Sorry, but I really hosed up when I posted this question. By way of explaination, 'competition' wasn't on my mind, 'instruction' was. Hence, a better choice of wording might have been 'ratings' instead of 'rankings'. The fact is, finding qualified instructors, or more precisely, how to determine whether someone who advertises spey lessons is a good teacher is non-trivial for the beginner, especially one without mega$$ to spend on one of the spey gods.
I recommend you take Dana up on some lessons or his school.
I'll tell you why. I took his spey school a year and a half ago.
He does a great job, and it just isn't because of the school.
An example. Since I've known Dana, I think we have become friends to some extent. But I still consider him a casting instructor to myself as well. Anytime I dream up something spey, or have a question, I've fired off an email to him. Aside from his obligations as a Dad, Husband, Teacher/Guidance Counsellor, Angler, Conservationist, Kingfisher club member, and the many other fascets he takes up, he has always replied whenever he can find time and listened to my questions, and answered them as best as he could type trying to explain them in a way that I could best understand. And I view that as a committment from him to help make you (or in this case me) a better caster in the long run, not just at the school.
Also, there are a lot of casters out there. Many great instructors, pioneers if you will, who have helped develop this sport we all love (spey casting, spey fishing). I can put money down that there probably aren't many people anywhere near Dana in terms of knowledge and well roundedness of all things Spey. How many people are great long lined spey casters, and then can overnight change to fast action and the underhand method?
On a final point, don't confuse Spam, with the TRUTH! This is not a plug.
And I'll stand by my words. Take Dana up for 2 or 3 hours worth of private instruction. If you don't come out a better caster afterwards, or don't feel confident in what you learned and you being able to apply it to improving yourself, I will personally write you a cheque to reimburse you for half of your casting lesson. Keep in mind this offer is for you only.
Well, we do have our little 'do' in Jolly Old England.
Àll tounge in cheek aside, the 'best,' in MHO falls into to two broad groupings. ( God this is taking forever; attacks out the ying-yang on my/Joan's newly installed "firewall" tonight)
Those that CAN, with a capital "C." And those that can! and can teach!!! it to others. Looking at the 'results' from Jolly Old from a few weeks back, and having # 1 and # 3 as instructors, 'they' fit the bill under both criteria.
To keep this in context, this is not intended as a slight to any one else.
I had an article up on the Spey Pages a little while back that went over some of the things to look for when searching for an instructor, but I see that I dropped the link to it during my last upload. I'll see if I can fix that up tonight. Have a look for it tomorrow on the Spey Pages home page under the "Finding a Casting Instructor" link. Hopefully you'll find it helpful.
Holy smokes! That's quite an endorsement! The cheque's in the mail! However, if you'd seen a few of my afternoons on the Thompson this past fall you'd recommend I get a few lessons myself! Upstream wind/crosswind in your face snake rolls, anyone? :chuckle:
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