2019 About Time

Here we are a couple week into 2019. The government is shut down. The holiday burn is finally over. The weather has been, well the weather. Winter Steelhead are being themselves. Tough to find elusive and rewarding. If you have not been out you should. It is way harder to catch Steelhead from the couch than from the river.

Organize your fishing stuff now and have a better season.

If your still looking to get out, make sure you go through all you necessary items before getting to the river. Number 1 so you know where it is when needed. Number 2 to make sure it is not out or low. Things like tippet, sink tips, and the working fly.

Tailing a Steelhead in last years Deschutes Spey School.

now I have spent the last year very busy and this fall/winter busy as well. I will start blogging again on a weekly/bi-weekly basis. As for now, here are some new things to come. This year again I will be doing the 3 day Spey School on the Deschutes. This will happen the last week of July. Second I will be doing a similar Spey school about fishing sink tips and deep flies in November. Lastly dates are not set  but sometime in the first 2 weeks of April a  competition Spey clinic at the Moreland ponds , date TBA.

Trying to tame a monster!!!

I have another big thing happening here in the next few weeks, so stay tuned to see!!!! Lastly, I have one open spot on my Costa Rica tarpon trip… if anyone is interested please contact me!! Thanks tight lines and talk soon.

 

TJ

Master Class Spey Camp

Fishing a Mid Belly line on a fine summer day on the Deschutes.

Well I have finally put together a steelhead fishing and deep instructional Spey Camp. I call it a camp only because your not at home but will be based in more a lodge style setting. Day floats on the lower Deschutes river will be a solid mix of steelhead Angling and intermediate/advances instruction. The dates are July 26-28.

A group of anglers getting one on one instruction to become better anglers and casters

The day will begin with a quick but large breakfast spread that should even provide something for the most difficult breakfast goers. The hop in the truck for a short drive to the ramp and off chasing steelhead. Fishing will be the focus until the lunch break.

Fresh July fish are awesome!!!!

After lunch we will focus on building new casting techniques to match each caster in the group. Where it is gaining anchor control of distance, tighter loops, or fishing more types of water. It will be covered in the 3 days on the water.

My box is full and ready.

After the fishing and instruction we will head back to the lodge for some appetizers and drinks with a guest speaker/tier then dinner and rest. So we can be up and ready again to get after it again in the morning.

Kicking ass in 2018!!!

5 spots is all I am going to allow in the class. So that everyone can get what they want out of the class for Angling and Casting. If anyone has interest shoot me an email about signing up for this class. Thanks and let’s get you on the water!!

Making friends with your Spey line steering system.

Notice the top hand position and height in the top of this key position.

As a group, the contemporary ideals of spey casting have their ups and downs. Some of them I can get behind and others i just don’t have time for.  The main thing is our group tends not to look at thing objectively, we go with the flow. I think this is for a couple reasons, number one we don’t get to casts enough to have a few of our own truths and keys, and number 2 is just seems easy to go with the instruction and points that are out there. What ever the real reason for the difficult of the changing of fundamentals and ideas in the Spey casting microcosm one point seems to stick out further then the others. The facts of disproof hanging all around but still most casters fall back to the old belief and never get to make sense of the fundamentals of the casts.

The ugly and over emphasized idea of a bottom hand centric wold in spey casting just does not fit as the upper hand typically more dominate has some of the most important jobs as well. I have witnessed  first hand over the past 15 years the clumsy and narrow in view of  what a bottom hand dominated casting world can become. I am not sure what most of us our thinking placing our top hand only on the rod as a convenience of looking like the guy next to us but not really understanding to true picture of the uses of the most coordinated hand we have. enough of the ranting. let us speak easier and fuller to broadcast an new/old idea that even if it only helps on or two caster was worth typing this out.

Now mid way through the forward stroke the top hand is headed in a straight path toward the target. It has dropped very little in height if at all.

From the moment the hand reaches out to pick a spey rod up the upper cork is grasped. I often watch what hand casters pick their rod up with as a clue to what their dominate hand is. Once again as an instructor I watch as to how a caster handle the rod even doing the smallest of things. when we look at a properly gripped spey rod or even better once we pick up the rod and properly place in our hands we can start to notice a few things. If you have one handy grab the handle section of a double handed rod and lets see what happens. Now with the rod placed in both hand move one hand and the the other. Note the reactions of the terminal end of the rod. Lets make the note that the terminal end of the rod mirrors the top hand, (this is very important). On the other hand the terminal end of the rod does exactly the opposite of what the bottom hand does. With a bit of time spent with rod in hand, not even casting an angler can gain a high level of proprioception about how he can handle the rod in a variety of manners. Again this type of feel and information can be very useful on the water taking the guess work out of your positions and let your mind worry more about the two steps down stream during the steelhead migration.

So we have covered the differences in  how the rod reacts in both and and in some respect how it moves in retro spect to each hand. As it is with a single handed rod the top hand or only hand is our engine, guide, plane, and delivery system. With a doubled handed rod the jobs can be split between the hands. Especially the job of steering or guiding the rod, this job is best performed by the top hand with a nice lose grip. The ability to maintain a straight line with the top hand is undeniable, even more so off dominate side casts. Where the top hand can be watched in eye line go toward the target. The reason that the bottom hand is so overstated is that at first new caster to spey casting tend to push but worse they tend to drop the top hand down as the top hand arm becomes extended. This action not only opens the loop up dramatically but does not allow for the rod path to stay going toward the target line nor does it give a sufficient stop to transfer the energy stored in the D-loop to be directed properly.

The forward stroke complete in this photo, we see that from frame to frame the top hand helped the line and rod path stay on plane throughout the forward stroke. It is also noted that the deviation in top hand height is nominal from frame to frame. clue to straighter flying spey casts.

We also need to remember that the art of Spey casting is 3 dimensional, It has height, depth and length. As single handed casting can be easily diagramed 2 dimensionally, Spey casting can not. The best analogy I can give for a nice top hand path is like tossing a piece of smashed up paper into a near by trash can. Not really a basket ball style shot, but not a baseball thrown either. To do this the hand almost never goes behind the head but stays in front of the tosser to ensure accuracy and look better in front of the co-workers. The paper is lightly tossed and with most of us the hand goes in a straight line toward the trash can with minimal effort. No crazy force is applied at any given point but a gentle follow through of the hand as the paper is made air born. The power used here is almost same same amount used at the highest levels of distance spey casting. Timing and tempo becoming more the secret of power and line speed not how hard and fast either of the hands can move. So next time your out fishing give the top hand a bit more credit and awareness, be surprised how straight those casts can get going, with how little effort.