Oregon picks up spey casting technique

Commonly used in both the UK and Scandinavia to lure Atlantic salmon, spey casting has recently emerged as a popular method to catch steelhead trout in the north-west US.

Spey casting uses two-handed, longer rods and a roll cast technique to load the line with water to make the fly carry further, with accomplished casters reaching 200 feet or more.

"Twenty years ago, two-handed rods were almost unheard of in North America, though they were the weapon of choice on Atlantic salmon rivers in Britain and Scandinavia." writes Chris Santella for the New York Times, but after switching to spey casting for better reach he has seen improved results.

"With the two-handed rod, I can easily make casts far longer than I could ever hope for with my nine-foot rod. And I can do so with less effort - especially with the heavy sink-tips that are necessary to reach fish during the winter months."

Ever since, Mr Santella has been helping spread the word about spey casting in the US, along with fly fishing guide Mark Bahmann who organises a spey casting festival on the Sandy River, east of Portland each May.

publication date: Apr 23, 2007