Spey lessons

Spey lessons

Tracy&James | Sunday, 30 August 2020

This week James and I had a spey casting lesson from an old friend who taught me to cast many, many years ago. I don’t Spey cast so as a complete beginner, I needed some advice on the basics. Whereas James wanted to hone his technique, as he although he has spey cast before and entered Spey casting competitions, he still feels that his casting needs improvement.

For me, it was good to cast a double handed rod as it is supposed to be cast, rather than doing overhead distance casting. I soon figured that my previous overhead casting had generated errors that were causing me to Spey cast badly, such as holding the rod with straight arms rather than bent elbows. My excellent, and very patient, instructor gave me several exercises to work on to aid managing and eradicating these errors. I didn’t expect that I would be Spey casting perfectly at the end of my 2 hour lesson, but that I would know the basics and what to work on. So after this lesson, I am now practicing in the hope that within a week, I will cast adequately enough, though I know that to cast perfectly will take me a few more months, or more likely years.

The main reason for my attempt to learn to Spey cast was so I can enter the two Spey events next weekend at the UK Fly Casting Championships and not look like a complete idiot.Last year I only entered the other four events (trout distance, sea trout distance, salmon overhead and accuracy) and I thought it a good idea to support the organisers by entering everything this year.

James, like me, has never fished with a double handed rod, and had also never had any formal Spey lessons.  He also had a number of issues pointed out that need to be worked on.  We had the foresight to video parts of the lesson we received so we can both go back and check on what we should be doing versus what we think we’re doing and, perhaps more importantly, what we’re actually doing.  We just need a suitable stretch of water where we can practice.  We have a venue in mind though that should be perfect and scenic – the backdrop will be the ruins of a 13th century castle.

This weekend the temperature has dropped considerably and it certainly feels like we are now in Autumn. Since we’ll no doubt be spending much of the day outside for the whole three day event in Cumbria next week, I’m packing lots of warmer clothes ready to take with us.

This time next week, I will provide an update on the progress of the UK Champs.