Have you ever started off a day feeling great about your cast only to change runs and have it seemingly all fall apart? You’re blowing your anchor, failing to get your D-loop elevated off of the surface of water, or any other of the myriad of things that can go on while spey casting.. We all have.
We’re fortunate to watch a lot of anglers throw a lot of spey casts over the course of the year, and one of the most frequent errors we see is an angler not adjusting the height of the plane of their casting stroke to match the depth at which they are wading. Allow us to explain.
Assuming all steps of your setup (lift, set, and sweep) and forward cast stay the same, its important to adjust the height of your casting plane as your wading depth changes by adjusting the height of your hands (you can also adjust other parts of your cast, but that is another conversation entirely). When wading shallow, you can lower your casting plane (by lowering your hands) to form an efficient D-loop, but as you wade deeper you will need to raise your casting plane appropriately (again, by raising your hands) to form the same D loop in relation to the height of the water.
To give you a better image, let’s take it to the extreme. If you were standing armpit deep in the water, the height of your hands would need to be head high or even higher in order to form a proper D-loop to produce an efficient forward cast. In contrast, if you are casting on a platform above the water, in order to keep your same casting stroke, lowering your hands closer to waist height can be a huge help to keep from blowing your anchor.
Adjusting your hand height as the depth of the water you’re wading changes will give you the ability to make a more consistent D loop, thus resulting in betters casts throughout a variety of conditions.