New "Must Have" book for spey instructors
I won't go into the things that I have already covered in my thread about this book in the Spey Pages Book Review section (which see), but rather those things I think most helpful to instructors.
In some significant ways, I find Al Buhr's new book (Two-Handed Fly Casting, Spey Casting Techniques, from Frank Amato Publications, Inc.) better for understanding the underlying fundamental principles of spey casting, especially for instructing purposes, than Simon's book. Especially helpful, from the instructor's viewpoint, are the separate and comprehensive sections on: Common Errors At The Start, Solving Problems, and an extensive Faults and Corrections section.
Also, the following sections especially seem designed to not only instruct the reader, but give the instructor excellent guidelines for teaching the topics covered: Components of a Spey Cast, The Cast, Tracking, Casting Stroke Fundamentals, The Three Phases of a Forward Cast, The Basic Principles, The Five Fundamentals, “Flip the Tip” Exercise.
All the fundamental casts are covered: Overhead, Switch, Single, Double, Off Shoulder; along with the Snake Roll, Circle, Snap-T; on into the Snap-Z, Chip, Perry Poke, Spiral, Cut, Contrived Loop; and further into really cool stuff like the Torque Twist. There is an excellent back of book Glossary, as well. Another thing I like in Al’s book, that Simon gives somewhat short shrift to in his, is the importance of “The Lift” in starting all spey casts. Al includes a proper Lift as one of the four basic components of a correct spey cast, which I agree with, while Simon leaves it out of his three basic principles. I have never understood this. The lift from the dangle starts it all. A bad lift almost always causes some problem later in the cast. Anyway . . .
From beginning to end I feel the book is written not just with the beginning to advanced spey caster in mind, but also the spey casting instructor. This is a book written by a consummate and inspirational instructor (those of you who have been fortunate enough to have been instructed or coached by Al Buhr will know exactly what I mean) which other instructors will find extremely helpful in honing their instructional skills. While I do not advocate cribbing directly from any book text for teaching purposes, preferring to find my own language, or language each student will understand, using Al’s language and descriptions as a spring board for adaptation would be a great augmentation to your own methods of teaching and coaching spey casting, in my opinion.
To further characterize Al's book versus Simon's, in instructor "speak," I would say that Simon's book is like Mel Krieger's "The Essence of Fly Casting,"and Al's book is more like Joan Wulff's "Fly Casting Techniques;" or, Simon's book is like Ed Jaworowski's book "The Cast," while Al's book is more like Mac Brown's book "Casting Angles." Every single one necessary to the serious instructor's library, but each different, with something worthwhile to learn from each. For the spey casting instructor, Simon's book is a "must have." So is Al's book.
As an instructor, I give Al Buhr's "Two-Handed Fly Casting, Spey Casting Techniques" my highest recommendation to other instructors.
FFF Certified Casting Instructor (CI)
FFF Certified Two-Handed Casting Instructor (THCI)
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"If the trout are lost, smash the state." - Tom McGuane
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