When was the last time you listened to a podcast or interview that really moved you to do something?  Maybe it was a video that convinced you to actually get out and take action?  How about something as simple as Spey Casting Tips?

I am obviously a little weird and extreme when it comes to fly fishing but that happened to me today listening to Anchored where April was talking to Pete Humphries on spey casting and life.

If you are in the midwest and need a steelhead guide you can connect with Pete at the link above.  Tell him I sent you so we can have a good laugh!

Pete did a really amazing job describing the spey cast using analogies and tips that made it almost like you were watching him fish.

I had to post a short article so I didn’t forget these awesome analogies!  Much of this applies to shorter belly lines so keep that in mind if you are going old school spey.

I’m just going to provide my short summary for future reference (don’t hate me for the choppyness of this post).


The photo above is from Feenstra Guide Service


Spey Casting Tips with Pete

If you click on this link:  Spey Casting with Pete  I link to the podcast I mention above and start it right where April “Gets Nerdy” which you gotta love.

The Lift

All spey casts begin with a lift!! (Not with a drag)

You need to get your line off the water to begin your cast.


Circle C

If you use a good lift at the start then you can use a Circle C (instead of snap T) and avoid doing a roll cast downstream before each cast.  This will mean your fly is in the water longer.


The Tear

On setting up your anchor, drop your line directly under your rod tip.   This will create less slack and better tear (You will have a better white mouse).

This is different from dropping the line close to your body as happens a lot on a snap T.  I always struggle with this one.


The Sweep

The sweep is the same as the backcast with the single hand rod.

You need to sweep up to the home position (not down).  Never dip.  You can tap the water before starting your sweep to force yourself to always sweep up.

Smoothness is the key!  Slack is your enemy.

The White mouse – He talks to you so listen to him.  The white mouse is the tear you hear as you are sweeping over to 90 degrees with your rod in front of you then up to the home position.  The white mouse also gives you the timing (when he stops you are ready for next step).




At 90 degress (your rod is pointing directly to other side on sweep) you have to slow down so you don’t pop your anchor.  Then slowly decelerate until you are at the fireing position.

Note:  The great spey casters can hold their D-loop for a long time.

Smoothness in the entire spey cast is the secret


Forward Stroke and Awesome Analogies

The Telephone Analogy – That’s where Pete likes to start his forward stroke.  He’s tells his students 10:30 and 1:30 on the clock.

The Baseball Analogy – I really love this one since I was a centerfileder.  This applies to the trajectory of your forward stroke.  If you are throwing a ball towards home plate from outfield you aren’t going to release the ball parallel to the ground.  You are going to release it at a higher trajectory so the ball goes a little upwards.

Same with the spey cast.  We are not shooting this thing into the water.

The Dining Room Table Analogy – Imagine that there is a dining room table in the river out in front of you where you’re casting.  Dry to land the fly right on that table.  Not on the surface of the water.

Look at your elbow to see if you have a good forward stroke.  There should be a bend in your elbow.

The 2 Handed Sledge Hammer Analogy – When finishing the final part of the forward stroke imagine that you have a two handed sledge hammer and you’re driving a nail into the way.  That’s how you want to finish the forward stroke.  (You can’t use your wrist here so don’t use it on your cast).

Grip – Use a light grip on your upper hand.  Try taking your thumb off the cork on the top hand and use your lower hand for the power.



So there you have it.  Kind of random but I think totally worth writing down and sharing.  What was your favorite analogy?  Share it in the comments below.

I wanted to give a big thanks to April Vokey for the podcast and Pete Humphries for the great info.  Take a look at the links below if you have additional questions.

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