Last week I attended a two day course on the banks of the River Tay learning to speycast using a 15 foot double handed rod. I learned it quickly and effectively, for three reasons:
  • First, I was taught by a great tutor, Gary Scott. Not only is Gary a world champion spey caster he is also a really great teacher and a thoroughly nice bloke to boot.
  • Second, I had almost no previous experience of fly-fishing for trout. This was very helpful as I had no bad habits to unlearn. In contrast, some of the other anglers who attended Gary's course were experienced trout fly-fishers. Gary would correct some particular movement and for a few casts they would do the new movement - but then Gary would move along to help the next angler and soon they dropped back into muscle-memory-mode and had lost the new movement.
  • Third, when I started Gary made sure I did not have a hook tied to the end of the line. This would have been plain dangerous before I had at least some control. Having a small piece of wool instead of the hook meant I was not thinking about catching a salmon; I was thinking only about improving my casting technique. In contrast the other anglers on the course started with a hook and their efforts to improve their casting were inevitably watered down by their desire to catch a salmon.