No Spey Casting Experience Required!
We welcome the curious, the beginner, the expert alike!
I was reminded recently as to WHY WE DO SPEY NATION. In fact I was taken by surprise by a conversation that made me step back and say, what is it that we are trying to accomplish? And by me saying “We”, maybe I mean “I”. I can only speak for myself. For me, I do it because I want our fishery to become a better place for everybody. People who go to Spey Nation talk about concepts like streamside etiquette, conservation, returning Atlantic Salmon to historical watersheds, and angler rotation…and we share our knowledge to everyone who listens on this special day. And what’s not to love about that? It’s why I speak to the manufacturers reps all winter and make sure that they are in attendance. It’s why I talk to everyone who says “Pulaski is the worst place in the world to go fishing,” and tell them not to give up on us. It’s getting better every day.
It’s a chance to participate in a day that doesn’t have the distraction of fishing staring you in the face and you aren’t watching the clock as the sun is setting on the day you sat at the office and dreamed about for 2 weeks. It’s a day when we, who love the fishery, have a chance to give something back, take the time to acknowledge where we came from and share the love with others. I welcome all who love Salmon and Steelhead fishing, no matter how they choose to do so currently, to come and learn from area and national experts how to catch them with spey rods with no prejudice beyond some good natured ribbing to the boys in the LOTAC booth. If we just go and preach to the choir, then what’s the point? And by giving something back, I don’t just mean the raffle money that funds the Atlantic Salmon Club, I mean all the knowledge that we have to share about the sport we love so much. I think back to the first Spey Nation when a family of curious onlookers recieved a burger, an impromptu lesson about spey casting, and went home with 2 rods from the raffles. They come every year and they have become passionate advocates for the sport of swinging flies. I think back to 2008 when you would maybe see one or two spey rods on the river a trip, and the Spey section of www.salmoncrazy.com had about 15 people who wanted to put on a spey clave, and now it seems there is one in every pool and though we have our moments, Spey Nation should be a time when we show the fishery that we aren’t the elitists everybody may think we are.
So if you like what you have heard, share this with your buddies, who may fish the river differently and invite them up for a great weekend. Next year if you look over your shoulder at a group of people watching you cast, invite them up. It’s our chance to bring more people into the fold. Share this on your facebook page, twitter account and blog and get involved.
Most importantly, I work on Spey Nation for one reason: I love steelhead rivers, and this one is mine. I want it to be the best one it can be. We’ve come along way, this river and us. Let’s keep it up!
President: Geoff Schaake
Geoff Schaake is a former Alaskan and New York State Fly Fishing Guide residing in upstate NY with his wife and 2 kids. Geoff is the primary organizer of Spey Nation, a free Spey Clave on the Salmon River in Upstate NY and is constantly working to making his little corner of the world a better place for the fish and it’s resident river hippies.
Official Photog: Robin Hill
As an avid photographer since childhood. In what feels was another life time, I was a fly-fishing guide in Ak. I also spent some time as a fly fishing bum before settling down. While I don’t get out as often as I once did I appreciate my time on the water more than ever. I currently reside in upstate NY with my family. I am a working guy and take my camera with me on my travels
The Muscle: Matt Richardson
Matt Richardson grew up spending his summers in the Adirondacks. It wasn’t until a father/son trip to the West Branch of the Ausable that he fell in love with fly fishing. From that day forward, the thought of how and when he could get on the water never faded. When not searching for feeding trout on the Ausable, he spends time on the Delaware and Battenkill Rivers for feisty browns. Matt is also a special education teacher, and a weekend warrior in the off-season, chasing stripers in the salt or swinging for great lakes Steelhead. He is a natural teacher and enjoys teaching those eager to learn about the sport.
Eye Candy and Media Relations: Dave Lenhart
The Official Maester of Hopps: Dan Burnside
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