Spey Casting Classes on the Willamette


The Caddis Fly is pleased to announce a unique new Spey casting school designed for individuals and small groups with busy schedules. Starting April 12th, we will offer evening classes of two hours each, from 6pm to 8pm Monday through Thursday. Individual students are welcome, and each class will be limited to three students. That means each student will receive plenty of one-on-one instruction during their two-hour session. Morning classes will begin in May, starting at 5:45am. Anyone wanting to improve their stroke, from beginners to advanced casters, will gain from one or more of these on-the-river sessions.

Rob Russell, our resident journeyman Spey instructor, will conduct these new classes at Alton Baker Park. Rob has been teaching two-handed casting for 10 years, and has developed a comfortable, down-to-earth style. “I think it is important to simplify Spey casting, especially for beginners,” he says. “It’s a back-cast and a forward-cast, just like overhand casting. The main difference is that our fly doesn’t leave the water during the back-cast.” Rob recognizes that different people learn in different ways, and he adapts his teaching style accordingly. “At some point during the first session with a new student, I begin to get a feel for their learning style. It’s a lot of fun to see the light go on in their eyes when I find the right approach.” Rob credits his favorite instructors for giving him the tools he uses. “I consider Simon Gawesworth to be the most brilliant and effective casting instructor I’ve ever met,” Rob says, “but I come back to Dec Hogan all the time. Dec’s is the voice in my head, reminding me to relax and have fun. I credit Scott O’Donnell and Way Yin for helping me minimize tailing loops, which has undoubtedly saved me from many trips to the emergency room.”

Alton Baker Park is an amazing setting for these classes. It is conveniently located in the center of Eugene, and offers several classic steelhead runs between the boat ramp and the Ferry Street Bridge. Wading is relatively easy, though cleated soles are highly recommended. Tackle can be provided or bring your own. If you would like to demo a particular rod let us know and we will try to bring that rod and line combo. Using the boat ramp area as the center for these classes allows Rob to row students to the South bank for “river-left” training as needed. Last year, Rob taught a few classes in the same location, and more than one summer steelhead was hooked.

The cost is $50 per person, per session. Anyone interested in taking advantage of these convenient, personalized new Spey classes can call the shop to schedule: 541-342-7005.

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2 Responses to Spey Casting Classes on the Willamette

  1. Brent says:

    Rob is a great instructor. He patiently and professionally helped with my introduction (as well as a friends) to spey casting last summer, basically in the exact same location. Dave hooked into his first summer steelhead on a two-hander after our second morning session.

  2. jay nicholas says:

    Sign me up!


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