The Skagit River Godfather in Action...

fodf

Team Umiak
#31
All,

I had the distinct pleasure, and it was a pleasure, to spend Saturday morning with the Jedi Master as one of 2 students in his Intro to Spey Casting class in Monroe..yes I said one of 2. Imagine spending over 4 hours with Mike Kinney learning from the best, and at least an hour of that time was one on one because Jack had to bail early. Now understand that I had never cast a spey outfit before (brought my Echo Classic 7/8 gear, bought here on the forum (thanx Sam)), in fact I told Mike that I had only fly fished maybe 8 times in my life over a 30 year span. He said "great, no bad habits to break", and that's exactly why I did this early in my fly fishing life (albeit I'm an old bastard, like Mike) and there's so much more to fishing than catching..flame on for those that feel the need, I'm a big boy. The art of Mikes casting is, well, something to behold and so effortless. Not bad for a guy that didn't have the benefit of an instructor like himself..self taught, as he said, and he lives in my (our) backyard. I plan on practicing diligently so that I'm at least proficient enough to test cast other wares at the next clave that I attend and not look like a complete buffoon, although my Echo is just fine for now.

BTW, for those who say before you buy a rod or outfit you should cast what feels best for your style, remember, if you are a noob like me you don't have a style or know what feels right. That goes for line as well; I do understand that there is a direct relationship between rod and line (and style), but with no reference to begin with, I'll go with the recommendation of an expert like Mike (who cast my rod with a Delta 7/8 of his and said it felt a bit too heavy). I took a chance on the Echo and will start from there.

Now, a couple of shameless plugs. As Leland previously posted, Mike is teaching a class in association with Orvis. I understand it is now sold out. For those that are in, congrats..I wish I were one of you. For those that didn't make it, focus on the All About the Fly (awesome shop for those that have never been; I wish a shop in Yakima offered a rod building class on Saturdays..hint hint Reds and Garys) site (or Mikes site for that matter) for their calendar to see when Mikes next class is; money extremely well spent to learn from the best. And finally, the free clinic that Mike and the crew from AATF hold on Sunday mornings; sorry Mike I couldn't get there yesterday and test that Delta 6/7 you recommended. I'll call the shop tomorrow and order it.

I know this is long winded, and for that I apologize. I just wanted to let those who don't know Mike or know of Mike that he is the real deal. Excellent teacher, mentor, and hopefully in the future, friend. Thanx Mike.

Eric
 
#33
I'd like to add just my .02 cents to this. Several years ago The Meiz had Mike down here on the Rogue for a 'hands on' of how to fish. I thought I knew a lot about where fish would sit, where to fish/run the fly/etc.

CHILD'S PLAY! I learned more in two days than Mike had probably forgotten. This Guy IS good! :ray1:

That said, he does need to trim his beard a bit more often.:D

fae
 
G

golfman65

Guest
#34
I really tried for different music, maybe Red Hot Chili Peppers.... a little B-52's...

What would be great is an overlay of Mike talking. Hearing him explain and teach the fundamentals is incredibly helpful. He has a great way of explaining the dynamics of the cast. There's a lot to be learned from Mike from both a casting and fishing perspective. I feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to spend time on the river each week with Mike.
iagree Listening to him explain (as he throws line on four very different rods, tight loops in every direction) how each rod works and for what practicality...not only amazed me but humbled the hell out of me...I told my buds, it was like going to a John Holmes festival with a 1" dick ....Made me really appreciate what a spey rod can and will do when you've put your time into something other then lip service...

Also this wasn't just skagit lines which others only cast...Mike explained how in each circumstance you need to fit your tools to the job...The place he was doing the demo was frog water out about 80-100' then the current and slot picked up on the other side of the river...He said..."Fishing a spot like this makes the skagit not a good choice because of stripping etc. Took a long bellied line and layed it out with a tight ass loop to the other side, quick mend and I had no doubt that if a fly rested on the other end instead of yarn...A fish would have rose up to take it...Just perfect~~~
 

Red Shed

"junkyard spey"
#35
That said, he does need to trim his beard a bit more often.
:D Yes Fred, I'm laughing along with you but I have a few comments anyway, as I'm damn tired of the subject of Mike Kinney's appearence:D

Will trimming his beard somehow make him a better caster? Would one learn more if he was a slicked up pretty boy?

