(photo courtesy of christopherrownes.com)
If you’ve seen some fly anglers toting or casting some unusually long rods, you might have wondered what they were up to. The long, two-handed rods are used to spey fish, a technique developed in the 1800s in Scotland. The longer rods and unusual casts help anglers fish bigger rivers since they can cast farther with less effort and can cast better in windy conditions.
The sport caught on in the Pacific Northwest about 25-30 years ago among steelhead and salmon fishermen. Back then, the rods could extend up to 18 feet and were heavy. Since then, tackle and rod manufacturers have created smaller rods and better lines that make the sport easier to learn. Two spey casting instructors visited the Bighorn River recently to give a class on the casting technique – Mike McCune and Whitney Gould. They’re continuing a tour of Montana this spring and will present classes on the Missouri and Big Hole rivers, as well.
To learn more about the sport, see my story on The Billings Gazette Outdoors page online. http://billingsgazette.com/lifestyles/recreation/
(This post was written by Brett French, Outdoors Editor of the Billings Gazette)