Simms Wading Room – Q & A With Whitney Gould


You are a leading guide and casting instructor. How did this happen? Timing, many hours of practice, luck and helpful mentors. Spey casting seems to have blown up in the last 5 years.

What are the reasons your clients are stating for them getting into spey casting? It varies. Some want to explore the rich history of spey casting, the fisheries and the fish, the epic locations, its various flies and tiers, and the legends who pioneered fishing with a two handed rod through participation. Others value spey casting’s practical applications such as its versatility (one can fish in tight quarters and cast long distances with ease) and its lack of impact on the body. And some like it because it’s something new to learn with more gear to buy.

What organizations do you support? Mike Cummins, Red Shed Shop’s 4H and local children’s program. Caltrout, Trout Unlimited, Casting for Recovery, Wounded Warriors, Fly Fishing Federation and Native Fish Society.

What do you think is the reason for the expansion of fly fishing with women? Camaraderie. Women see other women fishing, and they want to join in the fun.

Like a lot of great guides you spend a lot of time on the road and don’t really have a home base as much anymore (although you spend a lot of time in Oregon-CA). How is that lifestyle treating you? At times I feel as though I have an advanced degree in packing and unpacking. While I enjoy going to all of these great places and spending time with some really great people, there are times I look forward to learning a group of rivers in which I can settle and guide year-round. I’m on my way.

You are headed off to AK to work at Alaska West this summer. What’s the one thing we might be surprised to see in your carry-on? Any of my girlfriends will tell you fancy face creams. I don’t have a beard to protect my skin from sun and wind burn while guiding and running a jet boat. So I buy really good creams to protect my skin.

Name a place you haven’t fished, but are dying to. It’s not like me to have only one place, but I do have a dream list. So here it is: the USA’s salt and trout fisheries, Canada’s steelhead and atlantics, Russia, Iceland and Norway atlantics, the Seychelles, the boundary waters between the USA and Canada and everywhere else I have not been.

Are there ever tunes in your raft? If so, what would we likely to hear? The tunes of the river. Yes, nerdy and a huge cliche, but true.

You are one part of a pretty dynamic duo (Whitney is engage to marry another spey guru, Mike McCune). I would guess you talk about fishing more than the average couple? Fishing, guiding, and teaching fly casting are huge parts of our lives. You guessed correctly!

Look ahead 20 years – where do you see the sport of fly fishing or the art of spey casting evolving? It depends on the state of the fish. I think that the sport will continue to grow as long as we have healthy fisheries. I am a strong believer in supporting the organizations that work to protect the fish and their habitats.

What concerns you about the future of our sport? Healthy fisheries.

Whitney Gould can be seen online at her website. Or see her Simms Guide Ambassador profile.

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Whitney Gould – Outside The Fly Box

CF Burkheimer pro-staffer and world champion spey caster Whitney Gould talks casting practice and rod choice.

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Mia Sheppard & Marcy Stone Raising $ for CFR

In the spirit of competition and good sportsmanship, Mia Sheppard and Marcy Stone will be raising money via a pledge drive for Casting for Recovery at the Jimmy Green Spey-O-Rama on April 22, 2012.

The Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club will present the Jimmy Green Spey-O-Rama, The World Championship of Spey Casting, on April 20-22, 2012, at the world-renowned Golden Gate Park casting ponds in San Francisco.

Spey-O-Rama is a distance casting event using a double-handed fly rod.

Casting for Recovery’s program combines counseling, medical information, and the therapeutic sport of fly-fishing. Our two-and-a-half day retreats are offered at no cost to women at any age and stage of breast cancer treatment and recovery. CFR is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. In 2012, CFR is holding 45 retreats in 33 states.

Donate to CFR by pledging a dollar amount based on Mia’s or Marcy’s cast; donations are based on their longest cast, per foot. For example, if their longest cast is 125 feet, a $1/ft. donation would be $125.00. Please help by spreading the word and donating any amount you can give.

For more information contact Mia Sheppard or Marcy Stone. Casting results will be updated on Mia’s blog, Metalheads, and results of the Spey-O-Rama will be posted on April 23, 2012. You will be contacted with following the event via email with information on how to complete your Pledge Payment.

You have two ways to make your pledges, either a set amount per foot or the amount of your choosing.

Please give. As women we all know someone who has been the victim of cancer, and all methods of support go towards helping a global cause.