In less one is planning on asking him out on a date the length of his beard, his hair, or anything else about his appearence shouldn't be anyone's concern.

What people should be concerned with is what he can do with a two hander and he is one of the best in the world. That is all that counts.

The people that are more concerned about how he looks as opposed to what he can do with a two hander are only thinking of themselves!
 

Manannan Mac Lir

Professional enabler
#36
Mike has been, is and always be one of the top anglers/casters/conservationists and teachers in the world. Even if he is a grumpy fucker sometimes!:D To you riverkeeper!!:beer1::beer1::beer1::beer1::beer1::beer1: Coach
The Coach is absolutely right. Mike Kinney taught me to cast one rainy day on the Sauk a few years ago. I had hired him for a half day of instruction because I had read so much about him. He worked hard trying to help this thick wannabe spey caster GET IT. It did not work! I was just too thick! The half day spilled into a full day. He refused to let it be and just take the money. Finally, he decided to try something that will always blow me away.

With me standing facing the river, he stood facing me... had me hold the spey rod as though I was ready to cast... then he placed his grip just inside mine on the rod, said just follow me and proceeded to cast the rod backward, over his shoulder. I felt the rod load like it was supposed to. The line just shot out effortlessly. After a couple more "tandem" casts I had it! Unbelievable!

We were well into a Full day on the river. Mike refused to accept the price for a full day. He would not let me tip him. And I did try. He was awesome. I can't thank the man enough. I've fished some incredible water because of Mike's tenacity and his incredible ability to teach spey casting. My two cents. My hat's off to the Riverkeeper!

Cheers,

Karl
 
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golfman65

Guest
#37
:D Yes Fred, I'm laughing along with you but I have a few comments anyway, as I'm damn tired of the subject of Mike Kinney's appearence:D

Will trimming his beard somehow make him a better caster? Would one learn more if he was a slicked up pretty boy?

In less one is planning on asking him out on a date the length of his beard, his hair, or anything else about his appearence shouldn't be anyone's concern.

What people should be concerned with is what he can do with a two hander and he is one of the best in the world. That is all that counts.

The people that are more concerned about how he looks as opposed to what he can do with a two hander are only thinking of themselves!
Here's a shot of two of my favorite people, though we've never met in person..they continue to do nothing but bring joy to my spey casting experience...Sorry Mike (red) but I love this pic.

Mike and Bob...two other jedi masters!!!!:beer2:
 

Red Shed

"junkyard spey"
#38
Looks like a couple refugees from Woodstock. There was something on the tube last week about Woodstock and I swear I saw the little fat one on the right in that news piece:eek:
 

KerryS

Ignored Member
#39
Believe or not but that picture was taken just a few months after Woodstock; the tragedy of drug abuse or was that from staying up all night tying steelhead flies.
 

SpeySpaz

still an authority on nothing
#41
That was at the Sandy Clave, the "Woodstock of spey", kind of like a Star trek convention without the blue facepaint--peace, love and whiskey.

so I'm flailing away with a 16' 10/11, a total embarassment...Mike walks by, gives a look, makes one comment, "pause for the loop, it's a longbelly" and I stepped up to newb level with the rod...one comment.
The man completely knows his shyte, and knows exactly how to communicate it.

'course it helps to listen, too!
rock on, Mike!
 

Tom Johnston

Been around a while
#42
Here's a shot of two of my favorite people, though we've never met in person..they continue to do nothing but bring joy to my spey casting experience...Sorry Mike (red) but I love this pic.

Mike and Bob...two other jedi masters!!!!:beer2:
This is what I want to look like when I grow up!
 
#45
Some look at the skin, or other features. Some look for the heart/character. I have had the good fortune to spend some time with Mike in a class at the Clearwater Clave, on some Saturday mornings on the river with Aaron, and in camp at the Sandy Clave. Not only can he cast, he is a class act at helping others with their casting and fishing.

If you get a chance to take a class or hire him as a guide, you will not be disappointed. Wisdom and generosity do not often go together.:thumb: