Learn How to Spey Cast

Step 1: Learn Basic Spey Casting Terminology

  • Anchor – The portion of the line/leader that remains in contact with water during the Spey cast.
  • D-Loop -The aerialized portion of the line behind you during the Spey cast. Makes a visual D-Shape.
  • Touch & Go Spey Cast – Spey casts where your lines only briefly touches the water to form the anchor. Examples include the Single Spey and Snake Roll.
  • Waterborne Spey Cast -Spey casts that begin with the entire spey line laying anchored to the water. Examples include the Double Spey and Snap-T.
  • Skagit Casting -A style of waterborne Spey casting originating in the Northwest USA. Primarily used with Skagit Spey Lines, this style excels with heavy sink tips and large flies, such as those typically used in winter steelheading.
  • Scandi Casting -A style of touch and go Spey casting originating in Scandinavia, primarily used with Scandi (Scandinavian) style Spey lines. The Scandi style excels with smaller flies and lighter tips or mono leaders in situations where delicacy is important.
  • Traditional Spey Casting -Spey casting revolving around longer lines such as short, mid and long bellys. Usually traditional Spey lines are floating and used with smaller flies, although exceptions always exist!
Spey casting on Oregon’s North Umpqua River. Photo by Marty Sheppard.
Great Lakes Spey Casting. Photo by Rick Kustich

2.Consider a professional instructor, book or dvd to learn the basics.

Learning to spey cast can be intimidating. Getting the right advice at the start can save a lot of time and frustration. Be wary of YouTube videos when just starting out. You may only be getting the partial picture. Learning the basics from a reputable source is the way to go.

3. Make sure you have the right equipment.

We recommend visiting your local fly shop for the best advice.

Spey Fly Shops

4. Practice!

Getting good at anything takes time and effort. Set goals for your spey casting progression and work to achieve them. Learning the basics of spey casting will get you on the water, but continued improvement through practice will bring satisfaction and increased success on the water.