Great Lakes Spey Clave
Ladies and Gentleman,
We endured the early morning rains and I wanted to say that the Great Lakes Spey Clave was enjoyable. I am new to this group and traveled from Algonac over to join in on the event.
The instructors were excellent. This was the first one of these things I have attended. I have many good things to say and thought I should start with the Good!!
The location and of course the river was excellent. You really got to practice and you had Fantastic instructors. I couldnt believe this was free. The instruction really was Great, Andy and Neil were wonderful. Nice job guys.
I particularly wanted to give accolades to Neil Houlding. I was brand new to this type of fishing. I have chased steelhead and salmon for only six years now and always with the traditional 9ft single hand rod. I did not do my homework very well when I went out and purchased a Speyrod. I simply went to Cabellas and bought a 13' St Croix rod. I did buy a good reel from Harris. I love it. Line is another matter all together. I had some sort of line that a local shop set up for me and in Neil's words... I could have done better on the line. I will make that correction.
Saturday the "crowd" was there and I felt a little embarrassed to ask any questions and it appeared Neil's time was at a Premium with the guys who really are quite good at casting from what I could see.
Sunday morning I went back down just to see if I could get a few minutes to ask a couple of stupid questions. Neil had done a casting demonstration on Saturday afternoon and I purposely got in the water up stream from him so I could try to copy some of the things I saw him doing. Needless to say he makes it look very easy. With him casting left handed too it was a great opportunity for me... I get confussed watching the Right hand guys. I learned a great deal just watching him and listening to him, and then trying it. It was very helpful to get into the water and try to imitate what he was doing.
Sunday morning I found Neil with only a couple of guys near by and I wandered up to see if I could get some of his time. He smiled and welcomed my question. When I told him what I bought and what I was using, he said... "Go get your Rod and Reel." (I just wanted to ask a few stupid questions.) He took some time with me and showed me some of the basics. He looked at my rod, reel, and made a couple of suggestions. This was worth gold to me. Thank you Neil and I hope you enjoyed the Oatmeal Stout! The English know their beer almost if not better than the Germans.
This was the highlight of my trip. A couple of minutes of quality time and some great feedback and suggestions. Neil you are a Gentleman. I appreciate it.
Now.. for the GL Spey Clave. I was hoping for more. Maybe a tent or two, maybe some fly tying demonstrations or more lectures etc. I am certainly not complaining because it was Free... from that perspective you guys did a great job.
Secondly, the Rods that were displayed were beautiful but there were no prices on them and no advertising. In particular the guy from Oregon's rods. He might have sold a rod or two had he had his info. out there. There were no reels to look at that I was aware of. I figured there would be more selling. You couldn't find any lines for sale either.
That's the only negative... It was hard to know who had organized it, it was hard to know who was who. Name tags might have been helpful. With that said, gentleman I hope I will be invited next year. It was a pleasure meeting all of you.
Who ever was responsible for this deserves credit for a job well done.