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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Streams in the GWNF, SNP,Potomac, Rappahanock and Shenandoah Rivers, Exploring NY and PNW rivers
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    Default Recommendations on a Multi-day Spey Casting Clinic

    To the Spey sub forum...WAKE UP!!! LOL. Now that folks are tracking this. Ever since my trip out to PNW I have caught the spey casting bug. I can and have taken 1-2 hr lessons here in my area and they have been fine but I know how I learn best and that is with coaching and repetition of correct technique over a period of days so that my muscles develop the memory of the movement and the technique sticks. So I'm looking for recommendations for multi day Spey casting clinics preferably held on the east coast anywhere in either on either the Salmon River or the Delaware River watersheds would be perfect, In doing preliminary research it looks like there is a guy "the Spey Doctor" who offers something along these lines, a similar sounding course run by the Tight Lines Fly Shop out of Parsipany, NJ and of course there is the Orvis course run out of their Altmar , NY location. The orvis course seems to be closest to what I had in mind of the three so I'd love to hear back from folks who attended it or any of the other clinics mentioned. Also additional suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
    "To many afflicted Eastern fishermen, the 'Green Drake Hatch' is as irresistible and habit-forming as black jack, whiskey, or easy women."
    Caucci and Nastasi, Hatches II

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Recommendations on a Multi-day Spey Casting Clinic

    The Speydoctor, Walt Geryk is a good one. He's out of Malinda's shop in Altmar. Super nice guy and seriously knows his stuff. James Rusher who I believe owns Whitakers and Greg Liu who guides out of there are good as well for casting instruction.

    Lou Guerrieri from Isle-Fish is another one to consider. I don't know much about him I'll be honest. Jay Peck is another.
    And the last, if you can work it out, would be author and casting instructor Rick Kustich. I'd look him up on his website or Facebook and see if he offers 1-on-1 instruction.

    If you got the scratch.....the 3-day school/guided trip is offered out of the Tailwater Lodge. Orvis mothership Fly Casting instructor Pete Kutzer offers casting instruction 1 day and you have 2 days fishing with a guide. If it includes breakfast, lunch and dinner...it's not a bad value and you get pampered I'm sure. Nov 8-12 2020 is available now. That's alot of money though if you're strictly looking for casting instruction.

    Orvis Steelhead Fly-Fishing School/Tailwater Lodge - Orvis

    They have other schools available across the US.

    Fly Fishing & Shooting Schools & Lessons -- Orvis

    Don't forget about the Speyclaves that come up all over the US. Spey Nation is June 27, 2020 at the Tailwater Lodge in Altmar. Good place to cast rods, listen to speakers and I'm sure you can arrange a lesson from someone there. It's free.

    Spey Nation - Spey Fishing, Spey Fishing, Spey Casting, Spey Clave

    Let us know what you end up doing.
    Last edited by flytie09; 12-03-2019 at 10:40 AM.


    “If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago.”
    ~Zane Grey

    " . . . shouldn't a man stand on his own two feet and catch his own steelhead? Maybe put out some effort and find his own fish just for the fun of it?"
    ~Syd Glasso

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  5. #3

    Default Re: Recommendations on a Multi-day Spey Casting Clinic

    Congratulations on your new found addiction

    Mike "flytie09" pretty much covered the east coast option, I can add one other and that would be SCNE or Speycasting North East and they operate out of the Farmington River in CT. Walt is a fine Man and also holds a Spey Day/Clinic on the Deerfield River here in MA. I believe in July and he can also be found at Spey Nation Altmar Edition. Andrew Moi of Tightlines is a regular presenter at the event and I am pretty sure he has clinics as well as private lessons out of his shop in NJ. I do know he holds a mutli day class on the Delaware in the spring. He is also does a fine presentation at the show.

    Spey Casting North East - New England Based Spey Instruction

    I would highly recommend attending Spey Nation, you will get to see/meet several instructors and maybe you will find one that sync's with you. I have taken a few lessons and watch many more, all were good but some were better than others. Casting , SH or 2 hand I think is one of the most difficult task to teach and not all instructors are equal, many are exceptional casters but this does not make for the same as an instructor. I think it is very interesting to watch or listen to how different instructors explain the mechanics of such a complex task. Anyway, hopefully you find one that works for you and Hope to see you at Spey Nation.....bring your waders & gear , the fishing can be surprisingly good too.
    Last edited by eastfly66; 12-03-2019 at 12:00 PM.

