A Quick Guide to The Spey Casting Technique

Spey casting is a specialised fishing technique that people use when they are fly fishing. It is something which many people like to learn, but it is good to learn more about it before you give it a go. It tends to be used when fishing for salmon and large trout on large rivers as well as in saltwater surfcasting. This is because the cast needs to cover a long distance and so there is a specific technique required. The cast is designed to work when there are obstacles on the shore as well, such as trees by keeping the line mainly in front of the angler. Some other casting techniques require the line to go behind which will cause problems if there are trees and bushes that it may get snagged on. The line can also be cast in a straight line which is advantageous on a wide river as there could be challenges such as rapids which cause problems otherwise.


This technique originated in Scotland in the mid 1800s and is named after the River Spey in Scotland. This is a large river and so it was developed to use a 22 foot rod made of a heavy greenheart wood. The rods are now shorter though. There are two groups of casts. There is a splash and go cast which has a backstroke in the air and the line falls to the water and as soon as the tip of the line hits the water the forward cast starts. The waterborne anchor has a back cast that stays in the water. There are many variations though. The main idea is that the fly line is floating directly downstream the line is lifted from the water with the tip of the rod then it is swept backwards just above the water with a deliberate movement to make a D-loop and as it comes around, the line is then fired forwards with a two handed push-pull motion and abruptly stopped. The D-loop refers to the way that the line curves between the anchor and the shape of the rod. The fly is used as an anchor in the movement.

Styles of Spey Casting

There are two main styles of Spey casting. The first is the single Spey cast which is a splash and go type cast and it casts the line further and that is why some people feel that it is the better of the two styles. The second is the double Spey cast can be easier though because it can be done more slowly and deliberately and there is even time to make corrections to the technique as you cast. The fly stays in contact with the water at all times until the very final forward stroke is made. It is useful in downstream winds. It can be worth learning this one first as it is easier.

How to Choose Which to Use

It is important to realise that learning several different styles and techniques can be very useful. This is because it will depend on which side of a river you are casting from and which direction the wind is blowing in.

Is It worth Learning?

It might actually seem quite complicated, but it is not that hard to learn. The advantages can be great as you will have some fun techniques to try out as well as a much better chance of catching the fish that you are after. Catching fish will make your fishing expedition much more fun and so being able to increase your chances of doing this will really make your fishing experience better.

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