Spey Angler/Improver Programs

Spey Angler Program

GGACC's Spey Angler program is unique, in that its primary goal is to teach anglers how to swing a fly with a two-handed rod for steelhead and other species. Preparing a student to fish from a boat with a two-handed rod using such tackle as strike indicators is NOT part of this program.

A "signature" of GGACC's Spey training is that we train students to cast with both hands, from both sides of their body. Maximum class size is 6 students to provide lots of personal attention. You must be a current GGACC member to participate, and there is a $150 registration fee for the class to be paid online immediately upon registering.

On Saturdays, we cover the fundamentals of Spey in a classroom setting, and then quickly move to the ponds to learn the basic Spey casts. We meet promptly on each Saturday @ 8:30AM in the GGACC's Anglers Lodge in our waders - leaving spiked boots outside. We then move into the ponds for casting practice from 9:30AM - 3PM (with appropriate breaks) - so wear one or more layers under waders as needed to stay warm while standing in the water for extended periods.

On Sundays, we typically head to the American River in the Sacramento area (river conditions permitting) and learn to fish the casts that we practiced on Saturday. Around midday we will add sink tips to replicate real world fishing conditions. Also to be covered are rotation fishing, river etiquette, and fighting and landing steelhead (as well as other species). On Sundays, we start at 8:30AM ready to cast (rigged up, in waders, etc.) at one of several possible river locations to be announced on Saturday. We finish there at approximately 2PM.

Your FFI-certified instructors are Bill Gallogly, Bob Pauli, Steve Morikawa, and Willy George.

Please note the following! The most successful Spey students possess certain prerequisite casting abilities! With a single hand rod, you should to be able to "false cast" a straight top leg of a loop @ 35' (on both forward and back casts) and have the final forward cast roll out the line, leader, and fly above the water. You should also be able to "roll cast" a loop @ 35', having the fly line, leader, and fly "turn over" while airborne. For best success, we strongly encourage prospective students to develop these casting abilities before taking this class. If you are uncertain as to your readiness for this Spey Angler class, one of the above four Spey Instructors or any FFI CCI (certified casting instructor) you approach will be able to watch you cast and quickly determine your readiness. FFI CCI's wear printed nametags at the club's monthly free casting lessons. If you don't already possess the above casting abilities, please attend the free monthly 2nd Saturday casting classes and develop them.

The club has loaner Spey rods, reels, and lines available. Bring waders, boots, wading staff, eye protection, hat, and lunches for both days; and a folding chair for Sunday at the American River. Again, students are welcome to use the club's high end, superbly matched Spey rods and lines each day. Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to both the GGACC and to the American River training site. Organizing on Saturday for Sunday carpools is encouraged since river parking may be limited and may require payment of a park use fee.

Registration is accomplished online using the GGACC Event calendar. Registration requires GGACC membership and paying a $150 fee. When the class is full (maximum 6 students) you will have the option of joining a waitlist for that class (there are often cancellations which will be filled from the waitlist). Registrants and members on the wait lists will be emailed an attachment containing Bob Pauli's Spey Casting Manual and encouraged to purchase Simon Gawesworth's 3-DVD set titled "Modern Spey Casting". These two resources are the cornerstones of our Spey education program. As such, the instructors expect you to have read the manual and watched the DVDs multiple times before attending class. Students who don't prepare are often frustrated and can fall behind.

Cancellation: If you cancel prior to 30 days from the class, your fee will be refunded. Cancellation inside the 30-day window which causes the class size to drop below 4 students (minimum class size) will result in fee forfeiture. Notify Bill Gallogly (Slazanger2@icloud.com) as soon as you know that you need to cancel.

Please check the GGACC events calendar for Spey Angler classes. There will be at least two Spey Angler classes in the spring and two in the fall.

Spey Improver Program

The Spey Improver Program is a one-day class directed at those GGACC members who have already taken the GGACC's Spey Angler Program training, or who have prior experience swinging a fly with a two-handed rod. This is a more advanced class than Spey Angler (which is meant for beginners). It is important to understand that students in this class are expected to be able to safely and productively perform (using any two-handed rod) dead-line roll casts, overhead casts, double Spey, and snap casts. Additionally, you should be able to shoot one rod's length of line while performing these casts.

If you have any concerns about your readiness for the Spey Improver class, please contact one of the GGACC's Spey Instructors listed below. Their contact info is in the GGACC website directory. Soon after you are enrolled in a class you will be sent Bob Pauli's manual and a recommendation for Simon Gawesworth's DVD set for your study. They are the cornerstones of our teaching.

Items covered in this program will include Single Spey, Snake Roll, Perry Poke, and reset casts. We will use both Skagit and Scandi set-ups. Expect that we will focus on casting with the non-dominate hand.

Spey Improver classes will be held on the American River (conditions permitting). Students will be notified of the access point several days before the class. Students should have Skagit and Scandi heads, tips (floating, intermediate. and fast sinking) as well as a 15' tapered steelhead/salmon leader (Scandi set-up). Use yarn flies only. Students should bring waders, boots, wading staff and belt, eye protection, sunscreen, hat, raingear, lunch and a folding chair. Be ready to start (rigged up, in the water) at 8:30AM. The class will end between 2 and 3 o'clock. Students are responsible for their own transportation.

Your FFI-certified instructors are Bill Gallogly, Bob Pauli, Steve Morikawa, and Willy George.

Registration is accomplished on the GGACC website Events calendar. Registration requires current GGACC membership and paying a $50 fee. If the class is already full, you will have the option of joining the waitlist. We strongly advise signing up for the waitlist, if only to possibly be advised first of the next class posting. Cancellations inside a 30-day window may result in loss of the registration fee if there is no ability to successfully fill your spot from the waitlist.

Two Spey Improver classes are planned each year (one each in Spring and Fall). Depending on instructor availability, additional classes will be held when a waitlist contains 6 or more members.

Bill Gallogly
GGACC Spey Education Chairman
FFI-certified THCI & CCI


Questions? Please direct your inquiries to the appropriate mail box:

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Our Mailing Address:  Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club  ·  P.O. Box 591476  ·  San Francisco, CA 94159

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