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So you think Spey casting is Difficult.

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Mike Oliver

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I am helping a group of U.K. Anglers prepare for an overseas trip and part of that is to teach a Circle C cast and a double Spey for when the wind is blowing downstream. This with 9’ 6 wt single hand rods and std wf fly lines. The reason is to make a single cast to re present across the river to set up another swing. To do this with an overhead is just a pita unless you are able to make a change of direction overhead cast which is still not the cleanest solution and difficult to turn through 90 degrees.
After just a few demonstrations of this cast and a bit of talking through everyone was able to make a workmanlike effort inside of ten minutes. Crazy. Pretty exciting for me and them.The usual common mistakes surfaced straight off the bat but were addressed straight off the bat which equals a result.

Here is the $64000 question. Could they have self taught. Based on my experience teaching other casts to them highly unlikely. What has blown me away is that after just around three lessons totalling maybe 9 hours every individual is starting to acquire a really good technical cast. In financial terms it has not cost them more than a high end fly line each. If we continue the programme together in six months they are all going to have a really good technical capability to cast a fly line extremely well. What really pleases me is that they are not going to have to acquire the book of excuses for a less than average cast, spend hours on forums debating casts or spends a kings ransom on gear and be a victim of the marketing boys as they try to buy a cast. The most economical way to buy a cast is to get qualified help.

The pleasure you get when you can cast well is something rather special. Helping others in that journey is off the scale. No pecuniary interest as I am 3000 miles away.

Suggestion rather than that super new high end rod that will give you good loops all by itself invest the money where it will give you the cast you always wanted. Spend it with a qualified casting Instructor. USA FFI. U.K. AAPGAI. or GAIA.

Does this resonate with anyone. To be fair I was 68 before I started weekly lessons. I wish I had started sooner. Ok my Previous cast was not rubbish but the current one bears no easy comparison.

 

Mike

Edited by Mike Oliver
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Well. Said it took me 2 years of serious work to get to where I am with casting. Now that I have improved I can honestly say certain rods are better than others.  Very few anglers in the U.S. really want to put the effort in that’s needed to get good at this. I bet there’s more euro nymphers than Spey guys in this country. But it is deff growing. 

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Good for you.
Herd mentality is a global issue.  Euro nymphing requires way less casting skill than a fly line. New entrants can very quickly learn to pick every pocket in a river or stream. The incentive to actually fly cast can go out the window. Sadly the Trout get more pressurised.

 

The message I have been trying to sell is if you do have ambitions to get good at this sport invest your time and money in acquiring a good cast. All the other associated skills are worth Jack if you can’t get your fly to the fish.
mike 

Edited by Mike Oliver
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1 hour ago, surfflyguy said:

Well. Said it took me 2 years of serious work to get to where I am with casting. Now that I have improved I can honestly say certain rods are better than others.  Very few anglers in the U.S. really want to put the effort in that’s needed to get good at this. I bet there’s more euro nymphers than Spey guys in this country. But it is deff growing. 

 a very good friend of mine his son took a 10 lb brown trout euro nymphing this month , 

My question with Spey

What is your accomplishment ?  

  If it has fins i want to catch it 

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Just now, surfflyguy said:


the fact that I can actually cast and catch fish willing to eat as opposed to drifting what’s essentially just a bead in front of the trouts face 

Thanks for the speedy reply,  It looks very relaxing ..would you consider it a more of a take ratio than other presentation offerings?  

  If it has fins i want to catch it 

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3 mins ago, Hook I said:

Thanks for the speedy reply,  It looks very relaxing ..would you consider it a more of a take ratio than other presentation offerings?  

Relaxing for sure especially seeing the cast fly out. Is it the most effective way to catch fish deff not. If I needed to eat I’d grab the euro rod. But with the Spey rod you are hunting for the one fish who is aggressive and wants to play 

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Surf

 

Here are the math. 4 guys. If they wish.it up to 6 hours a session. £50 each. 3 sessions so far so £150 per man. Rio Elite line in the UK is £119. £200 a day in UK is an okish Blue collar wage.  Casting lessons over here are I think more reasonabley priced than the US. I know one teacher who is world class and charges £40 an hour. That's around $48. Ok some charge more £50 to £60. I would rather charge less and get some work. I am new with no reputation. It.is also not just about being paid. It is a huge buzz seeing  guys go from zero to good technical fly casters in a short space of time and really enjoying the lessons.

