As it goes for most of life so it goes with spey.....practice makes perfect. Believe me, I needed the practice, but I'll let the other guys speak for themselves.
At any rate, we took the opportunity to get out on the water and throw some new rods and lines. While doing so, our resident spey enthusiast Will Turek gave us some pointers on how to throw better lines.
When I had a few minutes between casting sessions, I grabbed the camera to see if we could capture some shots of spey in action.
Here Greg Senyo works on his Circle Spey. As you can see he just made the cut on the bottom side of the "circle" and the anchor is in the process of moving to the upstream position.
(Note: To see the photo in greater detail, double-click to see the full-size image...this will allow you to see the line much better)
In this next photo I captured a problem that Greg and I were trying to eliminate as much as possible in our spey game during the day. When you haven't been casting regularly, it is all too easy to get a little relaxed in your casting stroke...which we both were demonstrating starting out. Here you see the problem....it's very slight.....not like some of my casts that we didn't capture on film :) The problem is a lack of a high rod stop on the forward stroke that develops a much more open casting loop on the forward stroke and prevents the potential of shooting long lines.
In this photo you can see a good stop (higher) on the forward stroke. Although we don't have a lot of need for shooting long lines on Ohio tribs, there are times when you will need to and good form is a necessity in those instances. Here you see Greg with a higher rod stop in the forward stroke than the previous photo that helped to produce higher levels of rod to line energy transference thus allowing more efficient shooting of line.
Here you see Will's near perfect example of a high rod stop with the developing tight loop that will not only allow for long lines, but also cuts the air more efficiently.
Another great demonstration of skill is found in this photo. The "D" loop is foundational to the spey casts. Without it you will not complete a fundamentally sound spey cast. Throughout the morning, we worked on trying to put some energy into the "D" loop thereby loading the rod more efficiently and setting you up for a successful forward stroke. It is a part of the stroke that needs to be felt, and here you see that Will feels it. This is as near a perfect loop as you can throw. When you can get the "V" in your "D" it demonstrates that the energy is building in the back of that loop. Now if we could just do that on every cast.