I sometimes teach a bit of Spey casting technique, sometimes. I watch a lot of Spey casting. I also hear a lot of spey casting. The sounds produced by spey casts can and often tell me what the problem or casting situation might be. On the other hand a well performed cast makes the sweetest sounds of all.
The truth is most Spey casters are visual learners. I said MOST casters. I can say throughout my progressive and continued journey and education in the art of casting, that as I became more attuned with my other senses I learned more about the process of Spey casting. Simply by the sounds produced or not produced, can give insight into speed, tempo, power application, dips, and stops. Seems like a lot, well it is. Josh Lynn a friend of mine described the sounds of casting in a way that the noises produced by casting should not effect the harmony of nature. Meaning if you can hear your casts over the sounds of the river (John Day excluded), the birds or the wind on some occasions, something’s not right.
Now I am going to do my best at to give a list of the noises made during casting and the reasons for the produced sounds…again doing my best, lol
In the lift and set up sound of a nice kiss a “mwah” as the line breaks the water in the setup of any cast is the sound we are looking for. a loud “GUP” is what i often hear when the line and fly are not under control or excessive power is used to early in the lift.
A loud “Whistle” in any aerialized part of the cast means….,you have no fly. Better take a peek at the end of the line.
The samurai sound of “WHHHHIITHHH WHHHHITHH”The rod slicing through the air in a rhythmic but quick fashion, but never letting the line touch the water to anchor. The rod never really loads well, at the sametime I hot have seen some interesting casts performed in the manner, and every now and again a good one, lol
A slapping sound of “WHAck” the running line smacking the rod and coming tight to the reel with so much force that the line tends to recoil back toward the caster.
A slurping sound like “QUUUUUUUCKKKK”! is the unmistakable sound of way too much anchor.
The unmistakeable whipping of the line, due to to much accelerated speed will result in a thunderous “CRACK” and possibly the removal of your fly.
A weak crashing or puddling of the fly line in the forward cast can have a few meaning the sound ends up the same with a series of “Plop..plop..plop.plop.plop.pppppllllop”. This sounds is affiliated with the fact there was no based for the cast to load off of. Either you blew your anchor and the forward timing was WAY off or your anchor was so long it effected the trajectory of the line so that all the power was used getting the line off the water and none left over to propel the line anywhere.
An over loud whisper “Wheech” is the soft but ever present sound made by a cast performed in the manner of proper power application and timing. The best sound a caster can hope to hear,….well maybe an old Hardy reel screaming against the pull of a good fish!
These are a few of the more common noises I get to hear in a day at work. I know some of you will relate to some of them. The great historian Herodotus quoted that “Men trust their ears less than their eyes”. In today’s world this was never more true. If the same sounds is made the same technique is being applied. A gregarious Scotsman once told me “Son a Spey cast should sound like the barely whispered sigh of a satisfied woman, if it makes more noise then that you used too much FN power!” As inappropriate as it sounds he in an odd way is correct. The whisper is what we are all after. Hope this helps some of you.
On another note winter trips are filling fast, so shot me those dates boys and girls so we can get you on the water this up coming Winter Steelhead season.