Saturday, April 24, 2010

Spey class

Had a great time at the spey casting class at Eldredge Bros. Flyshop with Topher Browne.  I got some good instruction on how to improve my basic casts, tried out some sweet new lines and the best part, forced myself to spend 6 hours or so practicing casting.  I started to get in a groove by the end of the class and was making some pretty decent casts without having to think about it too much.

We had a mostly beginner group in the class so focused on making a good overhead cast to start to feel what the forward cast of most spey casts should be.  From there we worked on double spey and circle c variations for the rest of the day.

The casting portion of the class was on the Ogunquit River which is tidal.  Standing in the same spot we were able to cast with the river running from left to right in the morning on the incoming tide and right to left in the afternoon on the outgoing.

Most of the people in the class expressed interest in fishing for Atlantic salmon but I'm more of a steelhead guy.  They fished with floating lines while I stuck with a Rio 450 grain skagit line with a 5' cheater and about 7' of T14 on my T&T 1307.  This is the setup with different length and weight tips I have used the most so far in the Great Lakes.  It allows me to fish some big uglies and relatively heavy tips yet still have a short and light enough rod to have some fun with the average sized Great Lakes chrome.

One new line that I tried out was a floating Scandi Compact head which Topher supposedly had a hand in designing.  I was told that Scandi lines aren't especially good at casting larger flies and sink tips but excel when casting for distance and when presentation is important.  The head was rigged up on some Rio slickshooter running line which really flew through the guides.  I've never cast a setup that was just so easy and enjoyable.  I would highly recommend new spey casters like myself to give it a try.  I could see a pretty green caster learning how to throw this line and effectively fishing in a short time.

Topher said he fishes the Rio slickshooter when overhead casting in saltwater also.  I might give it a try.  For pure distance I doubt it can be beat but I want to see how it handles in a stripping basket, stripping the line through my hands all day and the feel fighting fish.  Last summer I broke a running line while casting and have used a few others that were a pain to handle due to tangling so I'm up for trying some new running lines this summer.

Here are a few shots in a sequence of me performing a circle c cast.  That's what I was going for anyway.  Locals will probably recognize the footbridge in the background.  In a couple more weeks stripers will be running up through the river here.

I can't wait until the fall where I can really put these casts to good use chasing some steel.

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