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Put a little spey in that cast

First-ever demonstration teaches efficient fly casting techniques

Posted: May 11, 2012 - 12:00am

Switch. Spey. Single-hand. Double-hand.

For some, these terminologies can be confusing, especially when they are combined with phrases such as “shooting line” and “double-haul.”

But the folks at Juneau Fly Fishing Goods are aiming to shed a little light on switch and spey casting at the first-ever public demonstration event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday on the Mendenhall River, just upstream from the bridge on Back Loop Road.

Mike Cole, web manager for the local fly fishing store and avid fisherman, said anyone wanting to learn more about switch and spey casting is encouraged to come.

Switch and spey casting is a discipline within the sport of fly fishing that, in short, allows the fisherperson to cover more water with greater efficiency. Cole said the techniques that will be presented Saturday are most effective for big water such as when fishing in Gastineau Channel or on big rivers like the Kenai and the Naknek further north. Switch and spey casting is also particularly effective for throwing large flies, like the kind used for king salmon, for example.

“We’ve been doing some introductory classes, (and what we’ve found) is there’s a lot of people who don’t know about the two-handed options for fishing around here,” he said.

With these techniques, Cole said, anglers can “acheive as much, if not more, distance with less casting strokes.”

At Saturday’s event, in addition to the demonstrations from experts, there will be demo rods and lines available for attendees to sample, Cole said. Instructors will also be on hand to answer questions all day and topics such as spey casting, two-hand overhead casting, single-hand casting, to name a few, will be covered.

Cole said there is no sign up and the public can come by any time during the event. There is no charge, but participants are asked to dress for the weather and hip boots or waders are recommended. For more information, call 586-3754.

Because, he said, “in the fly fishing world, there’s not one tool that does it all; (this) is just another tool.”

• Contact Outdoors editor Abby Lowell at abby.lowell@juneauempire.com.

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