Spey rods are cool. They’re fun to cast, allow for casts with limited to no back casting room, and offer the ability to throw the heaviest of flies and sink tips with ease.
However, when swinging flies for anadramous fish, one of the greatest advantages of a two handed rod is the ability to mend and control great amounts of line with little effort.
We recently spent some time swinging flies with Alaska West guide and spey fishing aficionado, Hawkeye (no, that’s not his real name, but yes, that’s exactly what everybody calls him), and we picked up this little tip. While following him down the run (on river-right), after chucking a laser-tight loop to mid river, we noticed Hawkeye making a large upstream mend with his left (bottom) hand, before transferring the rod back to his right hand to fish out the swing.
Why bother? Because doing so allowed for line to be mended several feet further upstream than had he mended with his right (top) hand.
So, the next time you’re in need of the largest mend possible, such as trying to sink or slow your fly down as much as possible, be like Hawkeye and try mending with whichever hand is nearest the direction you wish to mend.. Regardless of what is your dominant hand.