Intro to Basic Spey Casting- Great Casting advice on the Trailer

I haven’t seen this video in its entirety but judging from the trailer it is an excellent instructional video.  I met John Hazel in his excellent fly shop in Maupin Oregon one Summer afternoon a few years back.  I had been on a whitewater rafting trip with family.  Usually when I’m by his shop its early in the morning in the dead of winter and the doors aren’t open yet so I had never been inside that I remember, which anyone would because its a cool fly shop.  My son and I were poking around the fly section and John struck up a conversation with me. He didn’t try to sell me anything, he was just being friendly.  I felt a little sheepish when I admitted to him that I had only brought my Spey rod to play with after the rafting the trip, in the middle of Trout season.  I felt a little silly because there wasn’t a Steelhead around for miles and from what I’ve seen, most guys are using 5 weight single handers for Trout on the big D.  John didn’t bat an eye.  He said, “Got it bad huh?”  “Yeah, its pretty bad.”  So I know he understood.

I was pretty amazed that this trailer had less than 6000 hits on youtube.  With the resurgence in popularity of short and midbelly Spey lines this video should be flying off the shelves because that’s what they are using in this video and doing it with authority. It was produced before the Skagit casting craze hit and has not received the notoriety that other instructional videos have, but its a sleeper and I’d like to have it for my collection, which already includes advanced Spey fishing, Johns other fine Spey video. Its a good one.

You UNTWIST your body on the single Spey cast! 

John gives some very important advice on this trailer when teaching the touch and go, single Spey cast: You UNTWIST your body on the single Spey cast! That means if you face your target to begin with, ie pointing your foot at the target (right hand up, right foot forward, for me) You then twist your body with your feet stationary before you even begin the cast. So your feet stay put and the rest of you faces the dangle. You are twisted up before you start the cast. As you lift and sweep you are UNtwisting yourself. The importance of this is that you can do the sweep with your body and not your arms and this will make your anchor placement and D loop formation much more consistent. You’re then in the correct position for the forward stroke, feet and torso facing the same direction in perfect symbiosis.  The added benefit of casting with the right foot forward on right hand up casting is that with the single Spey you are facing downstream to begin with and wading is much easier and more efficient.  If the wind is swirling around and you are changing and you are swapping back and forth between the single and the snakeroll, the snake is pretty easy to cast with your feet in that position or close.  Of course we are fishing which means we don’t always get to choose exactly how our feet point, such as if you are straddling a rock the size of a beach ball but that’s what keeps it real.  Thanks for keeping it real John.

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