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a/k/a loophitech
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Hmmmmmm, for me, the most influential casters in order since I started spey casting are:

Aaron (Speybum)
Speypages and Dana's videos
Mike Kinney
Simon Gawesworth (book)


Now, as for of all time: I have only read briefly from the following and have little to no experience with others that are definitely out there...

authors such as Jock Scott, Eric Taverner

Oh yeah, did I mention Speybum??

Vinnie
 

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Surely it has to be a Scot, we have been Spey casting for centuries not just 20years or so.
 

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a/k/a loophitech
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I am now only finding out more about the history of spey casting since I started tying spey flies and reading about them. My experience other than with the people mentioned in my first post explains my lack knowledge of the forefathers of spey casting. I am sure with more posts and more names thrown out I will expand my knowledge and appreciation for this fine fishing technique that was born in Scotland. ;) :)

Vinnie
 

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chrome-magnon man
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Discussion Starter #5
I will nominate Alexander Grant, Hugh Falkus, Goran Andersson and the unknown Speycaster(s) who first developed the technique in the 1800s.

As you nominate folks, please think about your criteria and let us know what it is. Mine would include the following:

  • developed an important casting style or technique
  • published a respected work of lasting significance on the subject
  • has had an important influence on today's casters
 

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Relapsed Speyaholic
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It would be hard to argue Grant as number one. Mine would also include, using the same criteria that Dana laid out, Derek Brown and Simon. Derek for "the" video and the influence his style still has on many of us and Simon for his wonderful tome on the sport and the invention of the Snake.

While I would not want to embarras him by putting him up with the most influential list overall, my personal award would go to our own Kush who showed me some years ago exactly what a marriage of power and grace could look like. After watching him execute a series of casts clear across Thunderbird, I knew I would never look at the long rod the same way again.
 

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#&%*@^# Caster
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Well I think this is a two part answer. Yes guys like Grant and Jock Scott(for putting Grant into words) are defintely the forefathers of our sport. Then the sport kinda went dead for a long time and the guys in the last 20-30 years have pushed the sport to new levels. Getting spey casting introduced to North America where a lot of advances have happened. Much like with basketball where Naismith invented it but guys like Julius Erving, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Michael Jordon elavated the sport to new a whole new level.

I give a nod to Grant for getting this started and here is my list of guys whom I think have helped drive the sport over the last 20-30 years. Being a west coaster myself my list may be biased...

Jim Vincent - In my mind played a huge role (if not the largest) in modern spey line development.

Simon Gawesworth - Responsible for the best video and book on spey casting. Also had a hand in modern, fast actioned spey rod development. Almost everyone in the spey casting game has learned something from Simon.

Goran Andersson- Father of underhand casting.

Jimmy Green - Big hand in modern spey rod development on the west coast.

Hugh Falkus - One of the first to really put spey casting methods in print.

Derek Brown - Excellent video and sparked renewed interest in ultra long belly casting.

Maybe Mike Maxwell...

There are others in the last few years but time will have to pass before thier mark on the sport can be judged. Guys like Dana with the speypages, the modern spey casting guys like the Syrstads, possibly the skagit guys like Ward and Kinney as well. There are a bunch of others as well.

I am sure I left some out and will add them in as I think more about this.

-sean
 

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Member FRSCA
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The most influential

The most influential person of speycasting of modern times????? Being here in the Great Lakes where spey knowledge is somewhat...... I don't want to say "limited", but the sport isn't really a mainstream form of taking fish (but it is growing), and there isn't really a wealth of available knowledge at most of our local shops.

With that said, I would have to say this website and the team of moderators on this web site has been the most influential group in speycasting in modern times. This site has brought speycasting to the masses, and without it I would still be flailing away with an 8wt salmon/steelhead taper on a 13ft 8wt rod at 6th street dam in GR MI wondering what I am doing wrong. More likely I would have posted the thing on a claasified site somewhere and would be watching a thill bobber drift down the stream.
 

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I would nominate Jim Vincent - for bringing spey casting to the North American masses with his lines and videos.
speydoc
 

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o_clarki_clarki said:
I am now only finding out more about the history of spey casting since I started tying spey flies and reading about them. My experience other than with the people mentioned in my first post explains my lack knowledge of the forefathers of spey casting. I am sure with more posts and more names thrown out I will expand my knowledge and appreciation for this fine fishing technique that was born in Scotland. ;) :)

Vinnie

Yeah, what Vinnie said.

Even though my Grandfather was born and raised in Inverness, he knew much more about catching carp in the Detroit river than salmon in the Ness.
 

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Falkus for me !

When the words "spey casting" are mentioned, for me it`s Hugh Falkus.
In my opinion, he revived something that had been around for years, but brought it to the masses in a uniquely acceptable way.
Don`t get me wrong, there have been many others whom have done their bit for the sport, in no small way, but Falkus would have to be my "numero uno".

Cascade.
 

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Of course, the fishermen who have been using the spey cast for generations in its native Scotland must take most of the credit; they were the ones who set the framework for everything that we now do. Many of their names are long forgotten, but Grant set a standard which modern casters can still only aspire to. For this reason he must surely hold a place in the pantheon.

In recent years, I think it's got to be Falkus. It was he who really drove the revival and popularisation of spey casting, not only in his 1994 book but also in his writings prior to that. So much of what has happened in the last 20 years or so stems, directly or indirectly, from him.

