First Day With A Spey Rod

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fishing Forum' started by treblig, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. treblig

    treblig Well-Known Member

    Finally I was able to get out and use the Amundson Wind Warrior Spey Rod. I have fly fished since I was a teen but never had the opportunity to use a Spey rod. I have often looked in wonder when watching a Spey angler achieving amazing casts with little effort. Having practiced the d loop over and over on dry land it was easy to cover water on the Campbell River.What better way to start with Pink Salmon. Balanced with the correct shooting head and sinking tip it was amazing how far I could toss. Also there was a constant movement of pink salmon on both side of the river.
    Next target will be Chum salmon

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
    cohochinook and Dave H like this.
  2. treblig

    treblig Well-Known Member

    I guess I should explain how my adventure to Spey casting began.....
    A Novice Spey Angler
    Watching a Spey fly casting angler casting with the various smooth casting techniques I often found myself thinking there is no way I could learn that or even afford the tackle. Often Spey angler can easily power line out without a over the shoulder cast, as I would have using a single hand fly rod. With advance technology, manufactures have been able to create high end products at more affordable prices. Today’s age of electronic communications, it’s easy to explore web sites though forums, web pages and social media that want to share their knowledge to expand the Spey angling community. Being a well-versed fisherman using single hand fly rods I decide to make the change. It all started when Amundson Outdoors sent me their WIND WARRIOR SPEY ROD 4-PC 14 feet 3 inch , Spey rod to challenge our large salmon in our local rivers. With today technology its possible to get high quality reels for a reasonable price. I found trying to complete the set up with the various lines was over whelming. There is allot off advise from fishermen, forums, web sites, you tube and retailers. Every option was different. As a novice sooner or later you have to make a decision. I decided to write to Rio Products for advice and they responded quickly based on the rod size and weight and the salmons I was targeting. Also keeping in mind that I will be fishing small rivers tossing large flies and weighted flies and being a novice. My adventures will be from a novices view with all the trials and tribulations experience of my learning curve. My objective is to help those that want to but hesitate from experiencing this amazing technique.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
  3. Sharphooks

    Sharphooks Well-Known Member

    I've fished with a double handed rod since the mid-70's. I own a closet-full of rods between 12 and 16 feet long. I am an avid steelhead and salmon fishermen and to this day, with all those years of fishing with a double handed rod, have never made a Spey cast and don't intend to ever make a Spey cast.

    I think it's a completely over-rated goofy approach to fly casting and is driven by marketing more then anything else. The decibels of the Marketeers like Rio have pushed the word so hard that somehow, it has taken over the term "fly casting". When I hear people say..."I got one on the Spey" it's like fingernails on a blackboard. You mean you caught a steelhead on a fly? No, I got one on the Spey, they say, not aware of how silly they sound.

    You sound quite pleased with your purchase and I'm not trying to poison your water. I'm simply alerting you to the fact that the entire concept of "Spey" is hugely over-blown for one reason and one reason only---to sell more rods and lines.

    First, it's an incredibly disruptive way to cover water. Planting that "D" then ripping the line off the water is a perfect way to scatter all the fish at your feet and send them to the farthest reaches of the opposite bank. So when a "Spey" guy plants his numerous "D's" as he makes his way through a hole and finally gets one on a 30 meter cast, he pats himself on the back for his stunningly profound distance cast, completely oblivious to the fact that the same fish he hooked could have been caught with a 10 meter cast if he had been more stealthy with his casting abilities to begin with.

    I once posted similar comments about how disruptive "Spey" fishermen are on Speypages and a British guy immediately chimed in, almost hyperventilating he was so happy to see he was not alone in his suspicions that "Spey" casting was hugely over-rated and completely disruptive to the river and disruptive to anybody else fishing around the Spey caster.

    You say you want to fish "small rivers" . Why on earth would you want to use this casting technique on a small river????? A simple overhead cast will cast the large weighted flies you said you want to use with pin-point precision (if your leader is properly balanced against the rod and line you're using). If you're in a tight spot, roll cast. Planting that "D" is just a glorified roll cast with the regrettable collateral damage of lots of exploding water.

    My family lived in London in the 70's and 80's. I fished the Tweed and the Spey several times when visiting them. Not once did I see any of the fly casters on either of those river "Spey" casting. They all used overhead casting techniques and covered the water just fine with the brass tube flies they were using. Seeing that, I purchased a 14 foot cane rod Sharpes rod and used the same technique I saw them use and never looked back.

