4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Spey Cast Or Die

Brian Aguon, an Oregon fishing guide, is describing the benefits of spey casting. "First, you don't need to have a lot of room behind you to throw an 85-foot cast. Secondarily, it's easier for the spey rodder, especially fishing steelhead, if he needs to mend line. Say he's got a 14-foot rod, I don't care how good he is, he'll never mend as much line as..."

I blurt/croak/stumble, "When you say, 'mend...' "

This is going to be one of those interviews. I know nothing about fishing, less about fly fishing, less about the subcategory spey casting, which has become -- I'm not sure how -- the subject of this conversation.

Aguon continues, "Once the fisherman makes his cast, he can pick up line from where it landed, move it 14, 15 feet upstream and get a different angle on the sweet spot across the river."

Aguon, his buddy Chris, and me are standing on the concrete bank of a basketball-court-sized concrete casting pool. It's Friday; the Padres are out of town.

Chris, a middle-aged, short, rotund male wearing a burn-your-eyes-out orange Hawaiian shirt, says, "You fish more efficiently with your line in certain places. So, you have to mend in order to get that efficiency. You can mend much better with a longer rod."

Mending line, I'll learn later in the quiet of my reference library, is "using the tip of your rod to move, flip, manipulate the line so the fly is floating in a natural manner." Spey casting, while we're at it, employs "a two-hand fly rod, 12' to 15' long. The spey caster throws a much longer cast than a person using the smaller one-handed fly rod and can more easily execute change of direction roll casting." Or, to put this in English, spey casting is what everybody was doing in the 1992 Robert Redford film A River Runs Through It. Which is not a bad movie. It's set in Montana and shows off spey casting, which, all irony to one side, is a take-your-breath-away gorgeous thing to watch. Think tai chi with a giant fly rod.

"When you're steelhead fishing, for instance," Aguon goes on, "once you make your cast and you're quartering downstream, the line starts to sweep back to your side of the river. Right?"

Fuck, I don't know.

"So, you're casting, quartering downstream. What the spey caster can do is reposition the line upstream and make the sweep of the fly back to his side of the river much slower. Another big advantage is time in water. I read an article that had two guys casting, one used a one-hand, 9-foot, 9-weight fly rod; the other man had a two-hand [spey rod], 14-foot, 9-weight. Behind each guy was a ghillie [guide] with a stopwatch. They said, 'You guys go out and cast for six hours.' They wanted to see who was going to catch more fish.

"Neither man caught a fish that day, but at the end of six hours, the guy with the spey rod...his fly spent more than twice as much time in the water as the other man's fly. See, the cycle time for a single-handed rod is longer. With a single-handed rod you've got to pull line back; you have to false cast in order to work the line out."

One of the drawbacks about the great outdoors is that there is no door nearby.

"Another benefit," Aguon says. "Spey casting takes two hands; the distribution of labor is over two arms rather than one arm." Aguon lets loose a teenage-boys-talking-about-sex chortle. "It's the ultimate high-stick rod. It should be outlawed."

I experience a series of humiliating teenage sexual flashbacks.

Chris says, "Let's pretend for a moment that the river is flowing from our left to our right. You cast straight across stream, near the far bank. The fastest current is in the middle of the river. The minute the line lands, the line begins to move downstream -- it starts to belly downstream. As it does that it pulls the fly away from the far bank. So, what you do is, you mend the line by throwing an opposite; it's called a dome. That's mending the line. It's a line-manipulation technique. You're painting a line on the surface of the water. And you can do it two ways; once it's landed on the water or, if you're good enough, you can do it in the air, before it lands.

"Let's say you've made a cast out to the river, and the river sweeps it back and now your line is parallel to your bank. The spey caster has to pick it up and shoot it back out at a different angle. We call that a change-of-direction cast. A good spey caster can reposition his line at more and more acute angles."

I'm not going to leave here alive.

San Diego Fly Fishers offers free fly-casting lessons at Lake Murray on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. Bring your own gear or borrow theirs. Call 619-276-4822 for particulars.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

El Barbecue is especially best and new on Saturdays

Will this finally be the restaurant that sticks at 25th and Market?
Next Article

The memories floating in Judith Moore's mind

The small town, solitary holidays, the dad reading Babar, summers in Washington state, the gay uncle, granny's farm

Brian Aguon, an Oregon fishing guide, is describing the benefits of spey casting. "First, you don't need to have a lot of room behind you to throw an 85-foot cast. Secondarily, it's easier for the spey rodder, especially fishing steelhead, if he needs to mend line. Say he's got a 14-foot rod, I don't care how good he is, he'll never mend as much line as..."

