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Spey and Switch Casting


If you think the West Coast is the only place you can catch a steelhead on a swung fly, think again. The Lake Erie tributaries offer excellent opportunities to catch steelhead Spey casting and fishing swung flies on two-handed Spey and switch rods. Due to the sheer numbers of steelhead that move into the Lake Erie tributaries in the Fall and Spring, the Ohio and PA watersheds provide the perfect place to learn and hone your Spey casting and swung fly technique. Though our rivers and streams might be smaller than the fabled steelhead waters of the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, it’s possible to catch more fish in one day on the Lake Erie tribs than the average western steelheader catches in an entire season.


Whether you’re interested in learning to Spey cast or want to get out on the water and see for yourself what the swung fly technique is all about, Steelhead Alley Outfitters can provide you with the proper Spey casting instruction and match you with guides who are experts at catching steelhead on a swung fly.Yet, Spey casting and fishing is about more than just catching fish. If numbers were the end all and be all of fishing we’d never put down the indicator rod. In fact, we’d probably start tying spawn bags. However, like you we appreciate the grace, beauty, and efficiency of fly casting and are constantly searching for the ultimate grab by a hard hitting steelhead. Spey casting and swinging flies with two-hand rods lends itself perfectly to this task. Casting with two hands on the rod requires less effort and slows down the fishing rhythm allowing enjoyment of cast, the swing, and perhaps more importantly the natural beauty that surrounds us out on the river. And the tug… the tug is THE drug! Many a good indicator fisherman has been ruined by the electrifying smash, grab, and run of a silver fish fresh from the lake.


Guided Switch Rod Trips

Switch rods are hybrid single and two-hand rods with a slightly longer top and bottom grip. Typically they are 10′ 6″ to 11′ 6″. They are perfect for fishing the smaller tribs in OH and PA and allow for maximum versitility “switching” between single hand casting and fishing techniques and two-hand Spey casting and fishing techniques. (Although we mainly fish with switch rods, we’re not shy about breaking out the bigger sticks, 12 – 14′, for higher water conditions or for fishing on the Grand River).


Often we’ll carry two separate spools on the river, one for indicator nymphing and one for swinging. Though it is possible to use a spey line for both, especially when fishing at close distances as is the situation on many of our rivers and streams. We fish long belly steelhead lines for single-hand applications and  short shooting heads (Skagit or Scandinavian) for Spey casting or multi-use applications. Of course, for most of the two-hand work swinging flies we use sinking tips. We carry a variety of lengths and sink rates of sinking tips  to match the constantly changing water conditions and cover all depths of the water column.


switch-fliesAlso, it’s probably no secret that our guide staff has some of most talented fly tyers in the Great Lakes region, so you know our fly boxes will be filled with proven fish catching streamers of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Whatever the case, whether you have your own equipment or need us to provide for you we will make sure you have the right tools to get the job done.


Spey Casting and Fishing Technique Instruction

Steelhead Alley Outfitters is proud to offer the services of regional Spey casting expert Will Turek. Will has been teaching Spey casting since 1998 and currently offers instruction through his company known as Midwest Spey. After spending 10 years on the West Coast, he returned home to Ohio and brought his enthusiasm for Spey Casting and swinging flies for steelhead to the Midwest with him. Will has been instrumental in promoting Spey casting and fishing throughout the Great Lakes region in his former role as a fly fishing manufacturer’s sales rep, numerous public Spey casting presentations and demonstrations, and courses offered through Midwest Spey.


wrt-castingClasses are designed for anglers of all skill levels. No prior knowledge is required, though students possessing an average level of skill with single hand, overhead, and roll casts may have an easier time learning spey casting and fishing techniques.

We guarantee our classes will provide you with the best opportunity to maximize your learning experience!


Here is what you can expect when you attend one of our classes:

     –  Student to instructor ratio is kept low to ensure a high quality learning experience.

     –  One instructor for a maximum of 4 students.

     –  Two instructors for a maximum of 6 students.

     –  Teaching methodology includes instructor demonstration, casting exercises,

         individual instruction, and plenty of time to practice on your own.

     –  We teach the most current casting and fishing techniques designed to work

         with today’s modern equipment.

     –  Use of rod, reel and line is included upon request.

Students are required to provide: a valid fishing license, wading and rain gear, sunglasses.



Introduction to Spey Casting

Learn to spey cast switch or spey rods and get the straight line on equipment needed for the Great Lakes region and specifically Lake Erie tributaries in Ohio. Basic spey casting principles, Circle spey and Double spey will be taught.


Duration is 4 hours.

Cost is $150 per angler.

2017 Dates: TBD


Introduction to Swung Fly Fishing Techniques

Learn to fish with a switch or spey rods and get the straight line on equipment needed for the Great Lakes region and specifically Lake Erie tributaries in Ohio. How to select tips, flies and presentation based on water conditions. Reading water and locating fish based on the season will also be covered.


Duration is 3 hours.

Cost is $150 per angler.

2017 Dates: TBD


Private Instruction

For information on private spey casting instruction, please contact Steelhead Alley Outfitters’ spey specialist Will Turek. Will has been teaching spey casting since 1998 and is recognized as one of the top regional casting instructors. He currently offers instruction through Midwest Spey.

willturek@gmail.com. or call 330-807-4828.


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