I have had the, “how can I become a better caster” question a lot this season already. First lets talk about what makes a great caster.
A great spey caster does not need to be able to cast 200′. A great caster has full control of his line and rod, and is able to place his anchor correctly every time.
Practicing casting can lead to a more enjoyable time on the water as well. We all say that you don’t have to be a great caster to catch Steelhead, and for the most part this is true. I will also say that the bester caster will make more effective fishing casts in a day. Good caster can control the angle of their casts to match the flow of the river cutting down time between casts, he or she will also mend less and have the ability to cast farther if needed. A great caster will also be in the bushes less, regardless of the style of line he fishes.
Go slower I have to tell myself this one all the time. Spey casting has nothing to do with power, it is all about great casting control and timing of power application.
Keep your anchor in front of you. If the majority of your spey line is anchoring behind or to far off to one side then this is not good, because the anchor is out of place it takes more energy to make the cast or the cast fails because the amount of power applied was not enough to overcome the poor anchor. While an anchor that is placed in front of the caster and just slightly to the anchor side of center is already faced toward the direction of forward cast, and due to the forward motion of the rod will be more easily picked up in the forward stroke.
If you are already a good caster or you are just bored with the casting style you are using, then use a longer line, try learning a new cast, learn to fish with your weak hand up. Keep yourself growing in the sport. None of us will ever learn it all but we can all get better and become better casters.
I posted a new video of some casting. I wish I had a better video recorder but this is what I have. Look at the body movements and the slow controlled cast. I had a slight head wind and this cast goes about 165 feet.