Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Spey Casting the Zpey Competition Line

Casting the long belly line at the free "Day on the River" Saturday morning Spey and Fly Casting gathering.  Day on the River is held at the bridge in downtown Fall City every Sat from 9 to noon.  Directions and map to location can be found here.  Rod used in this video is the mighty CND I-Spey 15' 10wt.  The line in the video is a custom cut Zpey competition line at 73 feet and 1040 grains.  This excellent Zpey line can be ordered from Aaron Reimer (425-333-4446 or

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Advantages of the Zpey Rod Lower Grip

First thing first. The speycast is a flyfishing cast whether you use a single handed fly rod or a two handed fly rod: the cast remains the same. All fly casts are initiated and executed with the butt of the rod.
If we look at a two handed fly rod we see that there are two parts to the handle. The reel is the axis which we build the cast around.  The top part of the rod we consider is "north" of the reel, and the bottom portion of the rod is the butt or lower grip.
The straight line path of the rod tip (is what all good casts are built around) is governed by the rod butt.  The longer the straight line path of the tip, the more efficient the cast. Remember, it is the rod butt that determines the straight line path of the tip.  

What Zpey has done with their proprietary lower handle on the rod butt is provide the caster with 10 to 15 degrees of longer of tip path with the offset handle.  

If we ask the simple question ... ”What is the underhand doing?” ... when we first start the two handed journey, we will be much more prepared for successful two handed casting.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Zpey Zero" Spey Package - Everything Included!

I just got back from my first lesson with a student using the Zpey Zero 12ft 8/9 combo.
All you need to do is add water, and it does the rest!  I like the idea of a well calibrated and balanced rod/reel/line/leader/running line combo for the new and intermediate caster.  

The kit includes the 12ft Zpey rod rated at a European 8/9 wt, a well designed large arbor disc drag reel with a large "Z" machined as part of the frame, a matching scandinavian shooting head, running line, and leader.  Add a fly and you are ready to go.  No need for trial and error with this combo.  Everything is calibrated by the folks at Zpey (including Henrik Mortensen).  Here is a link to the Zpey website for more info on this combo.

In the coming weeks, I will be posting videos of the Zpey Zero in action.  I will also have this combination available for purchase through my ebay store (link below top banner).  

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mark Your Calendar: Day on the River with Orvis - Saturday, Dec. 11th!

Leland with an Orvis Switch rod!
Come down to the bridge at Fall City and check out the new Orvis line up at the Day on the River on December 11.  We will have the new Helios Spey rods, and the new Access switch rods available for casting.  Leland Miyawaki (manager of the Orvis shop in Bellevue) will be bringing down the rods and lines for this special Day on the River.

We did get a preview today, and got to try out the new Access 8wt 11' Switch. Very nice action and fun to cast!
Hope to see you there on the Saturday, December 11th!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Photos from the Oct. 9th "Day on the River"

We had a great "Day on the River" with special guests Brian Styskal, Whitney Gould, and Dan McCrimmon.  We got to play with new rods and lines from Burkheimer, Guideline and Nextcast lines (including the the new Fall Favorite lines!!).
Some participants needed a nap! Willa the new puppy!

Whitney getting ready to show us how to cast!

Brian rigging up a line for a student!


Saturday DOTR in Fall City at the bridge on the Snoqualmie River!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day on the River - Oct 2, 2010

The philosphy of the "Day on the River" has always been about helping each other.  Come join us on every Saturday morning 9am-12pm underneath the bridge in Fall City.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Whitney Gould & Brian Styskal - Nextcast lines and CF Burkheimer Rods

Join us this Saturday (10/9) for a special "Day on the River."  Guests Whitney Gould and Brian Styskal will be joining us from 9:00am to whenever the crew stops casting.
Brian Styskal is one of the best Internationally known Competition Casters and Speycasting Instructors. He's on the pro team for both CF Burkheimer Rods and Nextcast Lines and has just finished a season of summer guiding in Alaska ... so he should be in fine form. 
Whitney Gould is another renown Competition Caster and a top Spey Instructor.  She has taught and conducted numerous spey education activities including the Women's Day for the Sandy River Conclave.
Ladies, if you are interested in fly fishing do not miss a chance to talk with Whitney; she tells it like it is.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day on the River 8/14/10

This Saturday's "Day on the River" was held in conjunction with Creekside Angling Company's 5th Annual Spey Daze.  Turn out for the event was good with temperature hovering around 95 degrees.  Plenty of rods, reels, lines, and presentations from the likes of Aaron Reimer, George Cook, and Charles St. Pierre added to the day's success.  

