Fly Rod ‘N Reel Client Testimonials
My 12-year old son and I first found Mike in the fall of 2014 to refine my son’s self-taught skills, and to initiate me into fly fishing. Mike was able to get me capable in one day at the winery pond he uses for Workshop #1, and was able to advance my son’s skills. Mike was also great with spec’ing out gear for the two of us and selling us rods, reels, accessories, and flies to put under the Christmas tree.
Last week we booked Mike to guide us to the Rapidan river in the Shenandoah National Park (knowing it wasn’t the most easily accessed river). See Mike’s blog posting on his site. We had a great trip, to a beautiful setting, and caught a lot of beautiful Brookies.
Mike was very helpful in helping us navigate the river, reading the pools, picking the right flies, coaching on casting, and serving us a great lunch on the river. Mike’s easy to hang out with, has been great with tutoring my son, and has given us the gift of a father-son tradition to last the rest of our lives.
Wow, what a fantastic day! Relaxation while leaning…..
Mike is a terrific guide with the perfect temperament. I tried fly fishing three previous times so was beginning to get the feel of the cast. Mike watched and provided the tips needed to make the cast just a little easier and more precise. Then we began the real learning…reading the river. The first thing Mike did was pick up a rock that had been in the river and showed me the “critters” that the fish feed on in that particular river. It was interesting to learn how important it is to match a fly to the bugs that were native. After this simple step, which as a novice, was a huge new skill, we then started looking at the water and seeing the places that fish would hang out and where you would want the fly to be located that might induce a strike. To summarize the day, I caught two trout on a fly, and a wealth of knowledge was gained from someone that has the perfect personality for teaching; patient and thoughtful.
Mike took care of everything from the moment we met, through lunch and the final hours of fishing. I strongly recommend the one-on-one day adventure if you are just getting into fly fishing or if you have tried a couple times on your own. Books are great to understand the basics, but having someone watch every flick of the wrist or cast is something you can’t get from books. Worth every penny. Thanks Mike!!
I’m sure you’re out over the big ocean somewhere, but I wanted to let you know that I’ve had a chance to go over that rod front to back with a fine toothed comb, and I have to say, I don’t think I have seen a nicer looking graphite rod, factory or custom. I’ve been to tons of fly shops, seen and cast the cheapest to the top dollar rods, but this rod and your others have a distinct edge on all others I’ve seen.
I’m sure as an engineer, you already know, “it’s in the details”. I’m amazed at the fit and finish on each part of this thing, from each wrap of thread, to each drop of epoxy, to the alignment of the guides, to the seamless fit and flawless placement of the winding check. You truly have a gift for this.
I was fortunate to have a one-on-one workshop. Mike is extremely knowledgeable and thorough on all aspects of fly fishing. Mike clearly communicates the techniques of rigging the rod and reel, tying knots, and casting, and is patient and positive with his instructions. I look forward to taking Workshop 2 next spring for a day of Guided Fly Fishing and Training!
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the introductory fly fishing course. It was basic enough to give us an introduction to the sport and decide if we would like to pursue it further. We plan to take the next course.
Cathy & Gary
I’ve wanted to learn to fly fish for years, but having never picked up a fly rod in my life, the idea of getting into the sport was a bit daunting. That all changed after taking Mike’s workshop #1. It was THE perfect introduction to the sport for a beginner like me. The small size of the class allows for quite a bit of personal instruction, and Mike was the consummate teacher. He certainly knows his stuff, but his ability to communicate that knowledge to those of us in the class is special, and made the workshop worth every penny. It was a great way to spend a Saturday, and I highly recommend WS#1 for anyone interested in the sport. You will not be disappointed!
Joe, Leesburg VA
This course is awesome! Michael is a great guy- very kind, but he is also very knowledgeable about the material, and patient to his students needs/questions. If you are considering learning to fly fish, look no further. I caught a Big Mouth Bass with him my very first time fly fishing!
From Andrew, WS #1.
