I knew better, I really did, but on Saturday I went to an event so loaded with temptations that I’m still having visions of standing in a river, cutting a fly Line through the air with finesse and catching a steelie with a touch of Mackdaddy style.
When I received the Spey Clave flier via email from Michael Bantam of Dream Cast Idaho, I wrote back and asked if a non-Spey-ing, simple Fly Fishing gal could come and mingle around. Michael wrote back and said (exact words) “I think you would enjoy it. And you too will become a Spey caster, you just don’t know it yet.” So I added his Spey fishing prophecy to my growing list of ‘your doomed and know it‘ bag and left my credit card at home.
When I arrived I was quickly greeted by Michael, so at least I didn’t feel like the ultimate party crasher. I also ran into someone I already knew in the Fly Fishing community, Steve Vance, maker of Scandalous Sticks Fly Rods. Steve was busy at a fly tying table whipping up what I learned was a special breed of fly. The Spey Fly.
I instantly wanted one, or two, or a whole box of fancy (not intended for Bass) fluff. Spey flies are beautiful and I could feel the Steelhead vibe radiating from them. Lucky for me, Steve noticed my drooling and gave me two Spey Flies. Cha-ching– score one for the Spey prophecy.
Next I wandered down to the Boise River to watch Michael put on a Spey casting demonstration. For the purpose of disclosure, I should mention I had never watched anyone Spey cast before, so I was viewing the process through innocent eyes. And it was mesmerizing.
Following the movement of his Spey casting action was a bit like watching the Rhythmic Ribbon gymnastics in the Olympics, (but replace the leotard with waders) by the same flowing twists and curls, turns and swirls of the line. The more I watched, the more I could picture myself standing on the big Clearwater river doing the same thing. Score two for the Spey prophecy.
After Michael was done dangling the Spey carrot over my head, he called in the ultimate secret weapon of sealing my Spey fate in the form of the legendary Fly Fishing Guide Mike Kinney. I knew I was watching and listening to fishing greatness the first time Mike said, “Common sense people!” as he was demonstrating the different techniques and possibilities Spey casting offers. I admire tell it like it is people, very much.
As Mike talked about things that sounded quite foreign to me, D-Loops, Snap-T’s, anchor points and the general physics of Spey casting, years of fishing wisdom mingled into his demonstration and I wholeheartedly sat at attention.
As he talked, I found myself reaching for my little notebook and quickly taking notes from time to time. Not necessarily about how to Spey cast, but the other pieces of wisdom he shared. For example, at one point he said something along the lines of “I don’t want to hear so & so is a bad caster. Instead look at the person and figure out why it works for them. Learn from other people.”
I admit I found comfort in his words because I’ve never been formally, officially or technically shown how to cast in Fly Fishing. I just do it and at times worry I may not be doing things ‘technically right’ however… my casting works for me. I’d like to believe most people share Mikes wisdom about casting, but something tells me that isn’t the case in the Fly Fishing world.
By the time Mike Kinney was done with his demonstration magic I had ate the carrot and was mentally adding up the pennies in my piggy bank and wondering if it really was necessary to buy groceries next month. The way I see it, I have two Spey Flies now. What choice do I have but to buy rod, reel and line to go with them?!! Besides, I’ve always wanted a good way to send a subtle message to fishermen that low hole me. I figure if I can learn to Spey cast, I could bull whip them from 100 feet away. A gentle Snap to the ear that says, “Hello, you’re a little too close for comfort darling.”
But be warned, interaction with either of them could lead to exciting new experiences
(and penniless bank accounts)