Why on earth do lessons cost sooooo much?

I would like to take a lesson on spey casting but good god they seem steep to me. 100-200 bucks a hr. Most lessons run almost 2 hrs. Hell for that kind of money I could buy some beer and cigars and invite some of you over too teach me and probably have more fun at it. So is there a better way?

Evan Burck

Fudge Dragon
the better way is to have someone take you out. there's plenty of members on this board that I know would be more than willing to do so.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Mike Kinney and Aaron Reimer...two highly respected spey jedi...both run FREE clinics on the water...both have try racks loaded with options...
Their contributions to spey casting are nothing short of amazing. SEARCH...find out details...go often!


Rod tubes in the overhead compartment
Instructors: If these guys didn't offer great value, their reputations and livelihood would fail. But sometimes mortgage and groceries take priority.

I dont know what skill level you are at, but if the wallets thin; here's some options starting from scratch:


The absolute cheapest way is to take your rig: a rig that is 100% known to have a proper reel/rod/line match, and go and cast. So you may have some work to do to obtain this. Thats a whole other endevour. Lets assume you have that part set.
Get out and do it! Don't wait for your friends. They may be good casters and lousy teachers. No offense. Just use a piece of yarn on the line at first. Not everyone has the focus and ability to see, learn, do, practice and self-correct, but maybe you have that skill. Some do. You may surprise yourself. The key is that if something is wrong, you must CHANGE something that you are doing. Sounds simple, but many people keep repeating like a broken record. Im one of them !!!

You won't become a jedi, but you'll learn enough to get you to a certain level of proficiency and catch a fish. Then, a jedi can tweek and adjust you later.


If there were only one tool to learn spey casting, and money were involved, I strongly suggest Rio's Modern spey casting 3-DVD set. It covers everything. The Skagit Master DVD is a '200' level course and puts some polish on the water-loaded skagit style of casts once someone has been introduced. Both are wonderful tools. For like $125 bucks, you will have 4 of the best DVDs out there---you can play them all winter long; practice and then get the final touches done with a personal lesson after you've practiced and saved up. And if you have time to browse, you can probably buy both tools used and save more, if necessary.


If you have the ability to videotape yourself while practicing, that will help advance things and give you a spectators view of your casts and big mistakes. But not the more subtle ones. Instructors are masters at this part. I started doing this recently after investing in a lesson with Ed. It was kinda fun to set it up and watch myself on TV.


I firmly believe instruction dramatically shortens the path from beginner to intermediate. If you don't do this, you may suddenly find that youve bought and sold 3 rods, six lines, and blaming your rigs balance on why you cant lay the line out far, straight and true. When it comes to skill at this level; sometimes "its the indian....not the arrow" thats to blame. but during that lesson take great pains to remember whats been said and shown when you're driving home that day. You should reserve 20 minutes dedicated to applying what you were shown ; not 2 or 3 hours...you will get squirrely, your muscles will go goofy. Keep it light; but consistient. the next 24 hours, and 2, and 3, and 4 days after that lesson you should immediately reinforce what you learned before it leaks out of the ole noggin. Then, through regular practice, you'll start to take it to the next level and become more versatile in all kinds of different fishing situations.

Good luck and for God's sakes; have fun. If it was about the fish you'd be asking about centerpin lessons.


Active Member
You should be able to find a certified instructor for less than 100-200 and hour. Get a group of 4 people and do $100 for each for 4 hours. Watch for special events, sometimes even free. And as mentioned do the free clinics and try to tag along with someone more experienced.
No expert, but could get you going in the right direction and live in the Camas/Fisher's Landing area. Send me a PM.

Also, what experience level are you at and what kind of lessons are you looking for? If you are an experienced caster trying to get into throwing the long belly line...you'll probably have to go and pay someone. I'll not be able to help you in that case.


stewart dee

Why does gas cost 3.50 a gallon? if you spent years casting and then one frustrating day with a new guy THAT PRICE IS CHEAP. Just think you will look back one day and think of all the bad habits you didn't start with. Book a guided trip instead for 500.00 and split it with your buddy, then you get a full day of casting lessons (and lunch).


Active Member
Food for thought

Casting styles:
For the newbie, and to a lesser extent, even for the rest of us, it's easy to get caught up in some of these different casting styles because of the "coolness factor" It looks cool to see a guy cast a long line, or to shoot a lot of line, or to cast some ungodly huge fly, whatever. These are sometimes specialized applications that have been developed to cover a specific fishery. They may, or may not, apply well to your needs.

The Rio 3 dvd set offers a basic tutorial on the different styles. It's been a while since I have watched it. But pay particular attention to the "why" of these different styles. Skagit Master vol 1 with Ed Ward also talks about how & why that style developed. But not until the very end, during the tying session. So it would be easy to miss that. They are both excellent tools to have in one's library. As is every other dvd out there.

Speaking of libraries, it may be worth checking with your local to see if they have any of this stuff.

Now, as to why a professional casting instructor is worth $100/hr. He is right there, by your side, to guide & instruct, one on one. Answers to questions, right now. Not go home and watch a dvd, searching for the answer to a question you may have already forgotten, and try to remember the next time out. His job, as a teacher, is to shorten the learning curve. Your job, as the student, is to learn from him. There is a difference between teach and learn. Like leading a horse to water.....

How much is your (unproductive, wasted) time worth?

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
My thoughts are that a high priced first lesson from a really skilled expert and teacher will get you started with the right basics. Otherwise, you get to "unlearn" all the stuff a less qualified, though well intended, instructor would lay on you. Certified fly casting instructors have gone through some level of evaluation and would be my choice. Over the years my experience is start with the best quality so I don't have to work backwards.


Degenerate Caster
I would like to take a lesson on spey casting but good god they seem steep to me. 100-200 bucks a hr. Most lessons run almost 2 hrs. Hell for that kind of money I could buy some beer and cigars and invite some of you over too teach me and probably have more fun at it. So is there a better way?
It's much more reasonable to find an instructor for a one on one

35-75 an hour-I'm in the middle of that range.
mike kinney do free clinic on blue stilly park(exit 208) on sunday morning 9-12.
and his personal training fee are 50 per hour(Min 2Hrs). I think which is resonable enough.

His free clinic is just 5 minutes driving distance from my home.. too bad, I work at that time.....