Brian Styskal

Brian Styskal to appear at The Sandy River Spey Clave

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Brian Styskal has been flyfishing since the age of five. He caught his first trout on a small tributary of the Yakima river that ran behind his families farm in Ellensburg Wa under the watchful eye of his grandfather an accomplished angler he learned to cast the cane rod with two hands. Not yet strong enough to cast it with one hand he had no idea that his lifes passion would be founded on casting with two hands.

When the family moved to Issaquah Washington the idea of trout fishing became over shadowed with the possibilities of steelhead. Steelhead soon became an obssesion and at the age of twelve he caught and landed his first one on the cedar river. It was a short bike ride from the house so almost every day was spent on the river. Not only were there steelhead but also large lake run rainbows to be caught. Those days were heaven on earth, eventually the steelhead journey took him to the northern rivers of the state, the Sauk and Skagit rivers. Rumors of 20lb and 30lb steelhead were hard to ignore. After reading the holy bible of steelhead fishing by Trey Combs it was a done deal.

Thats were the journey took a new turn. learning to tie the flies required at the time to catch steelhead. There are thousands of flies that will catch a steelhead, none of them are as beautiful and effective as the ones tied by Syd Glasso when it comes to swinging flies for steelhead. While Syd was in Issaquah Wa for a short time they would tie flies together. The boy learned precision, and that each fly tied should be worthy of the steelhead. If the fly was off a bit off you started over no exceptions!

At the same time a two handed rod was bought and the journey of speycasting had begun. Self taught at the begining and struggling Mike Kinney stepped in to give a hand. I have been fortunate to have some great instructors but none that come close to Mike. He taught you that casting well was being able to use all the styles to your advantage. Learn them all and use the one that best suites your fishing conditions at the present time. It was the best advice I ever recieved and am still trying to achieve to this day. You can call the cast whatever you want but it still boils down to the basic fundimentals. Mike Kinney and Aaron Reimer were a huge influence on my casting and developing my own casting style. My good friend Greg Bencivenga and also Whitney Gould helped fine tune things for me. Being that second set of eyes you need when working on your casting is huge. I had two of the best.

These days I spend my time teaching casting through C.F Burkheimer rods and also doing classes through the Avid angler in the Seattle area.The folks at Avid are top notch and deffinetly at the forefront of speycasting here in Washington. I also host trips to remote B.C rivers through the C.F Burheimer casting school chasing steelhead and also King salmon. I also do a fair bit of private instuction when time allows. The competition casting bug is a hard one to shake. I have spent the last five years competing at "speyorama" down at the golden gate angling and casting club. Its an awsome event. I have done O.K been in the top three four years straight. Still lookin for # 1, maybe this year?. When I am not working I enjoy being a steehead bum with my newfoundland dog Kai hiking and fishing the rivers of Washington and Oregon and B.C.

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