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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Salmon River
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New to Spey

my question is, is it worth paying the money for say lessons or will i be able to pick it up pretty easy. i have worked as a guide and won multiple over head casting competitions so i am very confident around the stick. what do you guys recommend i do. spey is a new monster to me. but i am absolutely obsessed with it. im a die hard streamer junkie for trout so that is probably the fish i will target first
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 08:51 AM
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Location: Snake, Clearwater and tribs
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I can tell you my experience....

I have fished with single handed rods for about 20 years. I bought my first spey rod this summer and bought a few books and several videos. I could get the line out there but obviously not doing it correctly. I paid for a lesson with a local guru suggested by Poppy. We had 2h on grass then 2h on the river and it made all of the difference in the world. I was working too hard at it, going to fast, and generally screwing up what should be an elegant and easy way to cast. I think my experience with single hand rods caused some real problems that this guy took care of. I dropped some big bucks on getting set up so a few dollars more on the lessons was worth every penny.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 08:56 AM
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You will learn yourself but lesson or two does not hurt. Have you been able to avoid single hand Spey? If you cast SH Spey then TH Spey is like "slow motion".

Good hauling technique gives very good background for bottom hand use as efficient TH Spey casting uses both hands and timing is similar.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 10:02 AM
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Just a thought or two from someone whose taught a lot of flolks how to spey cast.

GET A LESSON .... and be quick about it. The worse part of 'teaching' casting is trying to un-whined 'bad habits' that a self taught caster quickly develops. The other 'up' for a lesson is (hopefully) you'll get to try out several rods/line combo's and get a good feel for 'what you like' (or don't).

That alone can save you a ton of bucks as you buy additional gear. The last thought would be to attend one of the open (they're free if memory serves) classes given in your area.


Fred Evans - White City, Oregon
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 10:58 AM
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I Strongly recomend that you go out with a buddy, having comeone stand behind you while you cast makes a world of difference.
they will be able to pick up on little things that you (the caster) would be otherwise oblivious to

it really helps
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 11:23 AM
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Spey lessons

Going with a buddy is the best way if you have that available to you. Watching the Skagit master videos is what helped me alot. I would watch the first video then go out and cast and cast till I felt I got somewhere. The biggest thing you want to make sure of is your line matches your rod. I learned that the hard way. if you can go out with a buddy do that at first. If that dosn't work go with the lessons.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2011, 01:08 PM
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Location: Pacific Northwest
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Definitely get lessons! You can build a lot of bad habits trying to learn on your own. Spey casting, like golf, another Scottish invention (though some say the French invented it first) is largely counter-intuitive. If you're an accomplished single-hand caster there are some deeply ingrained habits you'll have to overcome in order to master Spey casting. You'll progress faster, with a whole lot less frustration if you hire a good instructor. I took a great beginner's class from Travis Johnson, Josh Linn and Marcy Stone of the Fly Shop at Welches http://[email protected] and have had a couple of more lessons from Travis, who recently won 2nd place in one of Scotland's distance Spey-casting championships. I can't say yet that I'm an accomplished Spey caster, but I'm making good progress, catching steelhead, and getting the fly out there as far as I need to. Next summer I hope to enroll in one of Simon Gawesworth's classes. I highly recommend his books, SPEY CASTING and SINGLE-HANDED SPEY CASTING, as well as the excellent Rio DVD, RIO'S MODERN SPEY CASTING, which features Simon, George Cook, Mike McCune, Scott O'Donnell, Dana Sturm and Ed Ward.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2011, 09:17 PM
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I'm just posting based on my first spey casting experience: I'd get an instructor. I can't personally afford one, being a college student, but it seems like a really good idea if you have the opportunity.

My first ~3 hours trying to figure it out after watching a few DVDs and a sh*t load of youtube videos was absolute frustration. I finally figured out what I was doing wrong (mainly not setting up my anchor), remembered some of Dec's advice in his phenomenal book, and managed to get it pretty well nailed. I did manage to get a "critique" from an experienced spey fisherman that was camped near us, and he said my form looked pretty good. Hopefully I'm not learning any bad habits.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-13-2011, 10:34 AM
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When I got started I went through a lot of grief, even though I watched videos and read articles.

This article won't answer all your questions, but it will answer some.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-2011, 01:18 AM
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Location: Alaska
Posts: 202
Hi Skagit Rat,

Getting spey casting lessons early on with shorten the learning curve considerably. For about the price of a good spey line, you can get 2 hours with a certified two hand instructor. This investment will pay dividends long after you have worn our a line and move on to a new rod.

I tried to learn spey casting from book and videos. In a couple of years, I had a decent fishing cast and a whole bunch of bad habits. It was not until I began working with experienced spey casters that I began shedding my faults and my casting improved dramatically.

There are several good instructors around the Snake River. You can find them by going to the Federation of Fly Fishers website and searching under the find an Instructor tab.

Keep spey casting, it only gets better and better.

RL Winston Rod Co. Pro Staff
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