I blurt/croak/stumble, "When you say, 'mend...' "

This is going to be one of those interviews. I know nothing about fishing, less about fly fishing, less about the subcategory spey casting, which has become -- I'm not sure how -- the subject of this conversation.

Aguon continues, "Once the fisherman makes his cast, he can pick up line from where it landed, move it 14, 15 feet upstream and get a different angle on the sweet spot across the river."

Aguon, his buddy Chris, and me are standing on the concrete bank of a basketball-court-sized concrete casting pool. It's Friday; the Padres are out of town.

Chris, a middle-aged, short, rotund male wearing a burn-your-eyes-out orange Hawaiian shirt, says, "You fish more efficiently with your line in certain places. So, you have to mend in order to get that efficiency. You can mend much better with a longer rod."

Mending line, I'll learn later in the quiet of my reference library, is "using the tip of your rod to move, flip, manipulate the line so the fly is floating in a natural manner." Spey casting, while we're at it, employs "a two-hand fly rod, 12' to 15' long. The spey caster throws a much longer cast than a person using the smaller one-handed fly rod and can more easily execute change of direction roll casting." Or, to put this in English, spey casting is what everybody was doing in the 1992 Robert Redford film A River Runs Through It. Which is not a bad movie. It's set in Montana and shows off spey casting, which, all irony to one side, is a take-your-breath-away gorgeous thing to watch. Think tai chi with a giant fly rod.

"When you're steelhead fishing, for instance," Aguon goes on, "once you make your cast and you're quartering downstream, the line starts to sweep back to your side of the river. Right?"

Fuck, I don't know.

"So, you're casting, quartering downstream. What the spey caster can do is reposition the line upstream and make the sweep of the fly back to his side of the river much slower. Another big advantage is time in water. I read an article that had two guys casting, one used a one-hand, 9-foot, 9-weight fly rod; the other man had a two-hand [spey rod], 14-foot, 9-weight. Behind each guy was a ghillie [guide] with a stopwatch. They said, 'You guys go out and cast for six hours.' They wanted to see who was going to catch more fish.

"Neither man caught a fish that day, but at the end of six hours, the guy with the spey rod...his fly spent more than twice as much time in the water as the other man's fly. See, the cycle time for a single-handed rod is longer. With a single-handed rod you've got to pull line back; you have to false cast in order to work the line out."

One of the drawbacks about the great outdoors is that there is no door nearby.

"Another benefit," Aguon says. "Spey casting takes two hands; the distribution of labor is over two arms rather than one arm." Aguon lets loose a teenage-boys-talking-about-sex chortle. "It's the ultimate high-stick rod. It should be outlawed."

I experience a series of humiliating teenage sexual flashbacks.

Chris says, "Let's pretend for a moment that the river is flowing from our left to our right. You cast straight across stream, near the far bank. The fastest current is in the middle of the river. The minute the line lands, the line begins to move downstream -- it starts to belly downstream. As it does that it pulls the fly away from the far bank. So, what you do is, you mend the line by throwing an opposite; it's called a dome. That's mending the line. It's a line-manipulation technique. You're painting a line on the surface of the water. And you can do it two ways; once it's landed on the water or, if you're good enough, you can do it in the air, before it lands.

"Let's say you've made a cast out to the river, and the river sweeps it back and now your line is parallel to your bank. The spey caster has to pick it up and shoot it back out at a different angle. We call that a change-of-direction cast. A good spey caster can reposition his line at more and more acute angles."

I'm not going to leave here alive.

San Diego Fly Fishers offers free fly-casting lessons at Lake Murray on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. Bring your own gear or borrow theirs. Call 619-276-4822 for particulars.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

The revelation and revival of 3-D

What I wouldn’t give for the deep-focus enhancement of Bambi’s Multiplane Camera pyrotechnics
Next Article

Popular moderns at The Shell

Wayfarer loses its way, but Payare keeps focus
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close