The wires are humming in the world of fly fishing. More people in the U.S. are coming to realize that spey casting is very practical and possibly the better technique on the waters they fish.
Spey casting techniques have been used in Europe for a long time. They have been used by a small percentage of people in the U.S., but that is changing. Numerous articles, shows, and videos have been put out in the last several years that have sparked the interest of many. I've noticed that people who are new to fly fishing have heard about it and are curious to learn more. The sport fishing industry in the U.S. has been ramping up production of rods and lines and most major fly rod&line manufacturers now have some form of spey fishing equipment to offer.
Spey casting was developed on the River Spey in Scotland where you couldn't wade out far from the high banks. Specific casts developed that allowed fishermen to get their flies out into a big river with little room behind them. Two handed rods around twenty feet long allowed for long casts.
It would be great if I could teach you the casts here, but casting in general is hard to teach through writing. Video is another option that is fairly good medium to teach casting, but it designed to teach masses of people and does not deal with the different learning styles of individuals. Finding a teacher would be the best. There is no substitute for personal instruction.
Even though I'm not going to go into detail about the specific casts I still want to cover some misconceptions and benefits. People often find spey casting associated with two handed fly rods. They are called "spey" rods here in the United States. What a lot of people don't realize is that spey casting is a style of casting and that it can be used with any type of fly rod. You'll find spey casts are very beneficial on the brushy streams and rivers around home using your single hand fly rod. The biggest advantage of the spey style of casting is that it allows you to cast in places were you have little back cast room. You can make casts directly across river or out into the lake with branches, high banks, and vegetation close behind you. This means you don't have to wade out as far from the bank to make a cast. Maybe the water is deep and you can't wade out far enough. Maybe the fish are spooky and your better off staying close to the bank. When you get into these situations you can pull a spey cast out of your bag of tricks. You'll find yourself reaching into the bag a lot and wishing that you had learned the casts years ago. A friend of mine predicts that most fly fishers will learn these casts in the near future. It will become the normal way we go about our fishing. Spey casting is not just a passing fad, it's around for good.