For added fun two of them had a go with my 15 foot spey rod. Ten minutes and they were able to produce the beginnings of a Circle C cast with a mid spey length line which is about 63 feet long. Reality is if you have a person demo you the cast,show the rod path way,the tempo of the cast,the hand positions and final key position it does not take long. What you see on the first few efforts are big mistakes of course. But those are sorted and put right rather than get grooved in. It is a revelation to me just how quickly a person can learn how to spey fly cast well. Overhead is more difficult. On first sessions it was pretty bad and you wonder how the hell you are going to get the students to cast well. Second session small improvement but the third it was just amazing . I was seeing beautiful overheads with good rod pathway and great loops. Looked like they were experienced casters. Yes I would not believe me either. Lol. 

When we are young we go to school. We have driving  lessons with a qualified instructor most of us. Golfers get lessons. Good clay shooters get lessons. But fly casters give me a break. The evidence is there to see everywhere you look. We get people who book for one lesson and never return. Somehow one hour is seen to be enough. The interesting ones are guys who come for just a double haul lesson and when you ask them to show you their overhead cast it is less than good. It is a very difficult job trying  to explain that we need to put the foundation blocks in place first of all. Some instructors are not keen to do just one hour lessons anymore and only offer a course of lessons. When I have my own  lessons which I try to have weekly one hour goes in the blink of an eye. So I pay for two. My Mentor loves casting so much he will stay on and we share a rod and cast for another two hours. Then I stay on until its dark as for me it is a 270 mile round trip so might as well get the most time from the day. Buzzing all the way on the journey back home. My Mentor now let's two of us share a lesson for double handers where he teaches us and we teach each other. We all critique each others cast including the Mentors. We try and find reasons as to why a cast fails in any way. We look to find better ways to teach. I have my Kelly Kette and brew up hot tea and coffee. We cast all through the winter so hot  drinks are just so good. The craic and camaraderie is off the scale. We are on the CPD pathway and constantly trying  to improve our cast and knowledge. Hard to put  into words how good this day is. Nothing to stop any group of guys getting together to Improve their casts.

Mike

 

Edited by Mike Oliver
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22 mins ago, Mike Oliver said:

Surf

 

Here are the math. 4 guys. If they wish.it up to 6 hours a session. £50 each. 3 sessions so far so £150. Rio Elite line in the UK is £119. £200 a day in UK is an okish Blue collar wage.  Casting lessons over here are I think more reasonabley priced than the US. I know one teacher who is world class and charges £40 an hour. That's around $48. Ok some charge more £50 to £60. I would rather charge less and get some work. I am new with no reputation. It.is also not just about being paid. It is a huge buzz seeing  guys go from zero to good technical fly casters in a short space of time and really enjoying the lessons.

For added fun two of them had a go with my 15 foot spey rod. Ten minutes and they were able to produce the beginnings of a Circle C cast with a mid spey length line which is about 63 feet long. Reality is if you have a person demo you the cast,show the rod path way,the tempo of the cast,the hand positions and final key position it does not take long. What you see on the first few efforts are big mistakes of course. But those are sorted and put right rather than get grooved in. It is a revelation to me just how quickly a person can learn how to spey fly cast well. Overhead is more difficult. On first sessions it was pretty bad and you wonder how the hell you are going to get the students to cast well. Second session small improvement but the third it was just amazing . I was seeing beautiful overheads with good rod pathway and great loops. Looked like they were experienced casters. Yes I would not believe me either. Lol. 

When we are young we go to school. We have driving  lessons with a qualified instructor most of us. Golfers get lessons. Good clay shooters get lessons. But fly casters give me a break. The evidence is there to see everywhere you look. We get people who book for one lesson and never return. Somehow one hour is seen to be enough. The interesting ones are guys who come for just a double haul lesson and when you ask them to show you their overhead cast it is less than good. It is a very difficult job trying  to explain that we need to put the foundation blocks in place first of all. Some instructors are not keen to do just one hour lessons anymore and only offer a course of lessons. When I have my own  lessons which I try to have weekly one hour goes in the blink of an eye. So I pay for two. My Mentor loves casting so much he will stay on and we share a rod and cast for another two hours. Then I stay on until its dark as for me it is a 270 mile round trip so might as well get the most time from the day. Buzzing all the way on the journey back home. My Mentor now let's two of us share a lesson for double handers where he teaches us and we teach each other. We all critique each others cast including the Mentors. We try and find reasons as to why a cast fails in any way. We look to find better ways to teach. I have my Kelly Kette and brew up hot tea and coffee. We cast all through the winter so hot  drinks are just so good. The craic and camaraderie is off the scale. We are on the CPD pathway and constantly trying  to improve our cast and knowledge. Hard to put  into words how good this day is. Nothing to stop any group of guys getting together to Improve their casts.