Best of luck gals. Thanks for your effort!


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The Women Of Spey-O-Rama

I would like to draw attention to a fabulous post made by fellow angler, friend and blogger, Kate Taylor.

This year, the 9th annual Spey-O-Rama will take place on April 20-22. Spey-O-Rama, known as SOR, is a weekend event that began in 2004 where some of the world’s top competitive casters converge at the Golden Gate Casting Ponds in San Francisco, California. These casters challenge their abilities competing against one another in what is now widely recognized as the most demanding two handed casting competition. But really, SOR flows much deeper into the lives of the competing casters; developing not only masters of two handed casting, but forging lifelong bonds with fellow competitors as they collectively challenge the distances possible with a two handed rod. This sincere dedication to improving two handed casting, striving for longer more perfected casts, and helping one another achieve success has emerged as more than just a hobby; it’s a lifestyle.

To read the full post, and learn more about Donna O’Sullivan, Whitney Gould, Mia Sheppard, Marcy Stone and Anita Strand, click here.

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Written by fellow angler and friend Diana Rudolph.

And people listen. Not only is Simon an ace with a spey rod, but he can also cast a single hander a country mile. He was a UK casting champion and has instructed thousands of fly fishing students. Simon is the marketing manager for RIO Products, and when he is not behind his desk, he is traveling the globe fishing new and exotic destinations. He is the North American pied piper of spey casting and is one of the world’s most well respected instructors.

Four years ago, Simon gave me my first spey casting lesson. I still hear myself mumbling the words “bloody L” every time I make a sub par cast. He is genuine and charming, the real deal. Here’s what he has to say.

A half dozen questions with Simon Gawesworth:

1). What is your most memorable catch?

It’s probably a seatrout, actually, one I caught in Devon. I have a little piece of a river I own called the Bray, and the Bray is a brown trout river which towards the back end of the season gets a run of salmon and seatrout. I was teaching on that river one day and saw a shoal of seatrout lying in this particularly good pool. None of the fish were interested in any of the flies my clients cast at them, and nobody could catch them during the day. They were pretty dogged down there on the bottom. It’s a clear river, so you could see the fish, and you could tell that they weren’t really active or interested. So, I went home with the students and came back in the evening on my own, thinking, “I’m going to try to catch one of these things”. I put on a little size 16 nymph and cast out to this shoal. I cast to the head fish, which is usually the largest in seatrout circles, and for some reason he seemed to like my fly. That is, after about a half an hour of persevering, he liked my fly.

What was most interesting to me was the reason he took the fly. I was watching the fish and he was constantly ignoring the fly – they were all lying on the bottom, ignoring the fly for ages and ages. Then something happened and that big fish darted upstream, turned around and came back to his lie again. I made a cast and immediately, he took the nymph. So, something got his adrenaline pumping again. What was cool about it was it was a little tiny stream about 25 feet wide and the fish was over five pounds. I caught it on this tiny nymph with a 6 pound leader, and the fish eventually ran straight upstream to a small, natural weir. I knew if he went downstream with that light leader, he’d snap me off. So, when he started to charge downstream, I ran out to the middle of the river splashing and jumping around and made like a seal to scare it upstream again. I eventually landed it and it was the biggest seatrout I’d landed in the UK. Actually, it still is the biggest seatrout I’ve landed in the UK.

That was a very memorable fish for me for two reasons: A.) it was a wonderful fish and B.) it was very interesting to see how its reaction changed after what ever it was spooked it. I believe that when anadromous fish get excited by something, they can turn on after they’ve been off for so long. I’ve seen that a few times when salmon fishing and it’s been dead and a kayak or a shoal of kayaks goes past. You fish behind them and suddenly you catch a fish in a pool you didn’t catch a fish before.

There’s an old poaching lore in the UK that involves swimming your dog through the pool to spook fish, or throwing rocks at salmon to get them to move. The fish get excited and then get on the grab. I’ve done neither, of course! These are traditional lores which have evolved and are designed to upset the fish. Their heart starts beating, adrenaline starts pumping and the fish gets active.