    Later in my fly casting career, I met Jim Green who was probably the first guy in North America to start making double handed rods at the Fenwick facility on Bainbridge Island (now the Sage facility) Both Jim Green and his wife were reknowned as long-distance fly casters and won many international awards. Their preferred cast? An overhead cast. It was so elegant and so effortless that I took it upon myself to learn it and have fished that way for many years.

    Take a look at this video. Read the comments of people who watched it. I guarantee you that if you take to heart the technique that Jim Green is promoting, you will never mention the word "Spey" again, nor will you have to:

    When I see "Spey casters" on the river I generally leave the hole and find other water, especially if they're below me. They leave the water so beat up and the fish so spooked I'm better off leaving.

    A good friend of mine guides on the Skeena. He's seen his share of fishermen. After a few drinks he started complaining about some of his American clients who insist on "Spey" casting, planting their "D's", detonating the water, then insisting on casting farther and farther, completely over-casting the fish (Skeena fish lie close to the bank)

    Why do you think they do that I asked rhetorically.

    I have absolutely no idea, was his response. Perhaps they want to show how far they can cast. They just don't know any better.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
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  4. Che

    Che Active Member

    Yup. Expensive gear meant to catch fishermen, not fish.
    Damien and Whitebuck like this.
  5. Whitebuck

    Whitebuck Well-Known Member

    Che, you could not have explained it better.
    Most Spey fisherman are drift fisherman who no ever could master drift fishing, so they went over to Spey only.
    Couldn’t figure out how to catch fish with a bobber , so might as well hold your nose up high a Spey guy and catch nothing.
    It’s funny reading some of the posts on of the biggest beeks aka shitty rods is now a Spey fisherman and he thinks he knows everything. Entitlement comes with the Spey rod.
    For the most part guys who can’t figure out drift fishing grab a Spey rod.
    Not always the case....but a few exceptions can be made.
    Che likes this.
  6. Che

    Che Active Member

    In my observations, most people 'fly fishing' for spawning salmon are just flossing booted out fish in the tail out of a run. It's not everyone, but those that do it, do it with a smug superior attitude as if they're somehow the gold standard of fishing ethics and sportsman. Some of the biggest beaks I know are fly fishers.
    Damien and Whitebuck like this.
  7. Burban

    Burban Well-Known Member

    Wow, that's some incredibly gross generalizations. I am a very successful drift fisherman and I really enjoy the challenge that fly fishing presents. Its not nearly as effective but much more rewarding when you come with a pattern of your own and trick a fish into biting it. I acquired a spey set up over the winter and have been enjoying the challenge of learning the casts.

    @Che do you ever have anything postive to add or are you just our resident beak? Your attitude on this forum is the very embodiment of a beak.
    Derby, Chovy1 and treblig like this.
  8. Che

    Che Active Member

    Ayup, like clockwork. Queue the butt hurt.
  9. treblig

    treblig Well-Known Member

    WOW ! I agree with Burban very gross generalization.

    It reminds me of the meaning of flaming, On the Internet, flaming is giving someone a verbal lashing in public Often this is on a Usenet newsgroup but it could be on a Web forum. I used to belong to a forum that just shut down due to very little input by members that use to love sharing and helping others. but due to those that love to beak drove the forum down.
    Here is what I think is a small river. I was on it this morning.

  10. Burban

    Burban Well-Known Member

    Its really sad to see you cant make a positive post on this site without multiple narrowminded people jumping on you and taking a $hit on your thread for no reason. Did your parents not teach you the old saying "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all?" I guess not everyone was raised with the same sense of decency.

    Just because you saw some people swinging flies through a shallow tailout sometime doesn't for second mean all fly anglers are flossers. I've spent 100'if not 1000's of hours fishing rivers around BC and if you had too, you'd know that most salmon flossers are using "float" setups and they simply run them deeper then the water they're fishing and running 2'+ leaders. 95% of snaggers either run float rigs with wool or spinning setups with over weight lures. A massive percentage of fly fisherman don't even fish rivers they fish lakes where flossing is not even a thing, or from the beach.

    Every piece of water is more effectively fished with a different means of delivery. If you want to catch a fish you have to get your presentation in front of their face. How you choose to do that is up to you. The advantage of spey casting versus overhead casting is not having to backcast in tight areas and less fatigue over the course of a day or multiday outing. If you walk into a run and immediately fish the opposite bank without running through the close water then that's your own foolishness and has nothing to do with the methods used. I've seen TONS and TONS of gear fisherman standing in holding water and casting to the opposite bank while schools move past their feet.

    I've moved on from drift fishing because I find it too easy and not nearly as rewarding. I catch far less fish but I find it more rewarding when I create a pattern of my own and prove its successfulness. Doesn't mean I don't still love fishing my centrepin, which is over half my river time due to my home rivers being tight fast pocket water and not really fly fishable.

