One of the most fun and effective methods of trout fishing today is trout Spey fishing. Not a surprise, considering over the last few years its’ popularity has exploded nationwide. Why is that? Because spending a day stepping down a run casting and swinging is a relaxing change of pace.
Many blogs and magazines talk about trout Spey fishing as being somewhat of a surprise to anglers, and a great surprise at that. On more than one occasion, anglers will talk about swinging their fly through the water while enjoying the scenery all around, when suddenly, a trout aggressively grabs the fly and the battle begins!
Being that Spey fishing is so new, however, the conversation about two-handed rods and the variety of lines can sometimes cause worry or confusion. In fact, you might even wonder why on earth an angler would cast for a two-pound trout with a 15’ fly rod. Well, believe it or not, there are reasons and they’re growing in number every day.
If you haven’t spent any river time with a two-handed rod as of yet, you’ll end up being amazed at how uncomplicated it really is to learn. Not only do Spey rods start at the 2 weight and go up to the 5 weight, the newer rods come in shorter lengths, making them easy to handle. Another reason for turning to this medium is that trout anglers do not need to carry with them the wealth of “must have” flies, the fly box, and accessories. Swing fishing allows everyone to leave the list of items behind and carry just the rod, a sink tip or two, some leader material, and a small assortment of streamers.
When trout fishing with your new Spey rod, it becomes easy to just wade out, knee-deep, and start casting. Does this mean there’s nothing to learn; no reason to try it? Not at all. In fact, choosing this method makes you fish your fly, not just swing it. You look at the water more critically: Are you swinging through likely looking water? What can you do to make your fly fish through the water more effectively? And by asking these questions, you can learn to find even more holding water.
What are the various things you will learn when choosing this “new” world of fishing? Well, let’s talk about the perfect swing run, which is a long, broad run with a relatively uniform flow. This large run will likely have a defined current seam at the top, a fairly uniform midsection through the run, and then a broad tailout. Approaching this run with nymphing in mind is highly productive because you’d head to the defined seam at the top, which is exactly where the fish tend to be.
A shelf and bucket within a riffle can also make for success. The “bucket” is simply a deeper spot in the river, and riffles tend to hold a lot of aquatic insects because they’re highly oxygenated, making them popular spots for trout to hold. If you’ve got a riffle with a clearly defined shelf and a nice bucket below it, you’re looking at a hold for a number of fish, making it a great spot to swing through.
Pocket water can also be tricky to fish, but a whole lot of fun when it comes to Spey casting. Fishing pocket water allows the fish only a second to decide whether to strike out or not, which means the grabs you’ll get will be aggressive. So setting up in a spot where you can make a cast with a two-handed rod is a true challenge that makes swinging flies extremely interesting.
One other reason trout Spey fishing has become a true trend is the fact that smaller streams can also be great fun and add to the challenge of swinging flies. The spots are small and well-defined, so the active angler has to position themselves just right to locate the sweet spots and make the perfect cast.
So…wait no more! Give this method a shot today and it’ll soon be your favorite method of fishing.