Possible Great Lakes Spey Clave - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-11-2003, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 235
Possible Great Lakes Spey Clave

Well how about it, a clave sometime later this spring here in the Great Lakes. I believe that this would be a great opportunity to witness the Great Lakes fishery by showing our home rivers and teaching techniques that are appropriate to our area that may not be seen that often. Destinations would be limited to the larger rivers in our region that can be waded and allow steelheading opportunities into the May-June months. Also rivers must be stable and allow angling under all conditions. It wouldn't take that much planning, as I have already did alot of it for my own local clave that I planned on hosting. Read below for details:

GL Spey Clave locations/details:

Ontatrio - Saugeen or Maintland River: Ontario's Saugeen and Maintland Rivers border Lake Huron's shorline and boost excellent runs of broad shouldered steelhead into mid-late May. A great place to hold a clave since both rivers allow use of spey angling methods, and allow for easily wading. The opportunities of catching steelhead in prime lies such as pocket water, pools, runs, and flats only further the expirence! Also consider the unique landscape with rolling hills, farmland and woodlands.

Michigan - St. Mary's River: The St. Mary's River in Michigan's beautiful upper peninsula is a world class fishery. A larger river system consisting of a rapids and a channel that connects Lake Superior to Lake Huron. Steelhead ascend later than most rivers in the spring, with opportunities into mid-late June at times. Late May or early June would be a good bet. This river also offers the chance to hookup with early skamania steelhead, large resident browns and rainbows, and even an occasional early atlantic if conditions are ideal. Steelhead also can be taken on a dry fly on this river system. Nearby Georgian Bay allows you to chase pike, muskie and atlantics as they feed on smelt and baitfish on the flats. The remotness sets it apart, making it feel like you are in the wilderness. Truly an desitination that should be expirenced.

Michigan - Muskegon River: The Mighty Mo as it is often referred to is a tailwater fishery in the heart of Michigan's Lower Peninusla. This river is quite large and allows use of a spey. Steelhead run later into spring, but best action is late april.
This river is an excellent trout fishery resembling a spring creek. Steelhead can be very large, and a great way to target them is in the slots and pools below gravel beds. Defintly not out of the question.

Let me know what you think. I can plan this very quickly and would be a great weekend clave. I was thinking sometime in earlier May, but we can always stretch this into June if we plan on heading to the St. Mary's.
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-11-2003, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2002
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You are correct, but you can wade the St. Mary's depending on where you go. You are right, the St. Mary's with a large amount of people would not be the best choice.

Mo would be a good choice, but the runs aren't as late at times and it can be very crowded.

The Saugeen might be the best choice!
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-11-2003, 09:00 PM
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Muskegon in May I will be there.

BBT had one last August at Henning Park access.

It was just a one dayer though no overnight lodging needed though.

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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-11-2003, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2002
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Well, I guess we can have a poll! Looks like a go, either the Saugeen or Muskegon!

So who's up for what? Please post!
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-11-2003, 09:24 PM
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Muskegon for 1 or 2 days.

Still not many decent motels around Newaygo though is there ?

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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-11-2003, 11:48 PM
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Here is the link of lodging and camping in Newaygo area, near Henning Park and the Muskegon.

Beleive me these are not upscale motels. I went through Newaygo on may way north in April and there was not to much new there as far as motel/hotels that I could see.

Would have to find the nicest place in the area. Closest big name hotel like a Holiday Inn, Comfort Inn etc is probably Rockford, MI, or Grand Rapids. Thats 30 miles away from Newaygo as I recall too far. I'm used Hyatts, Marriotts, etc.. (but I can rough it for a night or two)

Gray Drake Lodge (MS place) is not far right ?

I really don't know this area well anymore used to fish it a lot 20 years ago but then found my lovely home river, you know what I mean.

Michigan fishers will know.

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Last edited by pmflyfisher; 01-12-2003 at 12:06 AM.
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-12-2003, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2002
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I don't mind where and you are right, it isn't just the fishing, it is getting together, I haven't met anyone from this site as of yet. I will take alot of the responsibility since I may be hosting this clave and I want it to get an alright turonout for such short notice. Maybe we can get the event on the Speypages site, who should I talk to about it?

