Speycasting Tuition Scotland
By Jock Monteith 25th November 2017
In my professional opinion there's way too much fuss made over learning this traditional Scottish salmon fly delivery cast. The Single or Double Spey casts can be spoken in absolute relevant detailed reference points in under 10 seconds so how can this cast possibly take years to fully master. I'll elaborate on these main points over the next few paragraphs.
Speycasting Tuition In Scotland
If you understand the simple logic of the correct hour hand clock face positions that optimise the 'lift & swing' ranges coupled with realising that the further round you bring the mid cast 'anchor point' the more load you'll have for the forward delivery then you're already in the top ten percent who understand this cast.
Perfectling Your Salmon Line Lift
In addition to these points if you realise that a smooth controlled & optimised lift which blends into the swing will keep your fly line perfectly taught through these intitial stages of the cast and under full control for maximum line energy build up. If you 'jolt' the rod forcing it to 'kick back' in the lift or swing it is truly 'game over' before the cast even begins so remember that smoothness & fluency of lift & swing is crucial.
Maximise Your Salmon Line Rod Ranges
Maximise your lift range all the way smoothly up to a nice high rod position at 11 oclock on the clock face. If you also smoothly bring both hands up while you're lifting smoothly you'll find the line will come to the surface with ease and you'll have negligable water resistance when you change the rod angle as it merges in to the swing. If there's any 'energy kick' in the lift the cast will not work so don't think speed of lift will assist you as it will only have the opposite effect.
After Lifting Your Line Correctly
After lifting correctly change the rod angle to an outward extended high rod position and swing smoothly and evenly turning your shoulders but keeping your smoothness all the way round making sure again that you keep that smoothness locked in with no 'rod kick' in the swing that will create a hindering pocket of slack in the line's energy build up.
Swing The Rod Smoothly To 1 Oclock
For normal and not distance casting the rod should come round to the 1 oclock rod position. This high rod position will minimise the anchor point so not too much line energy is lost when the forward delivery 'off the water' is applied. The front couple of metres of your fly line should briefly 'kiss the water' for a spit second before you send it away with the forward delivery. This anchor point should be shaped in a straight line and will be if your lift and swing has been smooth enough.
Smooth Yet Assertive Rod Energy
If the swing is conducted with enough smooth yet assertive rod swing energy and your rod has stopped high at 1 oclock a beautiful natural D loop will form automatically which will give you the loading you need to make the forward cast easy. The key to this part of the cast is utilising your periferol vision to judge precisely when to apply the forward power stroke. Do not try to guess the correct moment for the forward delivery and get a visual on it for 100% consistency.
Watching The Salmon Line Anchor Point
Most Speycaster do not watch the anchor point and fish like 'racehorses with blinkers on'. As you're wading through most salmon pools your height above the water line is constantly making height adjustments so watching the anchor point allows you to precisely 'nail' every forward delivery instead of 'skiffing' a few of them unneccessarily.
The Forward Fly Rod Power Stroke
On the 'forward power stoke' there should be an almost unseen stop built in high at the 11 oclock forward stroke rod position to set the line off at its optimal trajectory. Don't throw the rod at the river and make sure you get this power release in to let your rod do its job correctly then lower the rod to finish off the cast. There's great satisfaction in delivering this cast effortlessly & correctly and unlike hitting a golf ball the salmon fly is tied on!