When I was taught to spey cast, on the River Spey as it happens, it was very much based on the arm and body action. I cannot remember the advice on stance since I was too busy concentrating on the arms and the position of the rod.
Later I was told to have the opposite foot leading to the arm casting and so I do this automatically now.
However, when doing the snake roll it seems easier with the same foot leading as the casting arm.
What advice do you have for beginners getting started with regard to stance in relation to the various casts?
As a self taught fly fisher - formative years away at school outwith pater's fishing influence in that respect - I adopted a very utilitarian approach ie. what felt best for me in those particular cicumstances, safest, only available footing, so that I could then concentrate of the actual casting and fishing.
Since then, I have played about with stance on a few trips and in different circumstances, on advice I have seen proffered on the variety of Speycasting videos / DVD's I have, but when it comes to the crunch, I will revert to what feels best for me.
I don't feel the relative 'rigidity' of guidelines and advice about stance from the great and the good is always the best in every individual case.
Much like rod choice - what feels best, and works for you.
"Be you most gentle with your fishing, and even gentler with those you are fortunate enough to capture, as, for a fleeting moment, you will be handling the future parent of the fish that you would wish to cast a fly at tomorrow..."
I, too, am very much self taught, and I have a very long way to go yet, but it seems sensible to have the right foot forward when casting, right hand uppermost, from the left bank. Ideally, I would try to point my right foot in the direction of the intended cast, with my left foot pointing about forty five degrees downstream of the angle of the right foot, the left heel comfortably positioned about a foot or so behind the right heel and in line with the direction of the cast, thus allowing my body weight to be easily transferred from front to back foot and then back again to the front foot on the forward cast. Of course, when deep wading on a difficult riverbed, a secure stance will take priority.
The opposite foot forward to the casting arm seems to help with balance due to the body twist that takes place but I know what you mean about feeling awkward when you first try it.
I believe most people are self-taught. In my spare time I also teach swimming and have a national STA teachers qualification. I have noticed that people actually teach themselves a stroke once you demonstrate what to do. I teach beginners to spey cast but it is just to get them started and I although I am not qualified I think people fundamentally learn in the same way.
This is something which caught my attention when watching the Rio dvd over the winter, and I have started to put it into practice more this season.
For a single spey RH up, putting the left foot forward seems to allow better/easier body rotation during the sweep and, in particular, for forming the D loop in the correct plane for the forward cast.
I used to suffer badly from the leader catching on the fly line as the line unfurled on the forward stroke - I'm pretty sure that not forming the D loop at 180 degrees to the forward cast direction is the main reason for this fault?
Anyway, I find body rotation during casting, and rocking back on the heels slightly, is easier with the left foot forward.
I guess there is no right or wrong way to stand when casting but I always cast with right foot forward ,right hand up, left foot forward, left hand up and, during teaching I advise the same. The main reason is because during the double and single spey we are using upper body rotation to assist in the change of direction . If, for example right hand up single spey right foot forward then as my body rotate's into position my shoulders are directly square and lock into position where it can then transfer/lead forward in a straight path. However if I have the other foot forward my shoulder's can over rotate causing the equivalent of a slice during the forward cast ,it feels very unnatural . Also during the spey cast the line must go outward during the change of direction in a semi circular-ish movement as it can't cut corners. By transferring the body onto the leading foot and then onto the back foot it makes this change of direction much smoother and easier, but, more importantly everything is kept nice and straight during the forward casting movement.
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