I'd be interested to know who developed the first modern speycasting line, as opposed to the double tapers which used to be the only choice. To my way of thinking, this is the one area in which real advances have been made. Modern rods are great, certainly, but it is the specialist line tapers which have really made the difference, not only to the prodigious distances now being achieved, but also to the ease with which this once mysterious art form can now be acquired by newcomers. I think Michael Evans may possibly have been the first person to produce a commercial line designed specifically for speycasting; he started in the early '90's if I remember right. But whoever it was certainly deserves huge credit for this major advance in the world of spey casting.
 

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Most influential...

Losts of good names posted, but any list is incomplete without "Pacific NW Steelhead [Fly Fishing] Guides." These are the folks from Oregon through British Columbia that brought spey rods to, and more importantly developed fly lines for, the west coast of North America steelhead fisheries 20+ years ago. So many names that are probably already forgotten...

Sort of like the "Unknown Soldier" at Arlington National Cemetary represents legions of the US's fallen finest, the term "PNW Steelhead Guide" gives due respect to the folks that brought us practical Spey casting. This is not to equate Spey fishing with military heroes, but is offered as an comparative linguisitic example.

Jim Vincent distilled PNW Guide knowledge into a superb range of Spey Fly Lines, and continues to push the bar higher with regularity. He made a wise decision to associate Simon Gawesworth with Rio Products, thus keeping Simon in the North American Spey community. And Simon's influence cannot be overstated.

Jimmy Green, naturally.

Goran Anderson has tremendous influence because of the fundamental soundness of his lower-hand-dominant teaching.

Wasn't it our own Fred Evans and The Fly Fishing Store in Welches, Oregon, that introduced the "clave" concept with the first Sandy River Spey Clave? Claves certainly have been beneficial to our community.
 

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I think that the question has to be divided into two distinct historical periods.
The first being the genesis of the spey cast and the subsequent refinements. The second (allthough in Britain this may not be the case) the renaissance of the technique. Personally I was introdroduced to the use of the big stick in the late 80's by articles by Falkus,Ashley-Cooper, etc. in the British mags and in the literature of Haig-Brown discussing his fishing with Col. Money in B.C.. I was well aware of the "salmon rod" as the summers of my formative years were spent with my grandparents in the town of Ballater on the river Dee. Each year the arrival of the fishers was viewed much as we anticipate the northward migration of birds in the spring. I thought if for Salmon then why not for Steelhead? and ordered my first blank in 1990. This was reinforced by the odd article from the west coast and especially with Trey Combs Steelhead Fly Fishing in '91. I fumbled away for quite a few years until I saw Derek Browns video which helped somewhat. When Jim Vincent got smart and made his second video with Simon that became my epiphany. My casting improved by 25% within a week. The man is a natural teacher. Although everything else was going along OK I was still having the odd problem with singles going to [email protected]#$t now and again and not knowing why. I then was fortunate enough to meet him at a clave a couple of years ago and within 5 mins. he had straightened out 4-5 years worth of problem.
I guess what I am saying is that in a historical context we have to judge based on a written history which is only as accurate and complete as that which is recorded (in fishing we all know from exp. how little and how accurate that really is) but in a subjective context we all know who we have most benefited from. That is why I feel I cannot answer in a truly objective manner but on a purely personal basis I would still be struggling with some pretty half as$&d casts if Mrs. Gawsworth did not have any babies.
Thank you very much Simon :)
Ramsay

PS don't know if this really a correct response to the post but it is something that I have been meaning to say for quite a while
 

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Indicators Anonymous
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When considering Spey casting as a whole, it is hard to name just a few.

My own top 3 would be:
Goran Andersson
Dana
Ed Ward

Personally, Goran Andersson influenced me more then anyone else.

I learned loads after spending the better part of a week getting to know Goran and talking with him. And then after spending a day with him on the river, I was changed forevor. It was an awakening of sorts (for me it was huge...I first picked up a two-hander 9 years prior....and began pursuing it seriouly about 5 years after that initial experience...it all finally made sense)

I have to give serious kudos to Dana as well. Not too long after my awakening with Goran, Dana told me to pull down and not in, in regards to the bottom hand.

And with that, I very quickly went from a competant but very incosistent Spey caster who was confused with what direction I should go to a very capable, consistent, convinced caster who could once again, focus on my fishing instead of my casting.

...which then led me to Ed. I was convinced to never look back after hearing the stories about those who knew him, then reading what he had to say, then watching him fish and cast and getting the oppurtunties to pick up pointers, tips and tricks. Plus I have the upmost respect for Ed, because it's all about the fishing! :)
 

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Dana: A great question indeed!

If one were to break out the question into two separate components:
1. Most influential by advancements in Spey casting itself
2. Most influential in improving visibility/access/popularity/media,
I think that the answers may be somewhat different, and certainly give the Board members more to chew on!
 

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JD
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most influential

Everthing previously posted, all good stuff. For me it was this board, or more correctly, it's predecessor, the ISC, the Sandy Clave, and the guys who particpated. Thank you all.
 

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"Most Influential Speycasters of All Time"?

Grant, (way ahead of his time)
Wood, (who has not fished greased line)
Jock Scott, (for putting it down in print,a great book)
Hugh Falkus, (growing up in the UK he was the man)
Mike Maxwell, (he gave a lot of people there start with a two hander)
Jim Vincent, (superb lines)
Simon Gawesworth, ( instructor, great video, great book, GS lines)
Derek Brown, ( instructor, great video)
Way Yin, ( instructor, XLT lines)
Steve Choate, (instructor, XLT lines)
Fred Evans, (Sandy river Spey Clave)
Bob Larsell, (Sandy river Spey clave)
Dana Sturn (Spey Pages)
:)
 

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Can I suggest Michael Evans, I believe he was the first to introduce the colour change flylines that showed the change from front taper to running line.
 
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