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!