Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: west coast steelhead/salmon, BC/Alberta trout
Well, interesting question. Since I haven't fished Atlantics or on the East Coast the first thing I would want to do is my homework. I don't think that my approach would change with either class. Here are my typical steps:
1. find out how much experience the students have with two-handers. I would do this by sending out a brief questionnaire well in advance of the class. Questions would include: a) have you ever spey cast before? b) if "yes" to (a), how long have you been spey casting and which casts are you familiar with? c)what do you hope to learn during this class? d)what rod, line and reel will you be bringing to the class?
2. as Brian and Juro mentioned, I wouldn't change much in the way of the essentials or the steps I would use to get the class moving through the instructional sequence. However, as Juro pointed out, there are differences in the angling approach to the two species and I would make certain I talk to experienced Atlantic salmon anglers who use two-handers so that I have a knowledge base that would allow me to relate various aspects of the two-handed cast to actual fishing situations. However, I wouldn't presume that I know more about Atlantic salmon fishing that the students in the class, and I would defer to their knowledge of the fishery when seeking to make connections between the casting and the fishing.
Spey casting is a fly delivery method that has wide application, so the approach to teaching this skill is applicable to any situation that lends itself to the method. The fishing applications of spey casting will be unique to the fishery, and that's where I get the benefit of teaching the casting skills, because through a casting course I can learn a whole lot about fly fishing for, in this case, Atlantics.