and upstream and circles up and into the forward cast.
Here's the steps involved with throwing a Snap T cast
  1. While standing on the left bank, "River Left", Start with your normal hang down length, (hang down is the amount of line out of your rod tip when you start a cast), laid out straight at the end of the dangle. Face your shoulders in the direction of the forward cast and hold the rod tip low to the water surface with your right hand on top.
  2. With the rod tip in a low position, sweep the rod from left to right on a slight incline eventually rising close to 30 degrees from the horizontal, or about at eye level.
  3. The rod inclines on an incline sweep and rotates about 90 degrees from the start position, (basically pointing straight across stream). Without hesitating, the rod tip is redirected downstream and back towards the starting position (or back towards the downstream bank) with a "V" shaped "snap" This "snap" drives the remaining front portion of the line off the waters surface and to the anchor point slightly above the path of the forward delivery.
  4. After the "snap" is made there is a slight pause as the line leader and fly position to the anchor point, about a rods length upstream and slightly forward of the caster.
  5. As the fly anchors, the rod sweeps upstream low to the horizon until it crosses the path of the intended cast. In a continuous motion the rod drives back to drive the "D" loop or possible a "V" loop, 180 degrees from the target line. The rod circles up to form a "D" loop and then smoothly accelerates into the forward cast.
Get out and practice until you've got it right.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Single Spey Cast - Spey Casting 101


The "Single Spey" is a two directional cast. One in which the fly will anchor on the upstream side of the caster. Therefore this cast provides a level of safety when you encounter an upstream wind. This will prevent you from wearing an "Intruder Fly" earring. This cast also is good when you encounter limited backcast room. This cast can be set up with a minimal "D-loop" behind the caster if necessary.

When to consider using the "Single Spey" 

  • Upstream Wind
  • Limited Backcast Area
  • Makes little disturbance on the water
  • Minimizes line positioning and maximizes fishing time
Situations when to use a Single Spey Cast for a Right Handed Caster
  • Single Spey From "River Left" with an upstream wind over your strong shoulder (Right Handed)

  • Reverse Single Spey from "River Right with an upstream wind over your off-shoulder (Kackhanded)
Fundamentals of the Single Spey Cast

  • Start with a "Shotgun Lift". This is the most popular lift, it is easy to master and provides a smooth anchor placement.
  • Start with the line straight on the dangle and extend the arms slightly with the rod tip at the waters surface.
  • Begin lifting with the rod butt by raising both arms vertically until the top hand is at eye level. This is the top of the lift.
  • Do the rise smoothly and with enough effort to raise about half of the working line.
  • In a seamless manner, follow with a smooth shallow dish movement of the rod tip as the rod sweeps the line up river.
  • In doing this the top hand lowers sightly, applying enough thrust to clear the remain line on the dangle.
  • The slight downward dip will develop a strong thrust into the lift.
  • The rod as it is sweeping through the shallow dish, dips downward slightly from the top of the shotgun lift position, then curves upward on an incline as it circles around to drive a "D" loop.
  • The top hand drives back, rising to where the palm of the top hand is adjacent and level to the ear.
  • The "D" loop forms and the top hand drives forward ending at the stop with the thumb of the top hand at eye level. 
  • This results in a straight and smooth forward delivery.
Added Thoughts
  • Pick a target line on the opposite bank slightly diagonally downstream.
  • Use this line to establish the “D Loop” 180 degrees opposite from it.
  • If your “D Loop lands downstream of this target line you will cross it and tangle on the “Forward Cast”.
  • This is a “Touch and Go” cast which is an airborne anchor cast. As soon as the end of your fly line touches at your “D Loop” position, and you have reached the "Set Position", start and execute the forward cast.
  • Make sure the line touches and does not stay airborne.
Summary

The "Single Spey" is one of the basic casts that you need in your arsenal of casts and you will find uses for it in many fishing situations. 

It is a great advantage to take a lesson and have a knowledgeable instructor help you master all the basic casts. Fly Fishings Traditions' classes or individual instruction could be your ticket to the spey world.

