Headhunters manager Sara Roholt and guide Beth Hood held our first women’s spey clinic this weekend. As expected from these two, the clinic was a success and all who attended learned a thing or two about spey casting, rigging and equipment from these 2 spey-junkies.

Sara and Beth are on the water all winter throwing their spey rods, so this isn’t a social experience. These gals know what they’re talking about.

Former Headhunters staffer and Bozeman photographer Jess McGlothlin was also in attendance, and provided these great photos. click to enlarge


Saturday was on the cool side, and excessively windy. The girls chosen spot (at Ben McNinch and Nick Stipech’s pad) proved to be the least windy spot on the river. An excellent choice.

Sara and Beth followed our standard clinic protocol, starting with an hour-plus of classroom explaining the gear and terminology, followed by on water casting instruction. Sara ran the in-classroom session, as her knowledge of equipment proved invaluable. Beth headed up the on-water casting portion, and worked on fundamentals starting with the final launch stroke.

Sara thought that most attendees were interested in applying spey techniques to local trout fishing in Montana, as opposed to future Steelhead trips. We think that’s great. Get out there and swing up some Montana natives!

“It’s exciting to watch a group of women of varying skill levels come together to learn something new! Sara and Beth were excellent teachers, and it’s hard to imagine a better setting for the new Montana Spey angler to put their new skills to use.” – Jess McGlothlin


Because we receive a lot of feedback about gear at our clinics, we were looking forward to a women’s only perspective. Sara’s compiled feedback was that the group really enjoyed the Orvis Clearwater Spey (first) and the Sage Method (second). Not as popular were the Echo Glass Spey/Switch and new Redington Chromer. We’re receiving a bunch of Echo TR’s this week, and I would expect them to be as popular as the Orvis.

Very interesting. The Clearwater (med) and Method (fast) are two completely different rod actions, but two of our favorite. No surprises there. The Echo Glass Spey and Switch rods are shop and customer favorites, but we have always heard negative comments from the ladies. We attribute this to the extra weight of these fiberglass rods. Men seem not to notice, but women most definitely do. The new Redington Chromer has received “meh” reviews from our staff, and from this group apparently.


The group used both Skagit and Scandi lines, and Skagit prevailed as the easiest and most enjoyable. We all know that Skagit lines are a bit easier to throw. The ladies group would also agree more fun to throw. They definitely do more of the work for you, which is nice.

Sara, Beth and Headhunters also provided some warm soup, veggie trays, chardonnay and I heard there was some Bailey’s floating around. All appreciated from the sounds of it. It was a little windy and cool Saturday.


Will we hold more ladies Spey Clinics? Up to Sara and Beth, but I would expect that we will. If you’re interested I suggest harassing Sara at the shop.

clinic, spey, troutspey, women
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