    @Che @Whitebuck Sad input boys. Try opening your minds to the reality that what your observing is human behavior and has nothing to do the methods used. If you don't have anything nice to say, perhaps keep it to yourself instead of ruining someones thread?
    cohochinook and Chovy1 like this.
  11. treblig

    treblig Well-Known Member

    Right on the button Burban.
    I hope many others come and support this forum with good, positive adventures and see their post supported. Yes, sometimes there is a point in a post eg. handing fish safely. Well, that could be education. If not, its good to share the proper way and not flame the individual looking for a fight.
    Even I had to learn on this forum not to promote the gear I use but tell the story ..... I still have a problem as I can be very excited about the gear manufactures send me but I am working on it.

    I forgot to mention flamers, beakers are bullies and there is no room for bullies
  12. Sharphooks

    Sharphooks Well-Known Member

    QUOTE....The advantage of spey casting versus overhead casting is not having to backcast in tight areas and less fatigue over the course of a day or multiday outing.....UNQUOTE

    I invite you to look at the vid of Jim Green. Look at his shoulders---they're barely moving. It's all about creating dynamic tension in the line with the rod tip using the forearm as a fulcrum...almost zero upper body movement.

    Now look at a "Spey" caster---lots of upper body movement and turning of the arms in the shoulder sockets. I know too many of these guys who end up getting cortisone shots in their later years because of the motions involved in setting up that infamous "D" then launching it.

    I buy up all the old-school lines that "Spey" casters would curl their nostrils at because they're too "low tech". The old Courtland 444 WF floaters? I have to tack on a floating running line to my lines because using JIm Green's approach, I can easily shoot the 444 way past the fly line to Dacron running line knot (if I feel the need to pound out a lot of line). Holding loose coils of line in my hand (learned from Jim Green on that same wooden walkway you see in the vid some 30 years ago) I can regularly shoot 35 meters of line if I feel that's what I need to do to reach the fish. The velocity you can build up using Jim Green's approach is so strong that once you shoot the coils out of your hand, it's not uncommon to pull line off the reel as the line lands on the water, even with a stiff drag setting.

    I remember standing on the opposite bank of a large Fraser River tributary watching the original owner of the Rio Line company trying his hand at "Spey" casting. On either side of him throughout his attempt at anchoring that infamous "D" were huge rooster tails of water extending at least 5 meters out into the holding water (generally the exact place where I hooked my fish when fishing that spot)

    At the time this occurred I had just risen a player with a dead drifted dry fly approx. 5 meters from shore. I'd fished casting upstream and letting the fly drift back to my rod tip, a trick I learned as a child back in my brown trout days. I knew on the next cast the fish would slurp down my fly but I reeled in my line and mentioned to my friend I was heading back to the car.

    Are you nuts? he responded. Why? You'll get that fish for sure. Just one more cast! And I have my camera ready.

    Because that guy across the river will see me hook it, I responded, and no doubt, he'll be over here lickety split tomorrow morning and with those goofy casts he's making, he'll spook that fish and all her brothers out into the middle of the river for the next week.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
  13. treblig

    treblig Well-Known Member

    Let's continue with the adventure
    Second day with the spey . I am a rookie and will make lots of mistakes. I arrived on the river by 7:30 and there was a continuing flow of Pink salmon moving up the river. Each cast though I learn. What I did learn is you can make short casts and/ or allow your fly to drift to the shoreline by moving up the river. Its all about observing were the fish are. I could see fins and tails move close to shore so I positioned myself up the river to allow the fly to drift to them. There was lots of pride using the Spey rod successfully and catching salmon on your own tied flies. This just the begging of my Spey adventure as I originally wanted to use it for bigger targets. Let's hope the Somass park opens this year for Chinook and Coho. That will be the next challenge. This does not mean I will not use my center pin and level wind. I can change to whatever method from gear to single hand and or double hand fly rod. I had a friend who called me AC DC switcher hahahahaha

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
    Burban likes this.
  14. Che

    Che Active Member

    Again, never said all fly anglers are flossers. You're putting ideas on the screen that I have not expressed. I don't know why you're doing this, but obviously there's a strong motivation to defend fly fishers from this perceived accusation. Probably because you know exactly what I'm talking about.
  15. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    Last fall I was on a small Fraser river tribb fishing for coho, I am tossing some gibbs crocks on a small 6 foot long, 8# trout rod with a cheap spinning reel, upstream are 2 red coho paired up, A spey fishermen walks up to them starts casting at them catches one, drags it up on the rocks and releases it. Does it a couple times and moves on