  6. #4

    Default Re: Recommendations on a Multi-day Spey Casting Clinic

    Here are some others:

    Stream of Dreams Fly Shop in Upper Saddle River, NJ - Contact Us

    Jim Valle lives on Jersey Shore - Master Fly Casting | Professional Fly Casting Instruction

    Don't forget the Edison, NJ Fly Fishing Show. Never been....but looks like some amazing folks going to be there. Among them Simon Gawesworth - https://flyfishingshow.com/edison-nj/#

    And finally.....this is the full list of Certified Fly Fishing International Two Handed Casting Instructors w/ contact information. When searching, select THCI (Two Handed Casting Instructor) - Casting Instructors

    If it was me....I would link up with a Fly Shop / guide out West and do a 2 or 3 day destination trip for Winter / Summer Steelhead with a Spey only guide. Plenty of water and opportunities out there. I just couldn't see 3 days of Spey casting only instruction. I'd fall asleep. This would be the priciest option of those out there....but you would have a blast.


    “If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago.”
    ~Zane Grey

    " . . . shouldn't a man stand on his own two feet and catch his own steelhead? Maybe put out some effort and find his own fish just for the fun of it?"
    ~Syd Glasso

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  8. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Streams in the GWNF, SNP,Potomac, Rappahanock and Shenandoah Rivers, Exploring NY and PNW rivers
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    Default Re: Recommendations on a Multi-day Spey Casting Clinic

    Flytie09 and eastfly66,
    Thanks guys for the quick response and the great detailed recommendations. Very much appreciated. I think that we can safely assume that I will be heading up to the Pulaski/Pineville/Altmar area for steelhead and salmon fishing. It's an easy drive and only 25 mins from my daughters place in Syracuse. As such I really appreciate the feedback on both the Orvis course and the Spey Doctor. I did a one day PNW trip and it ended up a Spey two handed trip with a Spey guide, that's how I got hooked. Yeah I wish that I had more time on that trip but it was a last minute add on to a trip on family business and I'm sure that I'll get another chance or two to head out that way and get more time in.

    In terms of FFI certified instructors, the guy who I've taken lessons from here is one and he has given me some good tips and a couple of practice casting workouts that I can do between trips. While he's great, the lessons are intermittent as we are both pretty busy and I just feel like I'd benefit more from some intensive coaching over a couple of days. You hit it nail on the head, boring stuff but I'd look forward to breaking down a snap t into its basic components and doing each 100 x while a coach watched critiqued and corrected until I had each piece down and was able to execute the cast flawlessly, then move on to snake rolls or whatever else. I studied martial arts when I was younger and that type of training goes in deep, never fades and I take to it like a fat kid to a snickers bar!

    I have been to Whitakers and those guys were great and really helped me out on my first trip up to Salmon River. I really like the way that the Orvis course is described at Tailwaters with the video taping and critique. What I can't tell is if the Orvis course is a Spey course, are they able to have a small Spey sub group out of the larger group or if there is just the tip of the hat to two handed spey casting, e.g. a demo and then back to single hand overhead casting. If I could get this done right I can easily see rolling with either Walt or Orvis and then following up immediately with a 1-2 day guided trip with the guys at Whitaker's or Malinda's to reinforce lessons learned in the course. After that it will be easy for me to practice around here in my home waters until I can get myself back up to Salmon River for the next steelhead or salmon run. Next step sounds like I need to give the Orvis folks and then Walt a call tell them what I'm looking for and see what they say.

    Last, I hear only good things about the Delaware and the steelhead in it. The guys at my local fly shop head up that way for their annual steelhead shop trip so I can definitely see jumping in on that trip next year and learning those waters too, it's just that right now I've already done a trip to Salmon River, scouted out the pools, shops, places to eat, and stay and have a pretty good idea of what to expect if I do a trip up there. It's also so easy to justify heading there as I can always take a 6 hour road trip to "hand deliver" some "critical item" to my daughter, e.g. napkins, toilet paper or any other of the really hard to find items that one never ever runs across in a city like Syracuse. Oh and once I get this done Spey Nation in Altmar, is a given. Thanks so much.
    "To many afflicted Eastern fishermen, the 'Green Drake Hatch' is as irresistible and habit-forming as black jack, whiskey, or easy women."
    Caucci and Nastasi, Hatches II

  9. #6

    Default Re: Recommendations on a Multi-day Spey Casting Clinic

    I found one problem with the 2 hander was I didn't pick it up until steelhead season rolled around in the late fall or until I was standing in the SR fishing, thus I spent the first couple days just getting back in the grove casting and not really fishing. Adding a trout spey (actually a few of them now) to the quiver has solved that problem. Something you might want to consider.