Mike

 

You are definitely passionate Mike and the teaching you are doing is great for the sport. I got into the Spey world about 6 years ago and it was very difficult for me mostly because I bought a switch rod and I bumbled around. During the last two years I have attended every clinic I could have and have deff improved. It’s an investment but the sport is also more fun when you become a better caster 

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Surf, the Switch rod if it is at least 11 feet long can be a nice way to get into Spey casting especially with a skagit line. I really like Rio’s Skagit Launch which has a front taper and holds the loop through the cast very well. For air born anchors the Rio Scandi Versa Tip with the wallet of tips is good and of course you can use water born anchors as well. I am not qualified to teach double hander formally but the switch rod could become one of the rods I use on begginers lessons. I am waiting on a nice 13’ 6 inch 8 wt blank which I will  use to teach Spey casting with longer head spey lines. These days most people are moving to either skagit lines or shooting heads. I found the Vision Carrot floating shooting head which is around d 42 feet long really nice to make all the spey casts with. Sadly not made anymore but plenty of SH on the market. The short, mid and long head spey lines are falling out of favour. I understand why as for occasional Fishers they are much harder to cast than a SH. But lifting a 63 foot head off the water , then moving it to anchor and key position and then deliver is such a lot of fun plus it is very efficient. I now understand the joy that is spoken about by Fishers who Spey cast these traditional long head lines. Whilst it is special I also really enjoy casting Skagits especially the big ones like the 725grain Rio Game Changer which just fly off the rod tip and are so good at delivering big tube and then getting them down deep in fast runs and pools. This line matched to the rod properly is almost scary you feel you can knock a brick wall down with it. We need the SH of course so we can fish around the pool with flies like the Francis and Sun Ray where we need to draw the flies. So nice to cast the SH when I don’t need the big 15 footer.

I found for the Steelhead this Nov on the Catt that swinging was really a marginal tactic as the water was cold but gave it a go. On the Ohio Tribs I stuck with it for a week for no fish. But there were few fish anyway due to very low water conditions. In 15 days no fish to the swing but it was fun. Next year hopefully The water will be bigger and warmer and the fish more aggressive. I can only imagine the take.

 

mike

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Surf where do you your clinics. One year I will get back to Cape Cod in the spring and we could meet up for a cast. I can’t wait too long as your 30 inch fish which are in abundance currently will get cropped and there is nothing coming behind them.

If there are a few other guys interested who are currently learning to spey cast we could set up a small clinic.  By small max of four plus myself. Not going to cost anyone a cent. Maybe a doughnut and hot coffee.


Mike

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Shoot, I thought Mike Oliver was going to teach Spey casting in this post in 3 easy steps, but now I see the light. I have never been able to teach myself single handed or double handed Spey casting from demonstrations online, which there are plenty of,  so I’ve come to the conclusion that I need a teacher or mentor. When the student is ready the teacher will appear.

Edited by flyrad10
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1 hour ago, Mike Oliver said:

Surf where do you your clinics. One year I will get back to Cape Cod in the spring and we could meet up for a cast. I can’t wait too long as your 30 inch fish which are in abundance currently will get cropped and there is nothing coming behind them.

If there are a few other guys interested who are currently learning to spey cast we could set up a small clinic.  By small max of four plus myself. Not going to cost anyone a cent. Maybe a doughnut and hot coffee.


Mike

 

 

........tea and biscuits you mean.....

Currently have aphasia.    Aphasia is a result of my head stroke causing a bleed.   Happened in my Maine vacation in July (2021).   Lucky me less than 1% of people get stroke aphasia.  :(      I'm making project but have been told this is easily 5 months to 1 year for this to improve.   Until then hope you don't mind making sense with what I text.   HT

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