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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Whitney Gould’s Single Spey – Swing the Fly

Scroll down through this article and watch the short clip (not the first photo to be seen but the clip mid way through the article).
If your player allows, slow the clip down to quarter speed by adjusting the playback speed by the bottom right 'three dots' menu.
H
This short video is among the best instructive Spey casting videos I have seen. I will attempt a few comments in the hope that others correct and refine those comments!
  • We know that the toe of the forward leg points to the target, that the body is twisted towards the dangle and that the tip of the rod should be low to the water.
  • Note that the rod is parallel to the upper body position and pointing across the water rather than pointing down the dangle.
  • Note the slow vertical lift (the line must be tight on the dangle, else half the back stroke length will be lost)
  • The lift is not high and is a so-called shotgun lift with both arms bent at the elbow, and the upper hand being higher.
  • It is only when the lift is completed that the body come into action, seamlessly (ie no hesitation which introduces slack) – the single Spey is a body cast.
  • The arms are held steady, and the body is turned slowly with steadily increasing tension. It is the turning of the body under tension that moves the fly line and begins to cast the fly line outward.
  • When the upper hand passes the line of sight to the target the rod is circled up and drifted up to the firing position, which turns the fly line from its outward projection and draws the fly line into the anchor position. For distance casting a good ‘layback’ of the rod is helpful if not essential.
  • Note. It is the action of the bottom or lower hand that places the anchor and positions itself to pull the butt of the rod down as part of the forward cast (one should feel the resistance of the bending of the rod through the lower hand, failing which the lower hand is not being engaged effectively)
  • This caster then lengthens the forward stroke by stepping forward in time.
  • Commets please - H
 

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This short video is among the best instructive Spey casting videos I have seen. I will attempt a few comments in the hope that others correct and refine those comments!
  • We know that the toe of the forward leg points to the target, that the body is twisted towards the dangle and that the tip of the rod should be low to the water.
  • Note that the rod is parallel to the upper body position and pointing across the water rather than pointing down the dangle.
  • Note the slow vertical lift (the line must be tight on the dangle, else half the back stroke length will be lost)
  • The lift is not high and is a so-called shotgun lift with both arms bent at the elbow, and the upper hand being higher.
  • It is only when the lift is completed that the body come into action, seamlessly (ie no hesitation which introduces slack) – the single Spey is a body cast.
  • The arms are held steady, and the body is turned slowly with steadily increasing tension. It is the turning of the body under tension that moves the fly line and begins to cast the fly line outward.
  • When the upper hand passes the line of sight to the target the rod is circled up and drifted up to the firing position, which turns the fly line from its outward projection and draws the fly line into the anchor position. For distance casting a good ‘layback’ of the rod is helpful if not essential.
  • Note. It is the action of the bottom or lower hand that places the anchor and positions itself to pull the butt of the rod down as part of the forward cast (one should feel the resistance of the bending of the rod through the lower hand, failing which the lower hand is not being engaged effectively)
  • This caster then lengthens the forward stroke by stepping forward in time.
  • Commets please - H
That fancy footwork might be fine in a lake with a sandy bottom , but I suspect it would lead to a full length spurlash in a fishing situation. 😉
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Not too dissimilar to Mr. Hansen, although Whitney uses a closed stance and a more pronounced forward movement on the forward cast…

Yes, thanks for that - very similar👍
Very good point about the closed and open stances.
H
That fancy footwork might be fine in a lake with a sandy bottom , but I suspect it would lead to a full length spurlash in a fishing situation. 😉
Not sure how much footwork is involved. Twisting towards the dangle and a step forward yes but not much else.
In fairness, I cant quite figure the late movement of the left leg (left in this case). Maybe the lady is long legged.
H
 

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Impressive skills being displayed here no doubt but I can't imagine anyone attempting a cast like the first example shown in most fishing situations.
The 2nd example looks closer to what might be a good style to aspire to in the real world. There's plenty of times when open or closed stance is not even a choice when trying to stay up right in a heavy flow.
 

