Simon was in Sacramento this past weekend - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-04-2004, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Simon was in Sacramento this past weekend

This past weekend Simon conducted 2 one day workshops on the American River in Sacramento hosted by Jeff Putnam and Kiene's Fly Shop.

I was able to attend the Sunday session. It was great.

The class was small with about 6 of us. (People came and left.).

There were no formal casting/teaching sessions. Simon had us spread out and down the river. He would work his way up or down the line. He would stop ask you what you wanted to work on.

You would tell him the cast you needed help on. Then, he would watch you try a few casts. Next he would show you how to do the cast and break it down into easy to follow steps. Then you would try to put it together. When you got it basically down, he would go to the next caster in line.

Imagine that you had a health problem that you and your local MD couldn't handle. Then, you got the opportunity to have the top Mayo Clinic MD re your problem to work with you. That is what it was like with Simon, the top Spey Doc doing grand rounds with you.

My son, the Cromag, who uses only the Single Spey and a right hand dump cast advised me not to work on more than 3-4 basic casts so I could get back to fishing as well as casting. I had decided that I would focus on River Left at first and the Single and Double Spey casts, since I really didn't fish River Left up to this session . Then, River Right with the same casts and when the wind came ripping upstream, the River Right as that is the situation of most of my fishing in Northern California and Southern Oregon.

Then, I would work on the Snake Roll on both River Left and River Right.

Thanks to Simon's patience and skills, I feel like I accomplished my goals.

Sure enough at one point, the wind came ripping upstream, and I got to work with Simon with my Single Spey with the wind ripping up stream. This was made even more interesting due to the heat. A large % of the Sacramento non English Speaking "Immigrants" descended on the river and at times I would be closely surrounded by 10 or more bathers/waders in range of my rod or line or both. I didn't hit any of them with my rod or line. So, I was able to handle a strong upstream wind with a lot obstacles in the water near, around me and in range of my casts.

Bob Pauli and another member of our Napa Fly club attended. Bob attended both days.

We all tried each other's rods, reels and lines, and Simon had every Rio line known by man there.

Jeff and his people did a great job. Jeff even took sun gloves out to casters to fit them and sell them the correct size glove while they were in the river casting. The ultimate in service. Maybe Jeff will start advertising his casting school and Kiene's on these pages.

If you get the chance to partipate in one of Simon's Spey workshops, do it. You will not be sorry!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-04-2004, 03:56 PM
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Simon rules!

Everytime I run into him at a speycasting event, I learn something new about refining the mechanics of the various speycasts. Several years ago, he actually managed to get me throwing a passable single spey. Now it's one of my favorite, and strongest, casts.

His great gift is the ability to break down the mechanics of the casts into easy-to-understand segments.

Happy Casting!

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-04-2004, 09:13 PM
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last year you could see Simon go down the line of casters trying out lines and rods and see a marked improvement in the casting as he went down the line. That type of selfless help is great - Simon rocks.

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Practice is about increasing your repertoire of ways to recover from your mistakes. Joann C. Gutin
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-04-2004, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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t_richerzhagen, Double Spey

After seeing Simon in action for my first time with a group, the comments from both of you are right on target re Simon and what he offers to us.

A couple of times while I was resting in the shade, I watched Simon work his way down the line. After he did his magic, the speyer was casting better.

Now I understand why people like Bob Pauli try to attend every year when Simon returns to their area. I intend be there each year as long as I can wade and cast.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-04-2004, 09:53 PM
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Hey Grampa

I was one of those who was there for a while in the morning Sunday. If I knew you were there I would have shaken your hand. I fish there about 4 days a week. I was out there casting when you all showed up in the morning and then I moved down out of the way. I did come back a while later and snap a few photos. Looked like you all were enjoying yourselves. Funny, I actually stumbled unknowingly into Simons class the day before. I got to the river about 1 o'clock and it looked like Jeff (my instructor) was finishing up a group lesson, so I waded out and started messing around with a new line, doing a pretty poor job of it too. After a few short minutes I noticed a thin fellow walk past me talking, and that voice rang a bell..... "Oh S***" , I just walked right out into Simon Gawesworths class! I reeled in pretty quickly and sheepishly backed out of there. Boy did I feel like a big dummy. I must tell you all that Jeff Putnam is really a great instructor. Anybody in the area interested in learning spey casting would benefit greatly from his attentive instruction. You can tell that he really wants you to succeed and goes to great pains to convey the principles of the casts to you. He and Kiene's fly shop are top rate. Not a blatant plug, just my opinion!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-05-2004, 02:32 AM Thread Starter
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Where you the big guy who moved downstream?

You should have come up and said hi to everyone.

In spite of the temp and the invasion later on, we had a great time. Jeff and his crew plus Simon made it a great day.

Give me an email when the shad start running. We can meet and do some shad fishing.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-05-2004, 08:42 AM
Here we go again!
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Cool Yep, that was me

I did politely say Howdy to a couple of the fellows ans spoke with a nice gent for a moment or two but I figured you guys were paying big bucks for that class so I'd better graciously stay off to myself and not take up anyones time. I really wanted to meet Simon, but aside from a friendly "Good morning" I again didn't want to take up any of the time he was dedicating to his students.
Sacramento is a pretty hot place to live and with a half million residents there is no way to avoid the crowds anywhere on that river. It's about the only cool place to be on a hot afternoon. But if you fish it early you'll usually have plenty of solitude. Also, in the evenings if you can find a place with tougher foot access and no beach to speak of you'll lose the crowd, but there at watt ave in the park? Forget about it. It is an area that holds a good number of fish though, and is great in the winter.

The Shad are in now, and they're being taken into the upper stretches of the river. I will be going in the evenings after work. Let me know when you're in the neighborhood. Try Howe ave, above Watt and above Sunrise.
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