Upstream/Downstream Wind / River Left / Right

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    Default Upstream/Downstream Wind / River Left / Right

    I'm very new to the world of Spey and simply loving it. I'm familiar with the mechanics of Single, Double, Snap T/ Circle C, Perry Poke and Snake Roll casts. I have a 13ft 8wt rod with a Skagit Flight head and 12ft sinktip.

    I feel a bit daft because I can't get my head around Upstream and Downstream winds combined with River Left or River right. I just seem to have mental block on it. I know the basic safety precaution of making sure that the fly is not blowing at me but that's it.

    I get loads of technical stuff but this one just twists my mind - sorry, a bit embarrassed!!!

    Also, when forming the D loop, the D is formed by the Rod and the flyline but does this include the sinktip or is it just the shooting head?

    Can someone help me?

    Cheers
    Chris

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    Dragonfly bronjuan's Avatar
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    I wont be much help explaining the spey cast in words...have you tried youtubing it? there are some good videos on there that show some of the basics...it's how I learned (plus a little trial and a lot of error ha ha)

    Actually my last day on the spey this winter/spring was my best day out. I managed to figure out source of the last consistent error I made while casting...for your reference...if you notice that your sink tip is dog-legging up stream on your cast, it's because you didnt drop the rod tip straight down, you dropped the butt in a sweeping motion that crosses your belly!

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    Scott
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    I may be wrong on this, so someone please correct me if that is the case, and forgive me if I lead you astray. I believe when you form you D loop, you want to have as little of your running line and or shooting heads on the water as possible. If you have too much of it still in the water when you start your forward cast, it will require more of a powerfull forward stroke, create more drag, and less of a tight loop as the line travells forward. This would likely be exaggerated if you are using a sink tip as the line will be deeper in the water, creating more tension and making it harder to pull out of the water.

    From what I've learned so far, and bear in mind I've just been learning this myself, is that you want about a foot of it on the surface of the water when you start your forwad cast.

    You'll probably get better advice from a lot of other people here. Have you watched any casting videos? Rios Modern Spey Casting is a great DVD set, I found it really breaks down the different stages of spey casting well. It also covers river left / right, and up / down wind sittuations, and which casts are more appropriate for those types of sittuations.

    Hope that helps.
    "It's a curious fact that estimated lengths and weights tend to make a fish larger than it really is!" Mike Maxwell, 'The Gilly'

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    What makes your question seem so difficult is that you are probably mixing up different spey casting styles in your head. Different styles will require different cast depending on wind and river direction. There are many many casts that can be done on river left with a downstream wind if you are considering all styles. It is important to learn what works for you and allows you to swing the fly properly rather than trying to memorize which cast to use in different conditions. I only use a few different spey casts with my skagit line. I will use a snap-T, double spey and perry poke, and thats about it. I will switch hands or cast cack handed if the wind is giving me trouble. A snake roll and single spey are not skagit casts and while they can be done with a skagit line they are more designed for other casting styles. When deciding what cast will work with the wind a simple rule of thumb is to form your D-loop on the side of you body opposite to the wind. So if the wind is blowing down stream form the D loop over your down stream shoulder. Any cast that puts the D-loop over this shoulder will work.

    When forming a D-loop with a skagit line your sink tip should be part of the loop, other wise there will be too much drag on the cast. This doesn't mean the whole sink tip should be in the loop, if this was the case you would have no anchor. The sink tip helps to anchor the heavy skagit line which allows you to form your D-loop and load the rod with the forward stroke. Other styles of spey casting will not utilize sink tips to the extent that skagit lines will so the D-loop set-up and execution will be different to accommodate those styles.

    I hope this helps.

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    Salmonfly
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    Lots of good advise above.

    Basically, for safety, you want to position your anchor on the down wind side regardless of river direction. So you might be looking at a double spey, or a snap-T / Circle-C depending on wind direction for basic skagit casts, but feel free to mess about. There are plenty of right answers to this one as long as the hook ends up heading out to a fish and not the back of your head, or worse...

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    Awesome advice guys. I feel like the pressure's off a bit now (self imposed pressure). Just got to keep on practicing now and adapting to the conditions I'm in. I reckon I'm going to need to try swapping hands too to cast cack handed - I'll truly be an allrounder then!!

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    Chironomid
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    River Right / River Left
    When standing in the river facing downstream you are either on the river's Right bank (River Right) or the river's Left bank (River Left).

    An upstream wind is travelling against the direction of flow; a downstream wind is travelling with the direction of flow.

    If the wind is blowing onto your right side, place your anchor on your left side, form your d-loop on your left side.
    If the wind is blowing onto your left side, place your anchor on your right side, form your d-loop on your right side.
    May the fish make you smile!

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