Posts Tagged ‘Spey’

Get a Fly Casting Lesson

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Some say that I might be biased being Chairman of GAIA but I really do believe that we should all take casting lessons if you plan to be a fly fisherman.  Having done so you then need time to practice, going fishing is not enough you need to go practice.   Fly fishing has a technical requirement similar to a golf stroke, if you wish to fly fish you need to cast or you will struggle to get past go.   Golfers all take lessons at some stage in their golfing careers and most of them will continue to refresh their strokes or putting techniques.  They also practice, golf driving ranges and practice greens get used and professionals video their clients efforts to aid development.

Fly fisherman for some strange reason believe that they can go without instruction and development.  I was out the other day with an experienced fisherman in a boat and was surprised to see that he could not double haul. His fishing would have been more enjoyable if he could improve his casting.  It was not about distance but about less effort to attain the same result and after 8 hours in a boat at our age less effort has to be good.

Casting Clubs work as a support group

I doubt that he has ever had a lesson and yet was happy to spend £500 on a rod.  Expensive rods do not improve your casting, I own rods that cost many hundreds of pounds and yet often turn to rods that cost tens of pounds only, my first choice boat rod costs £70 and was won in a competition.  Its technique and practice that improve casting and fishing performance.

GAIA instructors learning

Photo courtesy of John Symonds

If you fish a river for trout or salmon than casting is even more important to cope with the vagaries of river currents and winds.  Master caster Gary Borger I think it was who said that having learned to cast well  and understand the principles with overhead casts it was then a requirement to learn to develop faults, curve casts, aerial mends, pile casts.  These are skills required to fish well especially on running water.  Notice that we have not even mentioned salmon fishing and spey casting.

After 40 years fly fishing I still get lessons and get videos of my technique I am constantly looking for improvement, my current project is sorting my left handed spey casting .  If you doubt the value of lessons go try it get some from a qualified instructor preferably a member of GAIA then go and practice in preparation to fish.

Italian Lessons

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Raffaele Mascaro is an FFF Master two handed instructor and runs an Italian web site called Speyband.  I have been enjoying a series of video clips that he has been posting on YouTube the latest is about piled anchors and bloody l’s something that I suffer from.  Pre school, Italian was also my only language but it rarely gets used theses days, its still there just rusty.  These clips are a great way to sort my casting and Italian thanks Raf!

Work and Fishing or lack of it.

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

I seem to have been off line for a few weeks recently, seemed to have been pre-occupied with work fishing and coaching.

Glasgow International Piping Festival has taken priority of late leading to a very successful launch this week of Piping Live!  This is the 2010 web site the press coverage was great with front page of the Scotsman.

Fishing has been a bit slow but I have done some days salmon fishing on the Tay and Spey.  The results have been zero fish to me but I have enjoyed the days.

The Tay was 8th May at Glendelvine above Caputh Bridge.  It’s a great beat with some beautiful fly water the level was low at about 8 inches the water temperature was 48 degrees but the air was a lot less.  Cold North Easterly, that cold that I was wearing mittens to fish with a bright sky, no cloud.  That’s the fisherman excuses done with, make of them what you may but not a fish was spied all day.  I had taken with me a trout rod in case there was a hatch of olives but even these failed to materialise.

Ministers Pool Glendelvine

Tay Cowslip

Monday 10th May saw me on the Grantown Water of the Spey

I had never fished here before but was a guest of Douglas Goodwin .   The river here was great with some lovely water and runs.  Met the gillie who said the season was proving to be very late due to the cold winter the daffodils were still flowering which was a surprise.  We fished a series of pools just above the new road bridge, the water was at 44 degrees and again the air temperature was low with the mittens on again only this time we had snow showers.  No fish caught but we did at least see some.

Spey above Grantown new bridge

River Spey

We stayed at the Achiestown Hotel this is owned and ruin by Jane and Allan Hunter it was a great place to stay although some 20 odd miles further north.  But we did get the opportunity to salivate as we drove past Tulcan Lodge, Knockando, Carron and Laggan, Craigellachie, Aberlour and Macallan I know they sound like distilleries, which they are, but it was the river that we coveted.  Supreme beats on middle Spey which just made you want to fish them.  Sadly the Spey is fished on a weekly basis so unless you want to stay a week the fishing is difficult to get and even if you were prepared to stay it would be dead man’s shoes.  A tip though Aberlour Association is prime middle Spey and quality fishing they are not keen on day tickets you can only buy on the day, a week’s ticket though is only £150 and you can buy this in advance so if you are going for 2 or 3 days it makes sense to get a week. j