The Next Big Development……

old picture I know, but the rod was a 110 years old when I was fishing it in this picture!!! Smiles not dollar signs.

I was not on the forefront of any movement in this sport. Nor do I claim to have invented anything in this wonderful microcosm in which in have invested my life. Then, I feel it has been a long time since something truly new, and fresh has come along in the game of advancement in equipment or technique. To be honest, things in the R&D deparment of our industry have been in a state of arrested development for a while now. All and all this wound not seem to bother me as much as it has in the past few years, but looking at the new ideas of “high end” industry standards one cant help but wonder.

Winter Steelhead Fishing

There are tons of choices out there be sure and cast them all educate yourself on what you want/need instead of just throwing money at it.

Now I have also caught fish of numerous species on all types of quality and price range dispersion of fly rods and reels. I have even had some real sweetheart setups over the years, that I still find pleasing to fish today. When confronted with the modern forms of marketing, one almost feels that the days spent on the water were worthless and the fish taken with at times great personal sacrifice were a farce, because you did not have the latest and greatest rod on the market. I can honestly say that no rod or reel has ever set an alarm for me, nor has one helped me hike or get to where I need to fish.  Fishing should be out of passion and enjoyment. Fly fishing should stem from the heart, not the pocket book. I feel the equipment you own should not reflect how much you love the sport on price but on how dirty the cork is, how worn the ferrules.

Nice bundle of diversity there!! No one better than the other, all frozen, lol

We now are consumers in a time in fly fishing history where boutique rods are being out priced by standard out of the box high end models from the large corporate companies. Now I am not saying don’t buy nice stuff or that the high end stuff is not good or nice… i am saying that the new rods I have cast both on the market and to come in the near future, are still just like to one you own. I am saying a fancy new color, or name that is tough to pronounce is not worth over a grand. These types of things push people away from our wonderful sport. I want to get more people involved not scared. I want to own a fly rod not mortgage my house.

This might be a few to many for a day trip!!!

All this has been my 2 cents, but I hope other start to see it too. If you new rod is that good, that much better then what we have had show us. When the next big this comes we will all be ready. All I am saying. Hope you all are getting out and fishing somewhere for something!!!! Enjoy.

Here We Go…

the first steelhead of 2016! these early fish are awesome!!!!

Up writing this a 2:45 am. Been getting up early so I am ready for the season to come. Like the rest of the world I have been busy and travelling not getting to blog as much as I should have or even wanted too. But yet…and yet life goes on. according to the combinational brain child of a few of our governments  finest agencies, as many have heard I am sure we are predicted to receive some where in the area of 130,000 Summer Steelhead for the up coming season. Not what any of us want to hear, not me anyway.

Small flies are very effective on early summer fish, this july specimen could not resist.

And on top of this the battle over water quality and invasive parasites. The constant flow of bass pictures from the lower river now coupled with a walleye I have been told. And yet…and yet, the steelhead will come. As many as we all would like? I am a 100% sure not, but do we ever reach the top end of the number of steelhead we all want to catch, I doubt it. The lust and greed for numbers has taken a little edge of what it really is to catch a steelhead. Maybe a few more tough years will raise our level of respect for these amazing fish. Take the up coming season as a challenge to yourself see where you are as an angler at the end of the summer steelhead season. I have a feeling you will be the same person, maybe better….maybe. Your casting may improve, your focus should improve, and in the end boys and girls it is just fishing, just fishing.

The new Spey casting booklet! A low cost part of every casting class. An easy reference to help keep your spey casting in the game!!

Next on the docket is some spey casting stuff, good new all around. I have finished a much needed up to date booklet on spey casting and the techniques I teach and use. Small packed with great info as well as pictures for the visual learner. I wanted it to be done earlier in the year but I always have stuff going on the is difficult to do on the river at times. What might be the best part of the Booklet is the space in the back for personal notes and keys to help you get the exact stuff you need out of it. I will say there are a couple typos but i will weed these few out over time. If you would like one and for those who were in a casting class this year please get a hold of me so I can get you your copy. shoot me an email at

The editing is getting close and the Film is on it way more to come. some short clips and a teaser!!!

I have received a ton of email and questions about when the Spey casting video, sorry if I have not gotten to answering those but I can say it is getting closer everyday!! Not long now, the wait is almost over. More post to come on the exact dates and how to order soon. I am as excited as you I can tell you that. Will be good to see the hard work finished. more to come!!!

