Blog Posts In Spey Casting Clinic

2nd Annual Spey Casting Clinic at Big Hole Lodge


Big Hole Lodge will host its 2nd annual Spey Casting Clinic with Larry Aiuppy on May 3-7. Larry is the only certified spey casting instructor in Montana and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the event. For me, the spey cast is like watching a well-balanced and well-timed golf swing or even a ballet as some would compare. Granted, the cast is meant for large salmon/steelhead rivers but there are also trout applications for the shorter spey or switch rods, fishing streamers or soft hackles in the surface film. This is a 4 night/3 day package for $2,630 per person based on double occupancy. This clinic is guaranteed to jump-start your fly fishing season!


Larry Aiuppy from Livingston, MT will be the Zen master for your brilliant four day instruction. Spey casting with a two handed rod originated in Scotland on the banks of the Spey River in the mid-1800’s.  Rods made of greenheart from British Guyana were originally used up to 22’ in length but modern spey rods are generally 12-15’ long with 13 ½’ being the norm.  Larry is the only FFF certified Spey Casting instructor in Montana and one of only 25 in the country whose teaching method constantly stresses the fundamentals of the spey cast throughout his clinics. 

Orvis will supply the rods and reels for the event ranging from their 11’ Helios switch rods for trout all the way up to their 15’-10 wt. Helios salmon and steelhead rod.

Larry makes it fun to learn and brings out his supply of brooms to teach the unforgettable power stroke. The great advantage to spey casting is being able to make a cast with an obstruction like a trees, bushes or a cliff directly behind you. Another advantage is being able to cast long distances with hardly any effort at all assuming your timing and casting positions are good.


Call us today to reserve your spot for the 2nd Annual Spey Clinic at Big Hole Lodge!


Learn to Spey Cast with a World Champion!

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Learn to Spey Cast with a World Champion
Added: Nov 19 2012Want to learn to Spey cast? Make plans to join Craig Fellin and Women's World-Champion Spey Caster Whitney Gould and her fiance Mike McCune who is an icon in the sport of spey casting in his own right and an experienced instructor, on a hosted five-night / four-day casting event at Big Hole Lodge in southwestern, Montana May 4-9, 2013. Space is limited so don't delay. Call Denise Schreiber or Barbara Alden for more details at 1-800-245-1950 or visit Frontiers Travel online.

And read about Craig Fellin's Spey casting breakthrough.

By Craig Fellin, Big Hole Lodge

After finishing a successful fishing season with our guests at Big Hole Lodge in southwestern Montana, there I was, standing knee deep in the Grande Ronde River on the border of southeast Washington and northeast Oregon. I was enrolled in a three-day / two-night Spey casting clinic with casting guru Dec Hogan and outfitter Troy Dettman.

I had struggled for a year, trying in earnest to master the Spey cast by reading a book and viewing a DVD by renowned English Spey caster Simon Gawesworth. In addition, Whitney Gould, three-time and current woman's world Spey casting champion, and Mike McCune, Spey casting Jedi and fly line designer, had given me a short casting lesson on this very same river the previous fall. I took this knowledge to the Salmon River a few weeks later and promptly forgot everything they had taught me.

The Spey cast, I painfully discovered, was not an intuitive motion that can be picked up in a short time on the water. With nearly 40 years of single-handed fly fishing experience, I thought this would come naturally to me. Wrong!

My self-teaching experience over the past year had been similar to teaching myself how to play golf without the aid of an instructor. Humbling was not the right term. There were days when I was ready to launch my very expensive, two-handed, 13-foot-6-inch Orvis Helios Spey rod as far into the bushes as I could manage. I fished the famous rivers of the Olympic Peninsula for two months last winter in hopes that things would fall in place for me, but all I did was practice my mistakes, and if anything, my self-esteem was what was falling.

I finally hit the wall and decided that if I wanted to be a Spey caster, I needed personal instruction. I had enjoyed reading Dec Hogan's Passion for Steelhead, which is destined to be a classic in steelhead fishing literature, and saw that he was offering a casting clinic with Troy Dettman. When I stepped into the boat to begin the three-day clinic, I felt a sigh of relief that someone was not only going to show me the Spey cast, but would actually see my mistakes and correct them.

The second day, I worked with Dec Hogan. I felt more confident about my double Spey cast from the previous day's instruction. After a short boat ride early in the morning, Dec put me in a classic steelhead run before the sun hit the water. On my fourth cast, a good one thanks to Dec, the fly swung into the sweet spot of the drift. I felt the tug, so I gave the fish the loop of line hanging from my reel. He immediately turned, and I struck to the bank side of the river. I could feel the power of the wild steelhead straining against my line.

After a fifteen-minute battle, Dec grabbed the fish by the tail. It was over. As I held my first proper Spey catch in my hands and watched his gills working back and forth, I thanked Dec for putting me on to the beautiful steelhead. With my new proficiency at Spey casting, I knew my life had changed for the better and now my Orvis Helios Spey rod is one of my best friends.

Craig Fellin