Friday, August 13, 2010

Presentation on "The Myths of Spey Casting"

This Saturday's "Day on the River" on the Snoqualmie River at Fall City will be supporting Creekside Angler's 5th Spey Daze Event at the same location.  Please join us for fun and festivities.  Aaron Reimer will be presenting "The Myths of Spey Casting" at 1pm.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sakasa Spiders

Soft Hackle Spiders are the flies of my youth.  These days we see the popularity of soft hackle flies in Mike Kinney’s flies, Tenkara flies, and Pesca Alla Valsesiana flies.  All of these disciplines have used a reversed type hackle to make their flies more attractive to the fish.  The blending of the Sakasa Hackle with my woven body has breathed new life into my tying and fishing. 

I like to move the fly and get bored with a slack line presentation.  Using tension on presentation allows me to fish all those places that I could not using a slack line.  This series of Sakasa Spiders are tied on larger than normal hooks to make them par proof.  A par is a juvenile salmo or steelhead and mortality rate is high even if the fish is return gently.  Most of the exhaustion comes from being hooked and dragged in against the current ... with little care given to the fish.

As the summer moves on we use smaller flies yet retain the movement from the oversized hackle.  I pick hackles that are twice the body length.  In doing so, the hackle will form a large umbrella flare and will be large enough to be a noise generator along with very large profile to cover the large area of water with very few casts.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Jimmy Green Memorial Fly Fishing Fair and Casting Expo

The Day on the River will not be held on Saturday June 19th.  Please join us at the Jimmy Green Fly Fishing Fair and Casting Expo at Lake Tye in Monroe, WA.  Last year we had a large turnout with fun activities for everyone.  Some highlights from last year include the wonderful free bbq lunch, the spey casting competition, numerous on the the water presentations, and manufacter reps with rods and lines to demo.  Come join the festivities with fellow fly fishers.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Someone Doing Something Right - Greg receives THCI Certification!!

One of the greatest pleasures in life is when someone we care about receives success and recognition for their hard work and dedication.

Greg Benchibenga has been working on casting with me for around four years now.  He fixed his gaze on the Long Belly Lines and those places far in the darkness of his eyes. 

For the past three years Greg has been working toward a silent goal of taking and passing the Two Handed Casting Instructor (THCI) test given by the Federation Of Flyfishers (FFF)

This past weekend at the Sandy River Speyclave,  Greg was successful in achieving his goal.  Greg is a keen student of life and a very understanding individual which makes him an outstanding Instructor.  Greg’s presence with the students, his focus on technique, and his vast knowledge makes his casting lessons a day to remember.
It is with great honor that I call Greg a friend, mentor, and fellow casting instructor.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Quick Note

We will be back on the river at Fall City on Saturday 5/8/10.  The next scheduled "Day Off" will be June 19th for the Jimmy Green Fly Fishing Fair and Casting Expo 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Last Day of the FFF Conclave in Ellensburg, Washington (5/1/10)

Another day of wind today, but this was the day that I had come to the FFF Conclave for ... the day of my Class.  I would have two assistant instructors Greg Benchibenga and Robert Spencer.

Greg  Benchibenga

Robert and Ann Spencer

Greg is getting ready for his Two Handed Casting Instructor certification from the FFF.
This was his class.  I did the introduction and turned the class over to him.  I gave him some last minute pointers (not that I know everything, but I was hoping to be of service where needed)... and to build his confidence toward the testing.
Robert's helped us with teaching techniques and general support for the the students.  As always he helped provide good moral support to the class.  Unfortunately, the class was small, to say the least, with just one student Mikel Knife. Must work on getting more next year!  Fortunately, I have never been disappointed in low turns outs since I started the "Day On The River" (our free Saturday events) where the expectation is unknown. If there is only one, or many, it is always chance to share ... and welcomed!!

The Class was held at Irene Rhinehart Riverfront Park on The Yakima River (turn right off the Umptanum Road at the Yakima River Bridge to the pond).  It's a lovely park with closely manicured grass, play settings for the young ones, and wind sheltered picnic tables.  It was a great place to hold a class.

A good instructor and very good student (Mikel).  People like them are what makes my time on the water even more enjoyable.  I would like to thank Mikel, Greg, and Robert and Ann for their support and help during the class.

In closing, I would like to thank the Washington Federation of Fly Fishing Council for inviting me to help with the class.  Special thanks to Don Simonson and Kip Keener for all of the FFF support.  It is because of people like them that the sport is better for everyone.

