Re: Spey cast....
I have been messing around with the spey rod for a while now and I am not sure what cast I use each time I cast and I have given up on keeping all the different cast in my arsenal straight. Between the Single Spey, Double Spey, Snap T, Snap V, Circle C, Snake Roll, Perry Poke and all the others I have system overload. For me there are a couple of things I concentrate on and the particular cast I use to get there is of little importance. I usually use some variation of the Circle C or Single spey to get my anchor point established. If I don't like the anchor I roll cast the line back below me and start over.
First and foremost is controlling my urge to muscle the rod. The rod length and knowing that it has the power to make a huge cast gets in my way all the time. My best cast come from using the least amount of effort. Along with this I find that I am usually rushing myself. I have to slow myself down all the time and my flask of Pendelton usually helps the most. Being deliberate and not feeling rushed in my cast makes a world of difference. There is a reason the great casters make it look so effortless, they are slow and deliberate with every movement of the rod. When I rush I usually set a poor anchor and the cast goes nowhere. My friend that I spent 12 days with in BC really pounded home the idea of watching where you anchor the line, the correct anchor will make a great cast while a poor one will go know where.
My other mistakes are usually trying to use too much line. A shorter line cast further for me than a longer one. I see single hand casters make this mistake all the time as well. A long cast isn't made by carrying a lot of line in the air or on the water, it's made by shooting the line. When my cast go bad it is usually because I have all of the belly of the line as well as some of the running line out of the rod tip or in the water. Once I shorten up the length of line and get some of the belly of the spey line back in my rod guides my cast usually works out. I took a sharpie and put a mark on my line so that I am certain that I don't have too much out. The mark on my line has helped me more than anything else I have worked on.
Another great tip I have gotten from several casters is to push the rod tip up rather than out. With the long rod it is very easy to want to over power the tip and force it towards the water and the middle of the river. When I concentrate on a short stroke and pushing the tip of the rod up I find that I let the rod do more of the work rather than me trying to throw the rod. No matter what type of fly rod you are using, they never respond well to too much power at the wrong time. I have to tell my folks all summer to "Let the rod do the work" don't try and do it yourself.
I hope these help you out, Get out and practice it will help you more than anything. Good luck and wear your hood on your wading jacket, it helps keep the flies out of the back of your head.