Report by Ryan Ratliff
This weekend Spey 101 &102 was a great success! We had a great crew out for Saturday. Despite the very diverse experience levels everyone was casting great by the end of the day. Jeff Liskay took all of the confusion and vastness of the Two-Handed world and simplified the terms and techniques.
The first half was lines, history, and rigging followed by hands on casting. We spent several hours out back on the grass perfecting Skagit style casting. Although the wind and Single-hand casting muscle memory was a challenge the whole crew excelled beyond expectation. From first time fly casters to a few year experience there was plenty to learn.
Day two was spent on the water. After a little refresher and warm up Jeff had the guys casting in many situations. All students perfected both strong arm side casts along with Cack-handed (across the body) casts. There is no better way to learn this style of casting then to start on the grass and then the second day on the water. After a quick lunch break we headed to a new location to put everything together and try to catch a fresh steelhead.
The conditions were very tough. Water visibility was around 6" with the levels dropping quickly. Some of the guys stuck it out and they were making beautiful casts and swings. Despite the low vis, and early part of the run the guys had a blast and are eagerly waiting for their next trip to Steelhead Alley. Jeff Liskay is top notch. He quickly observes the student's learning type and customizes guidance and instruction. He doesn't just focus on textbook like form, but utilizes what is working for the student and then adjusts technique accordingly. Jeff is one of the best casters and instructors I have ever worked with. His humility, patience, and relaxed personality allows for everyone to learn at their level and not feel pressured or frustrated.
Doug Scott from Patagonia was also along to help us learn more about the brand and ask technical questions.
Once everyone had fished the run I played clean up trying out my new Chromer (Redington), Skagit head and tip, followed by a large black, purple, and blue hollow tied bucktail tube and I was able to swing up a small fresh fish on the last cast.
What a great weekend!
P.S.- Look for more events and schools with Jeff Liskay coming soon! Check our website or The Midwest Fly Fishing Schools for announcements.
Mad River Outfitters
Fly Fishing Schools, Classes and Seminars
813 Bethel Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214