“For about 10 years or so I’ve been wanting to learn how to fly fish and learn the proper way to gracefully cast. Luckily, I found Mike Spillias through http://flyrodnreel.com, via Google, and Mike turned this dream of mine into a reality. After Mike’s personal one-on-one casting lesson, I now feel confident to cast my first fly line out on the rivers and streams of Virginia and West Virginia on my own. Thanks to Mike patiently teaching me the fundamentals of fly fishing, I now have a lifelong hobby and a lifetime of enjoyment ahead of me.”
Lifelong Freshwater Fisherman and Soon-to-be Fly Fisherman
I just happened upon Mike’s site while browsing online for local fly fishing groups, shops, etc. I e-mailed and we arranged an hour, private casting lesson — he was very flexible scheduling with my hours and the winds of late Feb! I was duly impressed with his knowledge and more so his ability to convey that knowledge! Mike has a great, easy going style of teaching. And he was able to solidly improve my casting distance by the end of that single hour! Not to mention some other really helpful corrections to my cast! So, besides that — I didn’t have to drive an hour away or book weeks in advance! He is right in Leesburg, VA. I look forward to going on a guided trip with Mike someday soon — and I am sure the results will be equally rewarding. Thanks again, Mike!
Good luck with upcoming shows..hope to see you soon! All the best!
I recently scheduled a casting lesson with Mike and was very impressed with
his teaching abilities. Mike immediately diagnosed my casting problems and I
was able to apply his instruction with ease. Within minutes of our lesson I
was casting better and my overall distance improved without a doubt!
I plan to schedule a follow-up casting session with Mike in the near future
and I definitely recommend his casting school to anyone.
Thanks for a great lesson Mike!
I really enjoyed every aspect of WS#1. It is precisely what I was looking for.
Well Done and Thank You.
Steve & Kerem
Kerem Practicing His Fly Fishing Knots
Steve Tightening Up His Loops
I had the opportunity to fly fish the Slaty Fork West Virginia section of the Elk River with Mike from Flyrodnreel…had one of my best fishing experiences with him.
Mikes ability to demonstrate and teach enabled me to have and enjoy a very productive couple of days fly fishing the Elk looking forward to another productive excursion with Mike in the near future
Thanks Mike !!
Luke from Leesburg Casting at Casanel 4/24/12
Fly Rod ‘N Reel’s training classes provide all the Fly Fishing information you will need to know. The classes simplify the skills you need including knot tying, fly selection, casting techniques, and provides an experts point of view on the types of equipment you will need and how to best use it. Mike is an expert fly fisherman, trainer, and based upon his years of experience Mike offers you the best equipment available on the Market….If you are new to fly fishing, need a refresher course, I am sure Mike will be able to help you with your Fly Fishing questions and equipment needs……Luke from Leesburg
I have been fishing with Mike Spillias for 7 years. I first heard about him from my son-in-law who was just getting interested in fly fishing. I kept hearing about this guy called Spillias who was a fish magnet and knew so much about fly fishing for trout, so I decided to check him out. I have been fly fishing 15 years and can attest to the fact that Mike definitely can stalk and land trout. When I started fishing with him he was easily out fishing me at a ratio of 5 to 1. With his patient coaching, I have improved so that he only out fishes me by about 3 to 1. He has arranged several fishing trips that have been perfect. He picks very nice lodging near or on the rivers that we are fishing and has made connections with some of the best local guides I have used. When I fish with Mike he is always focused on making sure his fishing friends get the best holes and is always willing to give guidance when asked.
I try to take every opportunity to fish with Mike to watch his controlled approached to the best lies, his beautiful casting, and his consistent hooking and landing trout.
Thanks Mike, Eric B
Mike Spillias is extremely adept at transferring his wealth of fishing knowledge to others. As his pupil, Mike patiently taught me the fundamentals of fly fishing on a trip to Colorado. Mike demonstrated to me many times his ability to catch fish while others are unsuccessful. He unselfishly advises his fishing companions on what it takes to find and catch fish. Mike’s experience and training skills have turned me into an accomplished fly fisherman.