teaching casts for specific student groups - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-25-2003, 06:29 AM Thread Starter
chrome-magnon man
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teaching casts for specific student groups

what sort of casts should be covered for different groups of students?

Beginning casters: which casts would you teach and why?


Also, how do we define these levels? I have a brief description of each level. Have look and let me know if you agree or if I shoud modify it:

spey skill levels descriptor

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-27-2003, 02:23 AM
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I thiink your definitions are right on.

As to which casts I teach a beginner that's easy. I start a beginner with the switch or live line roll cast to get them into the feel for spey casting dynamics. The switch also teachers the newcomer proper "D" loop formation, hand positioning, and firing position.

After s/he is able to do this comfortably and consistently (about 30 minutes time usually) I move on to the double spey because it is the easiest cast to have a newbie learn proper line and fly placement.

The third cast I teach a necomer is the Snap-T because it is far easier to teach line placement with it than the single spey. And it is not very different from the double spey either, which aides in it being learned.

The single spey is the last cast I introduce a newcomer to. And that is really all I do is introduce him/her to it and have him/her make a few single speys with a short line of 50 to 55 feet.

An Intermediate caster I will teach the single spey and snake roll. Also, I will teach an intermediate caster how to cast from his/her non-dominant hand the double spey, single spey, and Snap-T. And I will teach him/her the reverse single and double speys. Introducing the intermediate caster to a long belly line (if s/he has not been using one) and how to add power to the casting stroke to cast 80 feet or so is also important for an intermediate caster.

Advanced casters typically don't need much instruction. They do need to learn how to cast the extra long belly lines 100+ feet with several casts if they have not been using one of these lines already and figured it out on their own.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-27-2003, 02:47 AM
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Re your definition of intermediate caster:
"intermediate casters have fished a two-hander for a while and/or are reasonably comfortable with a few casts for both sides of the river and can use these casts to consistently toss a fly to most common fishing distances (example: single and double Speys to 80ft)"

The term "a few casts" may be a bit vague. Perhaps " ...comfortable with casts for upstream and downstream winds on left and right bank..."

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-27-2003, 07:24 AM
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Dana, the classifications are spot-on. I also agree with Bob's comments and enjoyed reading Flytyer's progression of casts.

I had one comment regarding the 100' distance in the advanced category. IMHO even for advanced casters, I feel it should not be necessary to throw 100' with some of the casts that make an advanced caster well... advanced. For instance, if the caster was asked to stand under an overhanging tree with a wall of blackberry bushes behind in water up to the label on the waders, I would be totally impressed if the person could execute a strong perry poke to 65-75 feet if the cast was done repeatedly and with good form (meaning that the energy transfer into the loop was strong, running line management was good, the angler held a strong stance in the water for safety reasons, the line fished well, etc).

That being said, given a 16'7" Thompson Specialist and a Speydriver if the caster could not achieve 100' with a single spey on an open gravel bar I could see there being a problem with distance expectations.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-28-2003, 01:08 AM
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You are spot on about an advanced caster being able to cast under a tree limb or with brush just behind your elbow. An excellent caster should be able to make a cast of 65 feet (possible longer if conditions were right) consistently with both floating and sinking tips. In fact, I feel that an intermediate caster should be able to make a Perry Poke of 45 to 55 feet in the same situation.

I know of a spot on an Olympic Pennisula river that requires you to make a cast of at least 70 feet (80 feet is optimum) to get a good fishable swing. The problem is that you have to stand up to your waist in the river, there is a drop-off right in front of you preventing wading any further, tree branches overhead about 11 feet above the river, behind is a high bank with small trees and shrubs, and slack water where the swing ends. To make the cast in this spot, you must make a side arm, double spey, with sort of a modified perry poke to send the cast the needed 70 to 80 feet across the river. Not many bother to fish this particular spot; but for those who can make a cast of sufficient length, this spot willingly gives up its bounty during summer and fall.

You are also correct about advanced casters and distance, not all casts are suitable for 100 foot casts.
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