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This short video is among the best instructive Spey casting videos I have seen. I will attempt a few comments in the hope that others correct and refine those comments!
  • We know that the toe of the forward leg points to the target, that the body is twisted towards the dangle and that the tip of the rod should be low to the water.
  • Note that the rod is parallel to the upper body position and pointing across the water rather than pointing down the dangle.
  • Note the slow vertical lift (the line must be tight on the dangle, else half the back stroke length will be lost)
  • The lift is not high and is a so-called shotgun lift with both arms bent at the elbow, and the upper hand being higher.
  • It is only when the lift is completed that the body come into action, seamlessly (ie no hesitation which introduces slack) – the single Spey is a body cast.
  • The arms are held steady, and the body is turned slowly with steadily increasing tension. It is the turning of the body under tension that moves the fly line and begins to cast the fly line outward.
  • When the upper hand passes the line of sight to the target the rod is circled up and drifted up to the firing position, which turns the fly line from its outward projection and draws the fly line into the anchor position. For distance casting a good ‘layback’ of the rod is helpful if not essential.
  • Note. It is the action of the bottom or lower hand that places the anchor and positions itself to pull the butt of the rod down as part of the forward cast (one should feel the resistance of the bending of the rod through the lower hand, failing which the lower hand is not being engaged effectively)
  • This caster then lengthens the forward stroke by stepping forward in time.
  • Commets please - H
My advice to anyone who is told this by an instructor would be to ask for their money back and leave. The position of a casters toe is utterly irrelevant and to use an individuals toe orientation as a means to aligning themselves to the target is as flawed as tits on a bull.

I cant bring myself to read the rest when it starts so poorly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My advice to anyone who is told this by an instructor would be to ask for their money back and leave. The position of a casters toe is utterly irrelevant and to use an individuals toe orientation as a means to aligning themselves to the target is as flawed as tits on a bull.

I cant bring myself to read the rest when it starts so poorly.
The usual graciousness - not.
Sadly, time has not helped to make an undoubted talent more accessible to the student.
H
 

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I will attempt a few comments in the hope that others correct and refine those comments!
  • We know that the toe of the forward leg points to the target,
  • Commets please - H
I gave you what you asked for and Im happy to elaborate if you ask me why. Im surprised after all these years you havent worked that one out for yourself though as I know you enjoy your casting.

Sadly, time has not helped to make an undoubted talent more accessible to the student.
H
Has there ever been anyone more accessible and willing to help others with their casting than me in the history of this forum?

Has anyone ever wrote at length about the mechanics of fly casting more than me or responded to so many threads when people are asking for help? if so please point them out.

Honestly, the 'point your toe' one is so poorly thought out and likely to cause so many casters problems. I have zero respect for anyone teaching any form of fly casting who thinks starting with point your toe somewhere is the right thing to say. It clearly shows me that whoever says this hasn't thought about it enough to be of any help to others, if they get something simple like that wrong then what about the more complicated aspects?
 

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Here is a clue for you as to why this 'point your toe' advice is so flawed as a means of establishing correct body alignment.

Which one are you, or the next man or the next?

View attachment 90830
My toes point in whichever postition the tyne ankle snapper stones allow

Sent from my SM-S901B using Tapatalk
 

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My toes point in whichever postition the tyne ankle snapper stones allow

Sent from my SM-S901B using Tapatalk
Isn't that the truth! I watch some of these instruction videos and think aye, I'd like to see you try that on my club water. Most of the pools I fish on the Tyne are like playing a game of underwater "Twister" .
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
... Has there ever been anyone more accessible and willing to help others with their casting than me in the history of this forum?

Has anyone ever wrote at length about the mechanics of fly casting more than me or responded to so many threads when people are asking for help? if so please point them out....
It would be nice to think I have misjudged you. Maybe it's not arrogance that drives your ingratious responces but merely impatience.
A picture is worth a thousand words etc but it takes narative from one who truly understands the nuances of the cast to reveal the true science of the DH Spey cast.
Thus far i haven't found that narative.
Sadly, the nearest world class teacher, namely Robert Gillespie is located some three hours drive from me.
I have to say however that i recenly experienced the most extraordinary Spey casting teach-in from a certain Golden Gate World casting champion, which really opened my eyes and brought me to a higher level. The teach-in was rooted in a shared passion and no money changed hands (i would have been happier if money had changed hands). It not for me to name the individual involved as i dont know how avaiable he is. And by the way he has no recognised teaching qualification.
In fairness i dont recall he saying i should point my toe to the target.
Two big themes dominated the session namely slow down again and again, and avoiding slack.
H
 
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