Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

To Spey….Or Not To Spey That Is The Question

I stand on the threshold of a new dawn. Doesn’t that sound nice. I can imagine opening the curtains just in time to see the first signs of the new day peeping over the horizon. It’s obviously going to be a nice day. Shorts weather. Or, the new dawn could bring wind and rain and utter misery. I am not sure what my new dawn is about to bring me. In fact I might just stay in bed and have a look later.

WTF am I talking about? Spey casting. Let’s look at where I am at the moment; I never have to spey, I mainly fish stillwater, the rivers I do fish are not wide enough to spey cast, I have learned the basic mechanics on grass, grass is no place to spey cast, so I keep being told, and I believe them, I very, very rarely use a double-handed rod. Am I in the shit or what?

I have the perfect facilities to practice my conventional overhead casting (which is almost certainly why I have got quite good at it) I only have to walk to the end of my garden and I have a beautifully manicured cricket ground to play around in. There is no effort involved. If I want to learn to spey cast I am going to have to find some water to practice on. Now, that’s a whole new ballgame. It will mean traveling and I don’t really do traveling. It also means finding somewhere that I can wade or, at least has a jetty or pontoon, again, I don’t know anywhere that has those facilities.

It also puts me on the bottom rung of the ladder again. A whole new language to learn, a whole new set of skills to learn. Another period of utter confusion.

I’m going back to bed, call me when the sun’s up.


June 24, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Grass is a perfect place to practice spey’s! There someone told you otherwise 🙂

    I practice alot on grass, best way of honing down the application of force, and if one is smart and has an eye for things, sliding in anchors won’t happen, it’s like lying about fish, you only lie to yourself 😉

    And no, you already have the skill set my friend, you just have to make that discovery and you’re of on a great journey 🙂


    Comment by Lasse Karlsson | June 24, 2011 | Reply

  2. Well, Lasse is a way better caster than I’ll ever be, so I have to accept what he says.

    But for me there are so many things that you have to “have an eye for” when Spey casting on grass that I don’t really have confidence that I’m learning much when I do it. Here are my concerns:

    1) as Lasse mentions you need to watch that you’re not kidding yourself by sliding an anchor in to place, or sliding it way back to compensate for the lack of water tension.
    2) you can kid yourself that your timing is OK on single speys because you don’t have to worry about line stick if the D loop collapses onto the grass.
    3) you can kid yourself that your lifts and sweeps are OK, then you need to recalibrate because it all changes when there’s water/current to deal with.
    4) Spey casting is way easier when you’re not knee deep in water!

    It’d be really good to get Lasse’s comments on these points. I really WANT to believe that practising Speys on grass is a useful thing!


    Comment by Will | June 24, 2011 | Reply

  3. hey Mike ! get a big plastic tarp, some tent stakes to hold down the edges from wind and run the garden hose from the house to the field or use a bucket of water. wet it once in a while and you’ll get a very good grip on the line.
    two important mind-set things you might wanna change:
    speys are speys and one doesn’t need a two-hand rod for them.
    i consider these casts an absolute must on small rivers and streams. they’re not just for big Spey River sized waters ! they’re also nice on stillwaters and on boats. all of a sudden there’s a rise to your right or left, a snake roll or what ever puts the fly there in a second or keeps you from snagging your mate B-)


    Comment by marc fauvet | June 25, 2011 | Reply

  4. Nice answers with plenty to think about. I am playing around with a wool leader (on grass) it doesn’t slide around like mono, it sticks where it hits so you can’t fool yourself with anchor placement. Shite turnover though.


    Comment by Mike Heritage | June 25, 2011 | Reply

  5. Hey guys!

    1. stand close to a bush or small shrubbery and you won’t slide your anchor too far back (if you aren’t honest to yourself, then it wasn’t a problem firsthand…)
    2. I have no time for people being dishonest to themselves
    3.same as 2.
    4.everything is way easier when you are taller, I’m 6’3″ I know I have the advantage 😉
    Seriously, speys are easier on water, much easier, that’s why I pratice them on grass too….
    And no, I’m not that good a caster, I’m just good at faking it 😀

    Agree with Marc’s mindset change!

    Oh and I haven’t ever used a grassleader or a wool leader, should I?


    Comment by Lasse Karlsson | June 25, 2011 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: