All About Spey (and Swinging Flies)
White Pine targets steelhead using a swung fly with spey rods. Spey rods are two handed rods and very in length, the rods we use vary from 12.6’-16’. Many lines are used for the modern spey rod set up, the types depend on the season, angler skill set, and water conditions. We primarily use three set ups:
- Skagit (heads are short) they carry large weighted flies with a verity of sink tips, requiring stripping more running lines between casts.
- Scandi lines are slightly longer heads that carry light poly tips and medium/small flies well, require less stripping running lines between casts.
- Mid belly lines carry poly leaders and a variety of tips with small/medium sized flies well while requiring minimal stripping between casts.
The mechanics of the cast involve roughly 80% power coming from the lower hand pulling and 20% power coming from the upper hand pushing to throw line almost perpendicular to main river current.
The current then pulls the fly line down river in a sweeping motion (the swing) until the fly line is parallel with the bank. At the end of the "swing", the angler strips in the running line while taking a couple steps down river and repeats the process.
With this method the fly is presented to the fish in a broadside fashion. We are searching for a fish willing to move and grab a swung fly.
The formula is simple:
Until .... Grab... and Grin!
When a steelhead grabs a swung fly all things in life come together and seem to make more sense. Don’t overthink it, put in the time, smile often and love the process. Yes, it takes grit and focus to hook a steelhead but most things in life worth getting hooked on demand the desire to stick with it mentality.