    I think what bothered me is, Clearly was a "professional fishermen" Had the multi million dollar gear set up with full simms gear. So maybe I had high expectations of anglers ethics especially with the fly caster in hand.

    anyways i did pull a cromer out of a deep hole,

    Maybe I am just jealous
  16. Whitebuck

    Whitebuck Well-Known Member

    Spey fishing is all about getting a fish up on the rocks so u can get your spey in the pic for the majority of the anglers.
    Anglers wearing a bunch of super expensive Simms gear, nose in the air and absolutely no clue how to fish. Not all of them, but in my 20+ years of fishing the rivers all over BC this is the majority!
  17. Burban

    Burban Well-Known Member

    @Sharphooks If possible, can you link the exact the video your referring too? I'm always interested in seeing new content.

    I'll admit I cant overhead cast an entire fly line over 100', that in itself is quite a feat that a LOT of people claim to do but very few actually can reliably. I would hazard a guess that your friends who need cortisone shots for shoulder injuries are not solely from spey casting but other trials from life, and if they strictly single hand cast they would need the same shots. On the other side of the coin from you, I know 2 anglers (1 in his 30's 1 retired) that I fish with who have hung up the single hand rod in favor of a 2 handed because for them its easier on their shoulders on multiday trips. I suspect this varies from person to person depending on who you talk too and their skill levels in casting (which varies by a large margin) so we will see different results depending on who you talk to.

    Any intelligent angler will start fishing the water closest to them first before they step in the water. Once the closest water has been properly run through and deemed empty or not, it is then ok to step into the river and start working your way across the run ensuring you've covered all water efficiently. This holds true whether float fishing, swinging spoons, twitching jigs, stripping flies, swinging flies etc. I have caught several beautiful steelhead literally at the end of my rod tip on the first couple drifts in a run, and fishing for pinks last summer in Squamish I saw on multiple occasions my friend pull chromers from behind people standing 20' off shore trying to fish the middle of the river (much to there dismay).

    I have no doubt that the experiences you all are describing are not real or true. I'm saying that all those instances are not bound to fly fishing I could go on and on and on about how many time I've seen gear fisherman doing the exact same thing and far worse. Even tho you've added the caveat "not all fly fisherman" doesn't mean your statement is not an irresponsible one.

    Its pretty clear you guys have it in for spey fisherman so I wont continue, but for everyone else reading this thread don't let these guys get you down. The fly world is enjoyable, rewarding and worth exploring if it even remotely interests you.

    PS Good on you Treblig for continuing your recount of your adventure, why don't the rest of us let him do so without bringing him down eh?
  18. Che

    Che Active Member

    I wear Simms waders. They fit perfectly, don't leak, dont bind up as I'm hiking in and out, can climb over logs and rocks in them. Well worth the money. But we know about that beak who walks into the tackle shop and buys 'the best' thinking it will make them a better angler. Yeah no. You can go and buy a $15 Sponge Bob Square Pants rod from walmart and Hook fish if you know what you're doing.
  19. eroyd

    eroyd Active Member

    So whats the most sporting way to fish rivers? A level wind casting lots of lead? Why would anyone poo poo someone else's legal form of angling?

    I've done everything from tossing guts, or spoons to casting a waking fly with the slim chance of triggering a steelhead. Oddly I get more turned up noses from gear guys when I'm fly fishing than the other way around. Not what I would have expected.
    Burban and Chovy1 like this.
  20. Chovy1

    Chovy1 Member

    I can't believe all the hate coming from the gear crowd towards spey anglers on here. Let's be completely honest catching steelhead on drift gear is, in most cases, the easiest method to catch them and where most people start. Once becoming proficient at hooking steelhead on gear it's a natural evolution for some to want a greater challenge ie. fly fishing. Now for a lot of our small streams a single hander is more than adequate to hook fish on the fly, however on bigger faster water which require heavy sink tips and large weighted flies, a spey setup makes turning over that heavy stuff MUCH easier. If you want to chuck a 10' chunk of t14 with a weighted fly for winter steelhead with a single hander fly at it but don't come on here and say it's either easy or efficient because that is not the case. As far as guys chopping up the water and scaring close to bank fish, every experienced spey angler I've come across will usually start with just their sink tip out then lengthen out their casts bit by bit cast by cast until getting the amount of line that they want to effectively fish the run, then start working their way down. If all you want to do is hammer out big number days so you can go home and brag to you buddies about how many fish you caught stick to drift fishing, but don't hate on the few who willingly decide to handicap themselves by using a different method. Different strokes for different folks!

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