spey casting

Do you ever find yourself in a position where there is great water that you want to fish, but there is some big obstruction that is presenting a spey casting challenge for you?  Maybe it’s a vertical bank or a bunch of trees that just doesn’t allow you to set up a good D Loop?

With spey casting there are a few things you can do to get your line out when you are in tight quarters. The perry poke is one that is effective,  but one of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to set your anchor point out further away from the bank with a crescent lift.

The crescent lift will put your anchor point out far enough that your D loop won’t be affected by the junk behind you as much.  Instead of your fly (the anchor point) landing a rod tip away from you, it will land out midway into your run. Then you’ll have plenty of room to get started.

Are you not a spey rod fisherman?  That’s totally ok.   Click on this link for 9 tips to increase distance with your single handed rod.  Are you still interested in seeing how to do the crescent lift?  Follow along below to see how it’s done.

Spey Casting – The Crescent Lift

From the hang down, instead of lifting straight up with a shotgun lift, start following a crescent shape (as though you were tracing a crescent moon from the bottom up). If you follow this crescent, with the bend in towards the bank, it will set your line out into the water much further.

If you think of the clock analogy – start at 6:00 at the bottom, then swing up and around to 12:00 – and finishing up back at 6:00.

Once this is anchored, you can set up your D loop, much further out, even with a vertical bank behind you. Now go ahead and fish all of the steelhead water, including the stuff that many people won’t be able to fish correctly.

I wanted to note before I finish up that this tip came in from the Spey Clinic from the Evening Hatch Fly Shop. Specifically, Brian Chow and others demonstrated this tip during one of their demonstrations.  I will be connecting with some of the great people later on as part of my interview series.

spey casting


Grab your spey rod or switch rod and get out in the yard or on the river. Practice spey casting as though there is no room behind you to make a D loop and see if you can use the crescent lift to get your anchor point out there further. Click the button below to grab a few more spey casting tips.

And if you’re interested in the right spey rod for steelhead, Click here to see the Echo Spey Rod that has helped me drastically improve my spey cast and find more steelhead at a super reasonable cost (You also get a free spey line if you pickup the Echo Spey).  By the way, the link above is an affiliate link, which means I earn a commission if you do end up purchasing through that link.  It’s at no extra cost to you, and please if you have any questions related to this product, please let me know and I’d be happy to answer them for you.



  1. I’m new to Spey casting and would be interested in any resources you could provide. I’m heading to Yellowstone Park in the next two weeks and will be swing soft hackles. I love my switch rod but do struggle some with the casting.