...AKA the Rogue Spey Clinic.
1. Fred and Joan Evans are as gracious a host and hostess as I've had the pleasure to encounter. They welcomed this large group of strangers into their home and made us feel genuinely welcome. Joan gets my vote for tour guide/photographer-of-the-year!
2, General Fred Evans and his aide-de-camp, Dave Kelly (aka Avid), were better organized than Norman Schwarzkopf planning his attack on Saddam Hussein. Whether it was detailed, color-coded maps, engraved name tags, river-side porta-potties or dessert from Harry & David's, superb organization was evident at every stage.
3. Steve Choate and Way Yin aren't just superb spey casters, they are first-rate spey casting instructors. I'm sure all of you appreciate the distinction. Their curriculum was thoughtful and incremental; their teaching personal and consistently positive. The first word from Way's mouth was generally: "Sweeeeeet!" Only then would he gently show you how you could improve the cast.
4. The Rogue Valley in April is one of the more beautiful places on this green planet.
5. A picture is indeed worth the proverbial thousand words. Watching video of yourself is enormously instructive. Watching video of yourself in a room full of spey casters who are consuming large quantities of scotch and fine wine is another matter. The other kids at camp can be very, very cruel!!
6. The Windcutter is the devil's spawn. Continuous taper, long-bellied lines rule!! Now where do I get one?!
7. Rogue fish do indeed like that big ugly bug, the Otis. While it is slightly offensive to tie it on your line at first, you get over it quickly.
8. Keep very close tabs on your truck keys, despite your Sunday morning hangover. It is no fun sending the whole group back out on the gravel bar looking for your keys when they are in your vest pocket!
9. Always think ahead to where and how you will beach a fish if you are fortunate enough to hookup with one of God's supreme creatures - especially if you are alone. There are added complications when tailing a fish with a 14'3" rod if you don't have your private gillie handy.
10. There are a lot of warm, generous, interesting and funny people in the world. It just seems that a disproportionate number of them swing a spey rod.