By Jake Crawford

Spey School with Scott O'Donnell and Simon Gawesworth

September 30 - October 5, 2024

Speywater Lodge, Oregon

Join Far Bank's Education and Engagement Manager Simon Gawesworth and renowned Spey casting instructor and Sage Ambassador Scott O’Donnell for a highly educational, in-depth Spey School at Speywater Lodge in Northeastern Oregon.

Scott and his crew are master instructors and the Grande Ronde is the best place to learn the art of Spey casting and improve your swing fishing skills. This Far Bank Spey School is an incredible opportunity to learn or improve your Spey casting and swing fishing with some of the best instructors around, while fine-tuning a personal setup. All of this along the banks of the beautiful Grande Ronde River.

Whether you are a seasoned Spey angler or new to the sport, this trip to Speywater with Scott O'Donnell and Simon Gawesworth is sure to be an exciting and educational adventure. Simon will be traveling with the latest Sage fly rods and RIO fly lines perfectly matched for the Grande Ronde. Students will learn in the classroom on select mornings and evenings and spend the first day on the river learning to cast with Scott, Simon and other casting instructors. The remaining three days concentrate on putting into practice the skills learned with days of guided fishing with Speywater's top Spey guides.

Far Bank Fly Fishing Schools are designed so that students leave the course with all the knowledge and skills needed for a lifetime of enjoyment in fly fishing. We do this by keeping the instructor to student ratio to an absolute minimum. On group lesson days there will be a maximum of 3 students per instructor, and on the putting-into-practice fishing days, only two guests per professional guide.

Group Size: 6 students


  • September 30: Arrive Troy, OR. Welcome dinner.
  • October 1: Classroom and casting sessions with Simon and Scott.
  • October 2: Morning classroom session, followed by a full day of fishing.
  • October 3: Full day of guided Spey fishing and instruction.
  • October 4: Full day of guided Spey fishing or a full day casting clinic with Simon.
  • October 5: Depart lodge.

Rate: $3,850 Per person based on double occupancy for a 5 night/ 4 day school


  • Use of Sage, Redington, and RIO demo gear
  • Accommodations
  • All meals at the lodge
  • Fishing instruction
  • Guided fishing
  • Tax

Not Included:

  • Airfare
  • Transportation to/from the lodge
  • Alcohol
  • Fishing license
  • Gratuities

Meet Scott O'Donnell

Scott O'Donnell has deep roots in the sport stemming back to the 1980’s and his time serving the Navy in Washington State. There he met another like-minded soul, Dec Hogan, and together they learned to steelhead fish and Spey cast. Scott guided for winter steelhead on the Sauk and Skagit Rivers for many years before relocating to the northern Oregon coast to do more of the same. In the meantime, he spent more than 25 seasons guiding in Alaska, designed the very first RIO Products Skagit lines and enjoyed the pleasure and recognition of being named a Sage Ambassador.

Meet Simon Gawesworth

Suggested Oregon Spey Gear

In addition to finding the right water, having the right gear can help make any day that much better. For over 20 years Fly Water Travel has been fly fishing's most trusted and respected source for finding the right water. Now, along with Sage, RIO Products, and Redington, Fly Water Travel is a proud member of the Far Bank Family. As part of this larger team, we are able to access decades worth of manufacturing passion and knowledge enabling us to expand our role to include in-depth advice on the world's best rods, reels, lines, and flies.

We know the Spey world is full of mysterious tackle items like MOW tips, Skagit heads, and shooting lines, and that many guests won’t have the right gear to use, or even know what gear to buy in advance. Rather than buy the wrong gear, you are welcome to use the equipment provided by the lodge and school, which will all be perfectly matched and balanced for each class and situation. A big part of the course is designed to give you the knowledge needed to go out and purchase the right equipment for you and your future Spey journey. If you would like to bring your own equipment, the following is a good guideline of gear that will be most applicable to the trip.