    Also, your probably not going to book a lesson or class anytime soon in the dead of winter, the DVD "Modern Spey Casting " - Simon Gawesworth breaks down the casts and an excellent resource.

  10. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    new york city
    Posts
    334

    Default Re: Recommendations on a Multi-day Spey Casting Clinic

    just watching casting videos both single and two handed on youtube has been a world of help for me. to name just a few....line speed jedi, john hazlett, simon gawesworth, tom larimer, pete kutzer, etc. paying particular attention to rod angles on sweeps, load, forward stroke, hand/elbow positions at different points, etc.

  11. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Default Re: Recommendations on a Multi-day Spey Casting Clinic

    Quote Originally Posted by eastfly66 View Post
    I found one problem with the 2 hander was I didn't pick it up until steelhead season rolled around in the late fall or until I was standing in the SR fishing, thus I spent the first couple days just getting back in the grove casting and not really fishing. Adding a trout spey (actually a few of them now) to the quiver has solved that problem. Something you might want to consider.

    Also, your probably not going to book a lesson or class anytime soon in the dead of winter, the DVD "Modern Spey Casting " - Simon Gawesworth breaks down the casts and an excellent resource.
    I agree, I actually have an 8 wt set up for single handed Spey casting. I also tried that while in PNW and I landed more (juvenile) fish casting singlehanded Spey than I did two handed on that trip, lol. I am actually looking forward to getting both two handed and single handed Spey down as I think that in the waters around me I will get more opportunities to single hand vice two hand.
    "To many afflicted Eastern fishermen, the 'Green Drake Hatch' is as irresistible and habit-forming as black jack, whiskey, or easy women."
    Caucci and Nastasi, Hatches II

  12. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Streams in the GWNF, SNP,Potomac, Rappahanock and Shenandoah Rivers, Exploring NY and PNW rivers
    Posts
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    Default Re: Recommendations on a Multi-day Spey Casting Clinic

    Quote Originally Posted by ryc72 View Post
    just watching casting videos both single and two handed on youtube has been a world of help for me. to name just a few....line speed jedi, john hazlett, simon gawesworth, tom larimer, pete kutzer, etc. paying particular attention to rod angles on sweeps, load, forward stroke, hand/elbow positions at different points, etc.
    Yep,
    I have looked at all of those and some of them, kutzer and linespeedjedi, I really like a lot. My problem is that I learn by practicing the movement A LOT. Once it sinks in and is truly part of muscle memory then I'm able to dissect and understand the new techniques in the videos much more effectively.
    "To many afflicted Eastern fishermen, the 'Green Drake Hatch' is as irresistible and habit-forming as black jack, whiskey, or easy women."
    Caucci and Nastasi, Hatches II

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  14. #10

    Default Re: Recommendations on a Multi-day Spey Casting Clinic

    Quote Originally Posted by flytie09 View Post
    Here are some others:


    If it was me....I would link up with a Fly Shop / guide out West and do a 2 or 3 day destination trip for Winter / Summer Steelhead with a Spey only guide. Plenty of water and opportunities out there. I just couldn't see 3 days of Spey casting only instruction. I'd fall asleep. This would be the priciest option of those out there....but you would have a blast.
    City Rat, while this may not be an option for you currently I'm in agreement with flytie09's recommendation. Starting out I'd taken both an hour long and day long spey class. While both were helpful they never built enough muscle memory where I could pick up a two hander a few weeks later and build off what I'd previously learned. Perhaps a multi-day spey class would be sufficient although the prices of these schools are already close to being fully guided on the river.

    It wasn't until a multi-day winter steelhead trip on the Oregon coastal rivers (Nehalem, Trask, Wilson, etc.) did it all come together. Floating down the river provided enough variety where the guide would introduce a different cast depending on the pool/run. Being in fishing situations kept me more interested and focused thereby speeding up the learning process. It also allowed me to develop early on an appreciation for the spey rod as a fishing tool and not just a casting instrument.

    I'm sure there are many good guides but I found Chris, Nik & Alex at River Run Outfitters in Oregon to be exceptional. They are or at least were at the time spey only. In general I've found the west coast steelhead guides to be far superior spey instructors than the Atlantic salmon guides in eastern Canada. The Atlantic Salmon guides tend to be older and may have missed the spey boom although this is changing. More importantly in Quebec guides will not pick up your spey rod on the river to demonstrate what you are doing wrong as a ZEC patrolman can fine the guide for "poaching".

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