On Dec. 17, 2020, Canadian Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan, of Nova Scotia, made the single largest decision on the fate of wild salmon in the history of Canada.
Building a basic understanding of Spey casting, including techniques, equipment, terminology, and history. All Spey 101 content is free to view for non-members. Learn and Enjoy!
10 Do’s and Don’ts for Beginner Spey Casters
I’ve had the privilege of teaching several hundred new Spey casters over the last decade, and during that time I’ve had the opportunity to observe…
Learn How to Spey Cast
Understanding basic Spey casting terminology will ease your learning process.
What is Trout Spey?
As two-handed Spey casting has exploded in popularity over the last 20 years so, too, has the technology available in the manufacture of two-handed (Spey)…
Spey Equipment Basics
When selecting your first equipment it is best to consult your local Spey shop. Below is some terminology so you have a little background knowledge of…
Passing on healthy rivers and fish populations to the next generation is a responsibility all swung fly anglers must be committed to. Keep tabs here on the latest news from our conservation partners and learn how you can help.
The Future Of Europe’s Largest Wild River Is In Danger
Ahead of upcoming Albanian parliamentary elections, citizens, activists and conservationists are demanding political support for the establishment of Europe’s first wild river national park, thus…
Historic Decision Ends Atlantic Salmon Farming in Waters of BC’s Discovery Islands
On Dec. 17, 2020, Canadian Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan, of Nova Scotia, made the single largest decision on the fate of wild salmon in the…
2021 State of the Skagit
For anglers, the first crucial step is a commitment to restraint. When wild steelhead numbers are low, we must act with an eye towards the…
The Last Salmon
I sometimes feel as if Angler #1 (Dry Fly Guy) is perched on my left shoulder and Angler #2 (Bottom Ranger) sits on my right…
The Last Salmon
I sometimes feel as if Angler #1 (Dry Fly Guy) is perched on my left shoulder and Angler #2 (Bottom Ranger) sits on my right shoulder. Angler #1 whispers quietly in my left ear, “Dry or die!” Angler #2 mumbles simultaneously into my right ear, “Go deep or go home!”
Terminal thinking seems especially prevalent as we contemplate the changes to our lives in a post-COVID-19 world. It’s a tough time to be a swinger of flies. On the West Coast, steelhead guides and fishermen lost a good chunk of their season due to the closure of rivers and non-essential businesses. Here on the East…
Webinar: Getting Ready for Great Lakes Spring Steelhead
Rick Kustich will be going live right here at 8 pm EST on March 10 to give you the lowdown on spring steelheading in the Great Lakes!
Down and Dirty
"I call this scenario the “Down and Dirty.” If you can wade the river safely without going for a swim, you can still hook steelhead on the swung fly. The first thing you will need to do is change your gear. You’re going to need to fish the fly as slow as you can and…
This article originally appeared in the 2019.1 issue of Swing the Fly magazine and is free to view. Enjoy, and if you’re not already a member, consider joining to get access to all the member content and the Anthology book. As Spey fishers, we dream of the perfect pool. At the head of the pool, where…
As we roll into a new decade, the options for short two-handed, switch, or even one-handed Spey rods has never been greater, and the interest in going short clearly on the rise. I have seen a consistent decline in the size of my “go to” rods over the last few years with lengths of 11…
The Green Machine and the Rio Grande
Last January, Michael and I finally stood on the banks of the Rio Grande in Tierra del Fuego. Like always, we booked on a relatively short notice, but we made it. We even man-aged to fill our fly boxes with all kinds of differnt flies, from Wooly Buggers to tube flies, rubber leg nymphs and…
Skjern Å: A Real Life Fairy Tale
Like the ugly duckling from Hans Christian Andersen’s famous fairy tale, there is a hint of metaphor in my small story about a “ditch” that, after many years of mishandling, turns into a prolific and beautiful salmon river.
PHP: The Dream Team of Flies
Admittedly, the effectiveness of a fly relies principally on the confidence that the fisherman has in it, but it also has to be recognized that the nearly-doubled rate of success kills any prior prejudice; the PHP flat-out works.
A reflection on life and a trip of a lifetime.
Tension: The Key to the Spey Cast?
Let's dive in further to the question: Is there a unifying component that all successful Spey casts have, regardless of casting or line style?
Anchor-Centric Spey Casting
Is there a unifying component that makes all of the great Spey casters successful in their respective styles?
Are You a Reactionary Caster?
This is a bit of a rhetorical question, but it needs to be addressed. At some point, or in some Spey casting situations, we are all reactionary casters. The real question is are the common casting mistakes you make based on a reaction to another sequence in the Spey cast? Let’s uses an example we…
Tips for a Smoother Snakeroll
We all have at least tried the snakeroll; some have mastered it and some have given up. But, learning and knowing the coolest cast in Spey casting is something we should all aspire to. The snakeroll is a modern two-handed cast developed by Simon Gawesworth. The cast has since grown into use in all parts…
Speying the Hatch
The need to “match the hatch” was a facet of trout fishing with flies that intrigued me the most as a young angler and still abides as a source of entertaining and satisfying challenges. It’s an aspect of our game that separates steelhead and salmon fishing from trouting. Trout are actively feeding (more or less),…
Big Rods, Wee Flies
As Trout Spey continues to grow in popularity we encounter information outlining the applications of two-handed rods designed for trouting. This info is fairly sound, except too often we are told the lighter weight Trout Spey rods are most suitable for presenting wee soft-hackle flies, while the heavier rods are reserved for larger, heavier flies…
What is Trout Spey?
As two-handed Spey casting has exploded in popularity over the last 20 years so, too, has the technology available in the manufacture of two-handed (Spey) rods. This allowed for the development of lighter, more limber rods making two-hand rods no longer restricted in use to larger game fish. Missouri River, MT brown trout. Photo…
Guide Gossip: What Fly?
“A skater, unless the zombie apocalypse is happening and I need to eat, then a dirty black leech with an orange cone head.” -Dax Messett
Guide Gossip: To Fish A Loop?
I asked fourteen EXCEPTIONAL guides from the most infamous West Coast steelhead rivers the same questions. Every guide was given the task of answering sixteen questions, some with a specific river in mind and others just as a general guide of steelhead tactics.
The Forbidden Fruit
Superstitions and fishing go hand and fin. Some anglers have a lucky fishing hat that has been worn for years; others never wash their lucky fishing socks afraid to fade the mojo clean off. A long-time guide on the Rogue once told me that he would grease up his gunnels on the ol’ woody for…
Paris in Summer
Over the years I have received pieces of fly fishing advice that seem to combine both time-tested truth and a devilish elusiveness. Near the top of this list is: “Always be ready for the moment when a fish takes your fly. It can happen any time your fly is in the water, even when you…