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4/16/2014
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Email a Friend Spey Casting - Clinic or Clave?
By Amy Hazel

Click photos to enlarge Spey Casting - Clinic or Clave?
Enjoying a big fat juicy steak in Spey Camp
Spey Casting - Clinic or Clave?
Learn to move line with authority and control
Spey Casting - Clinic or Clave?
John Hazel doing a powerful Snake Roll Cast
Spey Casting - Clinic or Clave?
Better line control results in tighter loops
Spey Casting - Clinic or Clave?
Small class sizes allow for both instructors to spend lots of time working with each individual
Why take a Spey casting class? Afterall, Spey claves in the Northwest are offered to the public free of charge, so why pay money for a Spey class? Can’t you get as much from a Spey Clave as you can from a class or clinic, and is there a big difference between a clave and a class? Well, the answer is this – both claves and classes are a good way to learn about two-handed rod techniques, but a small on-the-water Spey Class or Clinic offers a far more in-depth curriculum and hands on instruction than you will find at a Spey clave.

A Spey Clave is a large gathering where many manufacturers are present, many types of rods are available to cast, and presentations about Spey casting are running continuously throughout the day. These claves are a good place to gather lots of information about Spey casting, they may give you a chance to talk with some well known Spey casters, and industry representatives are usually available to speak with you about the technical aspects of rods, reels, and line configurations. Since these claves are usually well attended by the public, the amount of time that you might get to practice hands-on casting techniques is typically very limited. Part of the waterfront is dedicated to the presentations and on the remaining bit of the riverbank is usually shoulder to shoulder, allowing little room to make a full Spey cast. The claves are typically located on one bank of a river, so there is not much chance to work on river left and river right casts. You will come away from a large, crowded clave with lots of new information on Spey casting and two-handed equipment, but probably very little hands on, on-the-water Spey casting experience.

In a private Spey casting class, on the other hand, the class size is limited to ensure that there is an instructor present for every two to four anglers. Typically, we have six students and two instructors, so we are able to spend lots of one on one time with each student and the students spend 70 – 80 percent of their day actually casting the two handed rod in between teaching sessions. We float the river in order to get to long stretches of water where we can spread our group out and allow 70 feet of space from caster to caster. We also float the river in order to take our students from one side of the river to the other. A Double Spey cast on one side of the river is quite different than a Double Spey cast on the opposite bank, so we want you to be able to experience the differences first hand so you will be prepared for your next steelhead outing.

In terms of fishing, we DO NOT fish during our single day Spey casting classes. We tie a small piece of yarn onto the end of your leader and this allows you to make a variety of casts without hooking yourself, your instructor, or any student near you. Using a piece of yarn while practicing is similar to going to a driving range to practice a golf swing. In a single practice session, you will make hundreds more casts than you would while actually fishing and you can concentrate 100% on your casting form.

Our Spey classes are a great opportunity to “try before your buy” – simply put, you can spend a day casting one of our Spey rods or try several Spey rods throughout the course of the day and decide which one best suits your casting style. We will have you cast those rods that are best suited to the areas that you predominately fish. If you already have a Spey rod, bring it to the class and we will work with you using your own Spey outfit. If you have a rod but no line, or you do not like the line you are currently using or you want to try a shooting head line, we have many reels available with lines to properly load any rod. You can try one of our lines for the day and you may decide to purchase one after the class. A Spey class is a great time to explore new and different Spey gear, as there are improvements every year in rod and line design.

Deschutes Angler Fly Shop offers several Spey Classes throughout the year starting in April and continuing through October. Our classes are small enough that we can customize the class to the skill level of each individual in the class. We stress the fundamentals of Spey casting in terms of teaching you the elements of a good cast, and what the common basic mistakes are that result in poor casting form. Once you understand the basic casting principles and the elements that are required in every cast in order to have powerful and efficient line control, you will then be able to utilize these skills in any cast, be it a Circle Cast, a Snap-T, a Snake Roll, a Single Spey, or a Double Spey.

Over the past twenty-five years, we have taught many different styles of Spey casting, from traditional Spey casts with long belly lines, evolving towards shorter lines such as Windcutters and Delta Speys, evolving further still to the cutting edge shooting head lines from Scandinavia, and Skagit bellies for fishing sink tips. We are well-versed in all of these types of Spey casting and can teach you specific techniques to improve your casting performance with any line design. The single day classes are offered on Saturdays. If you are not able to get away on weekends, we can arrange a private full day Spey clinic for groups of 5-7 anglers, or you can schedule a private half-day one-on-one class on the water with one of Deschutes Angler’s expert instructors.

