Grasping the 11-foot rod with two hands, I made a roll cast to let my line clear. A quick T-snap and D-loop later, I had let out a 70-foot cast with absolute ease I have been a fly fishermen for close to 20 years now, but the art of spey casting was something I've never considered as useful here in Missouri.
This past weekend Lilley's Landing hosted fishing guide and spey savant John McCloskey to teach a few of us. John guides in Alaska and Georgia for trout and salmon, and loves chasing anything that swims with his fly rod. He has taught many spey clinics in Georgia, and if you can teach spey there you can teach it in Missouri.
All I can say is John is a master of his art. Enthusiastic as he is knowledgeable, he wants you to learn and does everything in his power to help you. He gets you excited about learning the technique, which is something you always look for in a teacher. Due to work, I arrived later than the other guys. I met John and he asked me what my learning style was immediately, and I told him I learned best by visuals and doing. So he took me up the lake (we were parked just above the Narrows near Pointe Royale) away from the others.
I picked it up fairly quickly, but it was challenging. I would say the hardest parts are keeping your range of motion tight (like you're in a box), fighting your dominant hand when casting, and positioning for the cast. It was a blast, though, and I learned a ton in one afternoon. John plans to come back and teach the class again, and I would highly recommend attending. I can easily see myself using spey casting on Taneycomo or the White.
John can be contacted here http://riverthroughatlanta.com/our-guides/john-mccloskey/ or firstname.lastname@example.org He has a great Instagram, if you are on there. His username is @dryflyjohn.
Here are some pictures I snapped throughout the afternoon. I managed to actually catch one.