Why on earth do lessons cost sooooo much?


Well-Known Member
Lessons from a certified THCI are a good value, but at $100 - 200 per hour, it's likely that there are some instructors that are better values than others. Shop around.

I forgot to add that bit about the cost of education; if you think education is expensive, wait til you see the cost of ignorance! Not quite a direct analogy, but a few Spey casting lessons will shave YEARS off the DIY teaching method. So if your time's worth anything . . . just sayin'.


Rob Allen

Active Member
Because professionals are worth their time and effort. The time and money they have invested is valuable is it not? or because it's fishing and not medicine or law is it not worth anything??? Most people who are instructors have spent more than 8 years worth of time pursuing their " education".
try Mark Merryweather. He does casting classes on the Sandy and charged me $40 an hour. He teaches the Gossworth style and I picked up alot in a couple hours. You can find him on craiglsist in the Portland are under sports then type fly in the search box and you should find him if not pm me and I'll find him for you. He is a former mgr at the Welches fly shop. Welcome to the 2 handed funny farm!

Ian Broadie

Flyfishing is so "Metal"
It's worth the money, spanker
pay for beer, you get beer
pay for fine single malt...
I agree wholeheartedly, for example I am more than capable of teaching you to cast well enough to fish from both sides of the river in an upriver or downriver wind. I would be able to do so for nothing more than the price of not having to drive my butt up and down the river to fish for a day and would be the equivalent of a nice tasty porter that we all can enjoy :D. Now If you go and hire someone like Mike Kinney to teach you to cast at his rates, which are not cheap, you will get his decades of experience in with the two handed cast, techniques on grass casting, that I will not share here, which will line up your D loop to your forward cast every time, and tips in such items like why your shoulder is killing you at the end of the day and how to fix it. In essence a wonderful full bodied single malt to be enjoyed over a long period of time.

Essentially you get what you pay for.

Leroy Laviolet

Aint no nookie like chinookie
1-2 hundred bucks an hr is way too steep as far as I'm concerned- 50-75 sounds more like it. Why should a casting instructor be worth more than the going rate in the service industry?

Ian Broadie

Flyfishing is so "Metal"
Looking at Mikes site and his prices for lessons and here's the direct quote from his site:

Basic personal lesson: (8 hours)

Learn the Switch Cast to Single Spey

This class is the prerequisite to learning all other spey casts. Learning points covered are: Stance, grip, rod tip path, anchor placement, forming the D-loop, forward stroke and the stop. Styles covered include: Traditional, Skagit, Scando.

Price: $200 per person, maximum of two people

*Note: All classes are based on F.F.F. approved casts and common sense fishing situations.

James Mello

Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"
Not to be a jerk, but complaining about the price of instruction has always rubbed me the wrong way. Considering the skill required to get to the point to be able to teach, it's not out of the realm that it costs $100 per hour. I think the rate is higher than it should be, but if you're looking at someone like Al Buhr or Mike Kinney, there is good reason for the expense (BTW, I DON'T know their rates, just using those guys skills as an example). As an analogy, you can either hire a low cost apprentice to do some plumbing for you and you'll probably be fine with everyday stuff. But if you're *really* wanting the best of the best, you'll have to hire a master, and the rate is *much* higher. Another one is to look at golf. You can either hire a PGA certified golf instructor which will be fine for learning, or you could ante up for Hank Haney. One will probably do the job, but the other can push you over the top.

In this case, I would definitely consider only those who have an FFF THCI cert and have a good rep. Beyond that it's finding the proper value for your money. Like anything, shop around and mull the options.

James Mello

Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"
BTW, take a look at Steve Buckner. To date I consider him one of the best values in the south sound. Took lessons from him and shaved *months* of frustration with long belly lines. Off his website:

$99.00 per person for a 4-hour class. Rods/reels/lines included if necessary.
The reason is simple you get what you pay for weather it rods, lines, reel, or Instruction.

I started Speycasting in 1975 and have had a passionate love affair with it ever since.

My rate is $50.00 an hour with a two-hour minimum.
I also offer course starting at $360.00 fir 6 sessions. Each session last a minimum of two hours.

Over the past years I have kept track of my client progress it take the average fly caster about 60 hrs. of instruction and practice to gain what I call a class One Speycaster.
This is one who a can adequately make all four general Speycasts using either the Single or Two handed Flyrod (with either left or right hand up on the Two Handed Flyrod).

I started RIVER RUN ANGLER’S DAY ON THE RIVER for a introduction to Flycasting in General with Speycasting in particular which is Free. The DOTR is 15 years old and that equates to roughly 15 YEARS *49 WEEKS *3 HOURS=2205 hrs. of Free instruction
I give a free introduction to Speycasting by appointment for those who cannot make the DOTR.

There are a lot of copycats and late comers who have their own free casting clinics.’

This does not include the hours that I spent instruction in Speycasting Course’s at various levels.
I deal with FFF Certified Casting instructors at every level.
The time and investment for a the Certified Instructor is usually about two years of study and practice, Two Handed Casting Instructor runs about 4 years or a Masters Level can and has run upward of four years.
So if you have all three certification in theory you could invest over 12 years and for that I could have a PHD.
When you are shelling out your money make sure he or she are worth investment.
If he or she is a Certified Instructor, Two Handed Casting Instructor or a Masters they have put the time into the process to produce good Flyfishers whom understand the standards and techniques that help the Client be able to reach the fish most readily.

I am not saying that there are no good Instructors who a do not hold a certification.
I have met a number of exceptional young instructors who have the passion to teach.
Those who have passed the test of time are also good Instructors for they too understand the Client is the reason they are there and not their own ego.

But be aware of E-casters those whom can cast better with their mouse than their fly rods.
:rofl: I love it, Aaron. By your calculations, I have about five more yars at The Day on the River and I should be average. Thanks for all of your help. I will get it down someday or die trying in my waders.
I will agree and dis agree with what everyone has said. I guess fly fishing should be in the same boat as golf lessons. There is plenty of great teachers that don't charge a arm and leg for what they teach. And then there are some instructors that you are paying for there Name ( Hank Haney etc...) Is he better then most Who knows. All I know is I need to do some shopping around. I was hoping to support a local shop in the process. We'll see how it goes. Thanks for everyones comments
Spey casting instruction, golf instruction, or whatever. It's the same. You get what you pay for and you get out of it what you put in. There are half day clinics and hour lessons. It doesn't matter. You take the instruction and what you do with it yields the results. If you think $100 an hour is too much, try getting your car worked on for that.


Why? Simple answer, because people pay it. <g> You spend thousands on gear but need help making it work, then a couple hundred seems like a wise investment.

Guys who get certified and become teachers spend a lot more time than I do thinking about casting. Line and rod dynamics, the techniques of the various casts, etc.

And then there's the process of learning ~how~ to teach. I've seen plenty of good casters on the water, but the ones that can teach spey casting effectively to the old/young, men/women, coordinated/fumbling masses are rare.

If you need/want help with your casting at anything beyond the basic level they're a good investment. I watched a friend take a couple lessons from Mike Kinney. I'd shown him the basics and he was getting out a few nice casts. When Mike was done with him he looked like a veteran.


Doublespey is right.
I do not know how many times a client will show up the day before he is leaving and want to learn how to speycast and we all do our best.

Here is what I have recommend to those who for one reason or another needs help.
Get a casting buddy and teach one another how to cast.
The second set of eyes is a all important.
This way you can work on the big picture leaving the polishing to be done once you get some instruction.
Speycasting IMHO is about three things, rod path, the anchor, and the underhand( butt is the lower grip on a Two Handed Flyrod).
Learn to cast in a oval instead of straight line ( Lefty Style or The Belgium cast) these two styles bend the back cast stop by reversing the direction of the rod butt to form the back cast stop.
Learn how to control the anchor in all of it's guises weather airborne, water or Skagit,
Keep this saying in your mind at all time "What is the Underhand doing, feeling and how dose power the cast?
Learn to initiate and execute the cast with underhand.
The same as you do with the single handed fly rod

Mike Kinney also puts on classes in many areas of the Northwest get some of your buddies together and contact him about coming over for class.

Or if need some pointers e-mail me at speyschool@comcast.net
I wish you luck on your casting efforts.
Keep the board up date on your progress I am usually lurking out the ciberland.