For several years now we have been running three day Spey Camps which offer anglers a full immersion into using a Spey rod while targeting steelhead. We make camp on the river in luxury style complete with a camp host, gourmet meals, tents with very comfortable cots, a camp shower, cook tent, deluxe outhouse, and comfy camp chairs. The beauty of camping on the Deschutes is that there are no biting insects, the weather is always sunny and warm, you will be able to fish until dark, and afterwards you can enjoy a nice camp cocktail under the stars after a great day on the water. John and Amy Hazel will be in camp with you, and evening time is a wonderful time for long in-depth conversations about steelhead behavior, holding water, fly patterns, and much more.

The curriculum of the Spey Camp is as follows:

Day One is a full day Spey casting clinic exactly like the one-day clinics that we run. The curriculum is always tailored to the skill level of each individual and students are able to learn each cast at their own pace. The day involves teaching Circle Spey Casts and Double Spey casts on both sides of the river as well as the Switch Cast, Single Spey, Snap-T, and Snake Roll casts (the wind will sometimes dictate the extent to which we can work on certain casts). We will discuss fishing technique, line control, fighting fish with a Spey rod, and landing fish with a Spey rod. We will get to our camp around 50 PM and clean up, kick back and enjoy dinner. For those who wish to swing a few flies in the evening, there is plenty of great camp water right in front of camp to keep them busy for a few hours. If you prefer to rest, you will have plenty of fishing opportunities the following morning.

Day Two involves a very early morning start and a full morning of fishing for steelhead. We have two boats on the water and we try to fish through as many runs as possible before the noon sun hits the fish directly in the eyes. We will break for a riverside lunch of big deli sandwiches, chips, cookies, and beverages, and then spend the afternoon working on casting sink tip lines and heavier flies to prepare students for fishing winter run steelhead. We will get to our camp around 50 PM to clean up, kick back and enjoy dinner. There will be ample time to swing flies in the evening if anyone wishes to do so in our camp water.

Day Three is another early morning start and a full morning of angling for steelhead using techniques that you have learned and honed over the previous two days. We pull off the water by around 11:00 and return to Maupin. The camp host will have packed up the entire camp, so there is no need to worry about any camp chores, you need not lift a finger during your stay in our luxury riverside camp.

Your instructors have thousands of hours of on-the-water steelhead experiences, not only as anglers but as guides as well. The techniques that you will learn over the course of the Three Day Spey Camp will not only make you a better Spey caster, but will teach you valuable skills for presenting the steelhead fly effectively, reading steelhead water, and how to control a steelhead once you have one on the line. The feedback that we have received from the last few years’ Extreme Spey Schools has been very positive.

Single Day Spey Clinics are $195 per angler and include the use of any equipment, a Deschutes River Boater Pass, a huge deli-style lunch, beverages, and a full day of excellent instruction on Spey casting on both banks of the river. The Three Day Spey Camp is $995 per angler and includes two and a half days of on the water Spey instruction (three floats on the Deschutes), two full 6-7 hour mornings of guided steelhead fishing, luxury riverside camping accommodations, two breakfasts, three lunches, and two huge gourmet BBQ dinners complete with appetizers and wine. You must bring your own sleeping bag and pillow, toiletries and towels, and any additional alcoholic beverages you might wish to consume.

If you are interested in booking a spot in a One-Day clinic or a place in one of the Three-Day Spey Camps, please call our fly shop right away 541-395-0995. Our calendar is tightly booked with guide trips, so we are only able to offer a limited number of Spey clinics and only two Spey Camps. Spots are filled on a first come, first served basis and full payment upon booking is required in order to reserve your space.

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Deschutes River Guided Fly Fishing, Spey Casting, Spey Rods, Spey Reels, Spey Lines, DESCHUTES ANGLER - INFO & ARTICLES, Fly Fishing Classes and Clinics, Spey Fishing, Steelhead, Trout, Beulah Rods and Lines, Spey Rods, Spey Reels, Spey Lines, Spey Casting, Spey Video, Switch Rods, Spey Rods, Spey Reels, Spey Lines, Spey Casting, Spey Video, Spey Rods, Spey Reels, Spey Lines, Spey Casting, Spey Video, Switch Lines, Spey Sink-Tips, Deschutes angler carries Winston Fly Rods, Sage Fly Rods, Beulah Fly Rods all year round, Fly Fishing Reels, Fly Reels, Nautilus, Ross, Galvan, Sage, Tibor, Hatch, Running/Shooting Lines, Shooting Head Wallets and Bags, Fly Lines, Fly Leaders & Tippet, Waders & Boots, Fly Chest/Waist/Back Packs, Fly Boxes, Fly Fishing-Accessories, Fly Fishing Handy Gadgets and Tools, Sunglasses/Optics, Gear Bags & Luggage, Rod Tubes, Fly Float Tubes & Pontoon Boats, Fly Fishing Books and DVD's, Gift Certificates, Rental Equipment, Rental Cabins on the Deschutes, Fly Fishing Closeouts
504 Deschutes Ave, Maupin, OR 97037
541-395-0995 . EMAIL
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