Best Sporting Innovator 2024 - Winner Scottish Country Sports Tourism Awards

How to make a Single Spey Cast

How to make a Single Spey Cast

Fly fishing is a mesmerizing art that requires skill, precision, and adaptability. Anglers constantly face challenges such as limited casting space and tricky wind conditions. To overcome these hurdles, fly fishing enthusiasts developed various casting techniques over the years. One such technique, the Single Spey cast, emerged in the 1800s as an effective method to cast a fly line across a river with limited space behind. In this blog post, we'll delve into the history of the Single Spey cast and explore why it remains a go-to choice for anglers when confronted with an upstream wind from the upstream shoulder.

The Origins of the Single Spey Cast: The Single Spey cast has its roots in Scotland, where the pursuit of Atlantic salmon attracted numerous anglers. The Scottish rivers were often lined with dense vegetation, and provided limited space for backcasting. To effectively present their flies in such conditions, anglers devised a casting technique that minimised the need for a large casting space behind them. The Single Spey cast was born out of this necessity and quickly gained popularity among the fishing community.

Mastering the Single Spey Cast: Executing a Single Spey cast requires practice and an understanding of the fundamental principles behind it. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of the cast:


Advantages of the Single Spey Cast: The Single Spey cast offers several advantages that make it a reliable choice, particularly when facing an upstream wind from the upstream shoulder:

  1. Limited Backcasting Space: By using the downstream anchor, the Single Spey cast allows anglers to effectively cast across the river, even in confined spaces. This is especially advantageous when trees, vegetation, or steep riverbanks restrict the backcast.

  2. Upstream Wind Compensation: The Single Spey cast's design makes it well-suited for casting against an upstream wind. The D-loop formation on the upstream side of the angler minimizes the impact of the wind, enabling the line to unfurl smoothly towards the target.

  3. Reduced Fatigue: Compared to other casting techniques, the Single Spey cast requires less physical exertion and a shorter casting stroke. This makes it an excellent choice for extended fishing sessions or when anglers need to conserve energy.

Conclusion: The Single Spey cast stands as a testament to the ingenuity and adaptability of fly anglers. Developed in the 1800s to overcome limited backcasting space, this technique remains a go-to choice for many anglers. 

Leave a comment