You can contact Clay at clayhash.fft@gmail.com to arrange for personal instruction.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Double Spey Cast - Spey Casting 101



The "Double Spey" is a two directional cast. One in which the fly will anchor on the downstream side of the caster. Therefore this cast provides a level of safety when you encounter an downstream wind. This will prevent you from wearing an "Streamer" as an earring. This is one of the easier spey cast to master. It can be done at a very slow pace. With that said , the cast must maintain a tempo that progressively accelerates into the forward stop position. 

The ability to form the "Double Spey" at a slower pace makes this cast ideal for sink tips. It is just a good overall cast.

For a right handed caster the "Double Spey" is one of the primary "River Right" casts.

For a right handed caster the "Reverse Double Spey" can be utilized from "River Left" and is thrown over your left, off shoulder or "Cack-handed".

Here's a You Tube video of casting instructor extraordinaire, Bill Lowe, as to how to make a "Double Spey Cast". 




When and why to consider using the "Double Spey" 
  • Downstream Wind - D for Downstream remember "Double Spey"
  • When you are fishing "River Right"
  • When using heavy sink tips 
  • When using bulky flies
  • Makes little disturbance on the water
  • Minimizes line positioning and maximizes fishing time
Situations when to use a Double Spey Cast for a Right Handed Caster
  • Double Spey From "River Right" with an downstream wind over your strong shoulder (Right Handed)

  • Reverse Double Spey from "River Left" with an downstream wind over your off-shoulder (Kackhanded)
Fundamentals of the Double Spey Cast

The "Double Spey" is broken down into two phases which makes it a two-dimensional cast. The first portion is a line re-positioning move from the dangle straight downstream followed by a "Switch Cast" to cast the line in an across the river direction. 

How to perform the Double Spey Cast


  • For a right handed caster the cast starts with the angler on "River Right".
  • The line on the dangle directly downstream.
  • Face your shoulders in the direction of the forward cast and to the target area.
  • Start the cast with the rod tip at low to the waters surface With the right hand in the top position on the rod.
  • The cast stars with a "lift and sweep" movement. This is a mild version of the "Shotgun Lift" as described in the "Single Spey". cast. The lift is done by raising the rod tip vertically from near the surface of the water to about chest high.
  • As the rod rises to the top of the lift in a continuous motion, sweep the rod with a low rotating swing from downstream to upstream, driving the loop of line upstream.
  • Use the rod but to drive the line positions to attain a smooth thrust.
  • The beginning of the sweep is where the maximum effort or thrust is applied to lift the line from the water. The amount of effort and/or height of the lift may vary with the length and type of line being cast.
  • The sweep is done with the rod held at a low angle with the tip about shoulder height, driving the belly of the line upstream.
  • The task is to sweep the line upstream far enough so the fly anchors just below the path of the intended final forward "Switch Cast".
  • The end of the fly line should be about one rod length downriver and slightly forward of the casters position.
  • As the fly sets to the anchor point from the initial "lift an sweep" move, the rod is redirected in a smooth transition downstream, folding the line over itself.
  • The rod returning downstream drives the line to the point where it crosses the path of the forward cast. In a smooth continuous motion the rod rotates to a new oath, in an inclining plane drawing back behind to 180 degrees from the direction of the forward cast and the target area.
  • It is very important that the "D"loop is in straight alignment to the forward cast.
  • The rod "Circles Up" forming an aerial oval which brings the rod to the "Key" position for the forward cast.
  • From the "Key" position accelerate smoothly forward as the passes vertical and thrust a flick into the stop. 
  • The loop forms and zips out well above the water, just as in "Switch Cast"
Summary

The "Double Spey" is one of the basic casts that you need in your arsenal of casts and you will find uses for it in many fishing situations. 

It is a great advantage to take a lesson and have a knowledgeable instructor help you master all the basic casts. Fly Fishings Traditions' classes or individual instruction could be your ticket to the spey world.

You can contact Clay at clayhash.fft@gmail.com to arrange for personal instruction.