Fine Tune Your Speycast
By Jock Monteith 10th January 2022
The vast majority of Scottish Speycasters tend to cast like 'racehorses with blinkers on' with their heads only aligned to the target area and not to the crucial mid cast 'anchor point' which is vital for a perfectly timed power stroke delivery.
The Lift & Swing Of The Spey Cast
Assuming your lift (which is really the key to the whole deal) is high and smooth enough and has merged seamlessly with a perfect evenly energised swing the most important part of the Spey cast is loading the 'D Loop' optimally and minimising your anchor point for a slick and 'soundless' release of the power stroke. When I'm teaching guests I make them completely forget about the target area and only visually study their anchor point shape and position to make certain their power stroke comes in at precisely the right time. This discipline is vital as it seems to be human nature to have instant 'target fever' in most sports. Safety glasses should always be worn while Speycasting for eye protection.
Spey Casting 'Anchor Point' Shape & Positioning
The anchor point shape is vital for letting you know if there's an error in your lift or swing as any sudden movements in the lift or swing will lay the anchor point down like a dog's breakfast. A correct lift & swing with smooth control will allow you to 'place' the anchor point down in a straight line perfectly aligned to the target area to maximise 'energy release' to the fly coming off the water and not lose any of that in-cast energy unravelling & lifting a messy 'heaped' anchor point. The anchor point only needs a split second on the water and to be only the front metre of your fly line and leaders as any more will 'sap' in-cast energy while powering off the water. The optimal positioning of the anchor point for normal fishing requirements should be one rod length away from you so turn your shoulders more through the swing and make sure you're facing the target and that anchor point positioning should be fairly easy to achieve.
Achieve Perfect Power Stroke Timing
If you're not watching this vital part of a successful Speycast prior to developing the eventual ability that would allow you to successfully Spey cast blindfolded (by only listening to the cast) you'll typically fluff 1 out of 4 casts by giving the anchor point a millisecond too long (or not long enough) which can be caused by the most subtle adjustments like the constantly changing depth you'll be fishing from while wading down a salmon pool which is always encountered while fly fishing. Study the anchor point shape even if it's your peripheral vision you're using and take the 'guesswork' out of your power stroke timing. Once you've delivered that perfect & 'silent' power release from the water then turn your head to the target to serve your target fever!