View full article – Via: Fly Fisherman

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Sandy River Spey Clave Ladies Day

Join us for a weekend of fun on the Sandy River, May 13th, 2011 in Oxbow Park. This is a free event for you and your family to learn about fly-fishing and speycasting, from some of the most accomplished women anglers in the industry. Demos will be presented by Mary Ann Dozer, Rachel Andras, Adrianne Comeau, April Vokey, Jennifer Mitchell, Mia Sheppard, Katherine Hart, Nicole Darland, and Anne Tattam.

Also, meet fellow fly-fishers, learn to cast a spey rod, and try new equipment from a number of vendors. Potluck and PowerPoint in the evening following the presentations. Bring your favorite dish! We look forward to seeing you there!

There is no charge except for the park entrance of $5.00 per vehicle. Overnight camping is available on a first come first serve for $20 (up to six people per site). No pets are allowed in Oxbow Park.

Visit The Fly fishing Shop or contact Mia Sheppard for more info.

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Casting For Recovery Pledge Drive

Hello Friends and Fellow Anglers,

This year, in the spirit of competition, good sportsmanship, and having another purpose at Spey-O-Rama (the world championship of distance spey casting) I’m raising money and awareness via a pledge drive for Casting For Recovery, which is a national non-profit support and educational program for women of all ages, in all stages of breast cancer, helping woman find strength and courage through flying-fishing, as a tool for recovery.

CFR provides retreats at no cost to participants, which allow women whose lives have been profoundly affected by breast cancer to gather in a beautiful, natural setting and learn to fly fish. The retreats incorporate counseling, educational services and the sport of fly fishing to promote mental and physical healing. CFR currently has 45 retreats in 35 states scheduled for 2011.

On April 17th, 2011, I will be casting at Spey-O-Rama, in San Fransisco. Donations are based on my longest cast, per foot. For example, if my longest cast is 125 feet and you donate $1.00 then you will write a check to CFR for $125.00 (last year my longest cast was 127 feet). 100% of donations go to CFR. Please help by spreading the word and donating any amount you can give.

Please click here to complete the pledge drive form, after completing, click the submit button at the bottom of the form. Keep updated on the casting results at our blog Metalheads. Results will be posted on April 17, 2011.

Thank you for supporting CFR!

Mia Sheppard
Little Creek Outfitters

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Whitney Gould instructional @ Spey Lodge

Enjoy a complete angling experience in British Columbia with fly fishing enthusiast C.F. Burkheimer instructional, staff Brian Styskal and Whitney Gould. From May 8-14, 2011 (5 days and 6 nights) you’ll fish for spring steelhead and salmon at the Spey Lodge. We present a unique week-long opportunity to learn steelhead angling and casting from experienced instructors and guides on the water and in the elements. Our goal is to share our love of the total fly fishing experience, and to assist you in your journey to become a more effective angler. These opportunities are tailored for your needs, whether you are a novice or an expert angler.

view full info…

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Circle Spey Basics

Whitney Gould, former women’s speycasting world champion, walks us through the basic steps involved in the circle spey, or snap T, spey cast.

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Sandy River Spey Clave Ladies Day

Sandy River Ladies Day


In the last few years women have come to the Spey Clave in bigger numbers. We want this year to be the biggest gathering of women ever for the spey community! Come join us for a special gathering the day before the clave kicks off. LADIES DAY! On Friday, May 14, 2010. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Come yourself, bring a friend, or better yet gather up all of your friends and let’s have a party! It’s an all inclusive day and it doesn’t matter what level you are:

- New to the sport of steelhead fishing and want to learn? Learn from fellow Steelhead chicks.
- Gals on hand to show you and guide you on how to cast a spey rod.
- Not so new but wishing to build upon and polish old skills, this is the place to be.
- Husbands bring your wives. Dads and moms bring your daughter. It’s never too early or late.

Bring your waders to get wet, good attitudes, laughs, and your rod. Don’t have a rod? There will be a limited amount of rods to lend. There will also be introductory casting demos along with available casting instructors. There is no charge except for the Oxbow Park entrance fee of $4.00 a vehicle and if you plan on camping there are spaces available on a first come first served for $15.00 a night (up to six people per site). Bring your own lunch and drinks.

Afterwards, join Patty, Mark and the FlyFish USA crew at the tent for a pot luck dinner and a power point presentation.

For Oxbow park camping information, rules, regulations and directions go to:

For more information about the Sandy Spey Clave check out:

Questions? Please contact Mia Sheppard at and/or Whitney Gould at

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