Also, this will be a like an outting/mini clave. I can try to get some vendors and if possible maybe we can get some sponsers. I will ask Matt if he would, I have to call him when he gets back from the show anyways or I might try his cell tonight. I am not sure if he would sponser the event since it might cost alot for lodging and such. Still awaiting to hear from Craig Harris.

Well, just for the record...there should be steelhead wherever we go.

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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-12-2003, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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Regarding the MO...

I know of a few hotels in the area for the Muskegon. I stayed at one last time and will try to find it again. It was cheap, clean and cozy.

For the Saugeen, I will look around some more. Peter, please feel free to help if possible. We have to wait and see.

Also, I am going to call Flymart Flyshop here in Michigan and ask if they would like to sponser the event, as well as Grindstone Angling if we chose to go to the Saugeen.
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-12-2003, 09:34 AM
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In fact, Rob Estlund also tried a Spey Days in Michigan. I believe he held it on the MO. To say the turnout was disappointing would be an understatement. I think he had more guys there from Milwaukee than from Michigan. I believe that was in the fall of 2000. Maybe things have changed, but it seems to me that the clave in September/October is probably sufficient. We can seriously discourage manufacturers by making too many requests of them. Just ask them about club dinners, raffles, and auctions. Many get hundreds of requests each year and it just becomes a burden. I'd vote for allowing the fall one to happen before deciding to add more. I, personally, would prefer something as exciting as what's happening each year in Oregon than a bunch of watered down attempts.
post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-12-2003, 11:06 AM
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Yes I know Baldwin also does not have great places to stay for the most part, but when I am there for a hard core steelheading hunt the only requirement of the hotel is that it is clean and has warm water for a good shower at the end of the day. So I can survive anywhere.

But for a clave you probably want one decent hotel/motel with good rooms and amenities, a restaurant and bar where people could mingle. Not sure if that exists in Newaygo area.

Everyone may be right about the low number of michigan spey fishers, I have not seen another one in about two years on the river. Tired of getting the strange looks about the long rod.

Would need to see how many michigan, indiana, illinois, and wisconsin and western ontario speyers may show.

Maybe just make it a mini western GL spey clave with local michigan shops that are selling spey rods and lines. PM Lodge, BBT, GRs shops, I don't know just some random thoughts.

Yes there will definitely be steelhead around if it is early may, may even take you to my secret late spring steelheading location. Ever hook a may steelhead, in those 50 degree water temps they go air borne lickety split !!

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Last edited by pmflyfisher; 01-12-2003 at 11:41 AM.
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post #11 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-12-2003, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Yes this certainly would be a mini clave, more of an outting type idea. I still want the event to take place, as I can arrage it.

Just post where and when? I can talk to a few guides who spey fish in Michigan that might attend!
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post #12 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-12-2003, 05:45 PM
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The MO

The muskegon, After all its a TRUE Great Lakes Outting, I have fished the many of times. It is a great river, it has an abudance of caddis larva allowing us to swing mini pettite speys imitating them. The MO gets great runs of fish untill late may. I know many guides who fish this river, Im sure they'd be happy to sponsor/help us out with this clave.

Hope for a good run of steel this spring!!!


With the Mo being such a large river it is recommended to use a spey to cover water. I prefer a rod of 11' - 14' that is is rated for a 7-9wt line. Fishing runs, cuts and pools below gravel with indicator methods is best. Also, swinging speys on gravel can bring good numbers of fish as well.

More to come!

Last edited by Chrome4life; 01-12-2003 at 06:14 PM.
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post #13 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-12-2003, 07:35 PM
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Location: Great lakes region Grand River, Maitland. Saugeen
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Thumbs up Great LakesSpay Clave

All being well,count me in Dan.I can talk to you later about it at Southfield.
Peter,maybe we can drive down together.Let me know.
Neil,Spey laddie,

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post #14 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-12-2003, 09:50 PM
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I'm in....

I'm in!
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post #15 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-12-2003, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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sounds like a go...

Now all we need is to find some more people to come and get a date and lodging options set.

Now comes the fun....
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