We here at Sportquest, often get asked a range of questions regarding fishing and one that gets asked about quite a lot is the etiquette invloved in fly fishing, primarily Spey casting. Although this is titled spey casting basics these guidelines below can and do equally apply to single-handed rods aswell.
The tips below come into effect when sharing a single piece of water, which is the case on a majority of destinations, as fishing tends to be based on 2 anglers to 1 guide. However, if you are lucky enough to be fishing alone what you do and how you fish is all up to you.
We’ll start with three rules of etiquette that are pretty well-known and used in many overseas destinations. However, as normal these blogs are for discussion so I would love to hear your comments on the below or if you would like to add anything. Please feel free to add comments below.
Spey Casting Basics – Spey Fishing Etiquette
Don’t step in below anybody.
This is the most basic rule. All fish are almost always facing upstream, and when you’re swinging flies you’re gradually working your fly down towards the fish’s face. If you step in below somebody you’re getting between the fish that they’re headed towards – basically, you would be cutting them off from any fish below them. Enter a run at the top of the run, above the last other anglers.
We all move at different paces, and that’s OK. But everybody should be steadily moving downriver at roughly the same pace, because otherwise it’s really hard to maintain adequate spacing between anglers which is very important. Small differences and delays are OK, however big delays causes problems. For example if I’m taking 4 steps each cast and you’re taking just 3 thats fine, I just need to be patient and wait a little. If you get a small tangle in the middle of the run, fine I just wait while you untangle it and keep fishing. But if you blow 5 casts in a row and haven’t taken a step yet that’s not OK as people behind you will be backing up and running out of space. Its time to move on downstream a good few steps to get yourself sorted and allow anglers above you to keep fishing.
If you hook a fish, you reel up and go back to the top of the run
Most people agree with this one but it is quite often the etiquette rule thats gets forgotten the most. If you’ve had a solid hookup regardless if you land or lose the fish, you give the water below you to the anglers behind you. (After all it is usually your fishing partner that you have travelled with and it makes for a better holiday if you both are catching fish) In general this only applies to a good solid hookup and not just a missed bite. Other people have the opinion that you only step out of the run if you land a fish, so what is your views on this one.
Do you think these points should be taught as Spey Casting Basics?
Its a very interesting topic so I would love to know what other points of etiquette do you believe in and should be taught as the Spey Casting Basics?
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