3 Keys To Spey Fishing Success — Spey and Skagit Casting Thoughts

Recently while filming a bit for our Cooper Landing Fishing Guide YouTube channel, I was able to express some of the thoughts and “frustrations” I have about the basic understanding of Skagit Casting/Fishing for domestic and migratory fish.

So much of the attention in Skagit and Spey Fishing is often placed on the casting, on what rods people should buy, new line innovations, sweet fly patterns, and so on…

With so much emphasis on the tools of Skagit and Spey casting, I thought it was time to discuss the strategies of the method and how to actually effectively fish with spey and switch rods.


1. Understanding where fish are likely to be

2. Knowing how to get your fly in front of the potential “likely” holding areas of the fish you are seeking

3. Putting both #1 & #2 together to help pick the appropriate range of tools to fish with confidence — Fishing with confidence is key!

The knowledge of where fish are likely to be and how to get your fly to swing in front of fish are major catalysts to aid in the other “more widely-discussed” components to Skagit and Spey Fishing/Casting.

For example, if you understand that most of the fish you are seeking hold way out in the middle of the river in a deep pool, you will be able to make wise choices for the size rod, line, sink tip and fly that are appropriate for your fishing situation.

This Rainbow Trout was caught witha 13' 7wt Spey Rod in a deep, fast section of the Kenai River. In other sections of the river, you could conceivably use an 11' 5wt which would be appropriate for the conditions and size of the fish targeted.
This King Salmon was caught with a long spey rod, heavy sink tip and large fly, an appropriate setup for the conditions and species targeted.

Assessing your fishing situation, especially where the fish are, and how to get down to them should be the main considerations when choosing spey equipment.

Once you have the appropriate equipment, concentrating heavily on how to get your fly in front of fish on every cast and swing should be every angler’s priority.

Spey fishing is a great way to present your fly to lots of fish in one run and offers tremendous advantages over other methods of fly fishing. You can simply cover more water, more rapidly and with much less effort.

Too often, however, there seems to be a “blind faith” associated with swinging flies. Basically, anglers seem to be haphazardly stepping out into the water, chucking a cast out there and praying that something will latch on.

Think of your next spey fishing adventure as “hunting.” Keep your mind actively seeking out fish, studying the water, paying attention to how your line swings through the current and how it affects your fly and you’ll be almost guaranteed to have a successful outing.

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