Lastly  we here at AWA still have a few open dates for this up coming season. Dont hesitate to get a hold of us and lets get you on the water.

The Same Old Questions

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

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

Winter has gripped my house and surround area, leaving me to do fun stuff like dig out boats and paper work. I have also been doing a fair amount of reading. I love golf another esoteric invention of Scottish origin, imagine that. I will also say more has been written about golf than will ever be written about Spey casting or even fly fishing for that matter. I have read a few really helpful things and a few things that were unfitting for the problems I have, and a few that I was not ready to learn. The best part is that no matter how old the books I am reading, the books cover the same problems for the average golfer….That’s me for sure but seems odd that with all the people that golf and how  much time that is spent analyzing the golf swing that new problems have not be brought forth by the presentation of different ideas.

Good casts cover the water better!!

Good casts cover the water better!!

There seems to be the same parallel in the world of spey casting. The same problems exist and the same answers are given for the fix. I also love Spey casting, and I am a  bit better than average. I can also tell you that the question I ask about spey casting have changed and are not longer the same as the rest of the casting world. I will also so the the answers that I need to give have changed. The thing I see is that Spey casting is a 3D movement having height, width, and depth. The Spey cast also is alive, well it should be, it has feel and tempo giving it a beat and power its breath. If you casts it pieces stopping at all the point of the cast it is kinda like watching Frankenstein walk, cumbersome and rigid. At the same time watching a runner move can be amazing, never a wasted movement each motion having a reason and purpose, fluid with the flow and never contradicting the other motions. The questions we ask in a single dimensional fashion, and as it has been we receive a single dimensional answer. Is it that the questions are the wrong ones, or are the answers bad???? Well to be honest neither… just like the questions and answers it is more complicated than that. So what needs to happen is that in depth answers and better how to, will in turn bring a progression of the questions that should be asked.

This type of thinking again is not new. This seems to have gotten us to the point we are at now. I think we can go further.  I believe any person can Spey cast. I also believe that for the majority of us that spey cast, beginner to master we all strive to be a little better than we are, not really ever satisfied with what we can done and have done but imagine that more is attainable.  For that small pushing in the bulk of our small but growing spey community we are ready for more info, better answers that will bring about new questions and push together the knowledge base we all desire to know.

Now I am not blaming any person or group of people for where we are now, they all help get us here. That’s right you and I, I personally know that more is too come, and if I still have questions and a desire to know more, I am sure you do too. Now let’s talk about one of these so called “Single Dimensional” questions and answers, shall we.

Crisp cast is picked up easily and clean from the water, correct stroke length not wasted movement or power.

Crisp cast is picked up easily and clean from the water, correct stroke length not wasted movement or power.


The first one that comes to mind is long line, long stroke… so does this mean short line short stroke? Seems simple but this is the problem, it is not that simple. I am all for simplicity but a generic statement is not meant to bread inspiration, it just provides a temporary band aid for the knowledge that should be given at that time and place.  I never hear people complain about getting to much information, I do hear them complain about hard to understand and over pontificated explanations. I once excepted the “Long line, Long stroke” answer. Until I went out and really spent some time casting, like 3 to 8 hours a day. This simple question became more complicated when line styles were changed, sink tips were applied, and anchors were being watched. Just like a spey cast as being a series of simple motions creating a “Oscillation Motion”, no movement is difficult by it self but when each motion relies on the one before it the entire picture looks different. To simplify the more anchor one has the longer the stroke need to remove it from the water to perform the cast. At the same time if one has a sink tip, the heavier or longer the sink tip the more energy and motion it will take move this heavier mass. For the last angle the deeper the water gets around the angler the the different timing one gets to make a cast and then the anchor placement, amount of stick and tempo of the cast change. So the simple statement of “long line, line stroke” is not wrong, but not the answer as complex as the question.

Aero Heads loads like a Skagit and is easy like a Scandi

Aero Heads loads like a Skagit and is easy like a Scandi

So the line between information given and information needed becomes grey not black and white. Better teaching ideas and principles will educated and bring about new questions from those willing to learn. For the one example I presented the same critical angles need be looked, for understanding, for teaching, for growth in our sport, for line design, for the future of caster yet to come. I hope the readers enjoy this and start thinking about what they want to know because, your questions are different then mine. Shoot me over a couple questions and lets start being better.