Friday, April 30, 2010

The People at the FFF Conclave

New to the Sport

Old Friend (Gretchen Beatty)

Neighbors ... Ron and Kristin Torda from All About the Fly in Monroe, WA.

Those Who are Making it Happen ... FFF Conclave

In every venture there are those that make things happen ... this is for you!

Don Simonson counseling a potential Casting Instructor.

Everyone chips in ... even with the dishes.

Kip Keener, the Casting Chair.

More from the FFF Conclave

The biggest factor in Fly Fishing is catching a fish.  Fly Fishing can be a 365 day hobby or obsession whichever you choose!!  You can fish, tie flies, work on getting better with your casting, and even build your own rods.  Who could ask for anything more out in the fresh air, and having one idea that leads you to the understanding of excellence.

George Grant's meat and potatoes ... the Sculpin

Box ready to go for the Yakima

The Large Fly for those of use who know that size counts

Some are good enough to eat.  It has been a great afternoon and we still have the evening to go.  Good food and good company, who could want anything better!!

The Day Just Keeps Getting Better - FFF Conclave

"There is so much to see and not enough time."

The Flies.  

Talk to the Masters

Fly Fishing is not gender biased.

Women Casting Instructors get it done.

Day 2 of FFF Conclave in Ellensberg, WA.

Building the day and the understanding that we do.  This is for YOU!

The Art

The Volunteers  

The Staff

"Casting For Recovery" building new lives one cast at a time.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Best thing about a FFF Conclave are the people

Federation Of Flyfishers (FFF) people just like you and me that love to fly fish.  We put together gatherings much like the gatherings of the Clans in Scotland and Ireland.
Nancy and Lee Davis of Snake River Outfitters

There are lots of toys to buy at this gathering.

I always love the Silent Auctions ... and steak, Martini, and Cohiba for the evening.

No Day on the River this Saturday ... FFF Conclave in Ellensburg, WA!!

DAY ON THE RIVER will not be held this week.  I am in Ellensburg, WA helping out with the Washington Fly Fishing Fair.  I will be back on the river next week.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Washington Fly Fishing Fair

DAY ON THE RIVER will not be held this May 1st.  I will be helping out at the Washington Flyfishing Fair in Ellensburg, WA.  The DAY ON THE RIVER will be back at the Snoqualmie River in Fall City next Saturday.

Washington State Council Federation of Fly Fishers
Ellensburg, WA April 30-May 1, 2010
Friday: 11:00 am- 5:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Camper Row for those who came early

Talk to the Guides and book a trip

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Zpey rods adorning a variety of large arbor reels.  Photo taken in front of the River Run Anglers Fly Shop in Carnation, WA.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day on the River with Guideline

We had a good "Day on the River" with Guideline followed by the Scandinavian Casting Workshop.  Many thanks to those who took the time to join us ... including Nicole Darland, Whitney Gould, and Brian Styskal.  Special thanks goes out to Dan McCrimmon and Jack Cook of Guideline for educating us on the Scandinavian techniques.  Also we had a great lunch at the Fall City Roadhouse thanks to Rob Kettner and his staff.

Please select 480p on the video if you have a slower connection and are having issues with the playback.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Guideline Workshop - Feb 20th

Dan McCrimmon and Jack Cook will be presenting workshops on underhand casting fundamentals and Scandinavian shooting heads for winter fishing at the Guideline's Day on the River on Feb 20th.

Dan is a member of the Federation of Fly Fishers Casting Board of Governors, Master Certified Casting Instructor, Two-Handed Casting Instructor program examiner, and examiner for Federation of Fly Fishers International. He is also the Canadian representative for Guideline Fly Fishing.

Jack is the Guideline distributor for the US and Canada and his blog can be found at

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Guideline's Day on the River - Feb 20th

River Run Anglers is proud to sponsor a “Day on the River with Guideline.” Guideline is a leader in Scandinavian Spey casting rods, reels, and shooting heads. There will be a Guideline product demonstration on Feb 20th from 9:00am to noon. Both current and new Guideline products will be available for testing on the Snoqualmie River at Fall City.

In addition to the free "Day on the River with Guideline," a special workshop focusing on the Scandinavian style of casting using Scandinavian shooting heads (both floating and sinking) will be held from 2:00 pm to 5:00pm. The price of the workshop is $100 and the class size will be limited to 12 participants. So book your spot today!

Please email Aaron Reimer at to reserve a place in the workshop. Payment can also be made through my paypal account at

Lunch will be available at the Fall City Roadhouse and will be included in price of the workshop.