This was the first year of the Brule River Spey Day. Hosted by the Lake Superior Steelhead Association. Casting demonstrations and instructions were given by Paul Sandstrom of the Lake Superior Steelhead Association, Bob Nasby local fly fishing legend and recent inductee to the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame, Dave Pinczkowski local guide and inspiration.
The event took place at McNeil's on the lower Brule. I don't think they could have picked a better location. A beautiful place that holds memories for many people and fuels the dreams of days to come.
The event was rather informal for the first year. Just the way I like it. A friend told me it was a spur of the moment decision and that it was advertised for only 10 days. By my estimation about 30 people were there to absorb whatever they could about this wonderful sport of spey fishing.
After the demonstrations people were able to get some one on one instruction from the presenters and try out a variety of equipment that was on hand. People also talked about gear, casting and fishing over lunch which was generously provided by the LSSA.
I had a great time and met some cool and inspiring people. Hopefully they do it all again next year. I'm pretty sure people learned a lot, because they were glued to the scene when the demonstrations were going. I think I'm the only one that took the time to take some photos so I figured I'd post a few.
I'm in for 2016. I had a lot of people questioning me about my Spey rod and casting last fall fishing the Brule. People are coming around. I also taught a few people to cast to show them it's not rocket science. They did pretty good straight off.
Yes, I believe Scott Thorpe and is helping to put it together for the fall. He told me is scheduled for October 8, 2016.
I don't think I'll be able to make it, but they are hoping to put together another good list of presenters and demos. Nice to see more interest in swung fly and spey casting up there.
They need to do an etiquette and run rotation demo!! (It isn't actually terrible up there, but more more awareness of swung fly fisherman moving down runs and cycling through with multiple fisherman would be a great additional to the generally good Brule river culture.)
Your right about having the need for increased etiquette. The fishing pressure has increased a lot in the last 5 years. Also making it increasingly harder to get fish on the swing. The people that need to be educated most about what the swingers are doing will not be at the gathering so we'll have to talk to them on the river.
A lot of swingers out this last spring, huge change in a short time. I only seem to have trouble with the drifters, low hole and camping. The guys I fish with we move pretty fast and keep moving. See you on the 8th, I'd be more than happy to teach some casts. Thanks for asking, it will be fun.
The Lake Superior Steelhead Association(LSSA) deserves a big thank you. They did a great job of hosting the 2nd annual Brule Spey Day October 8, 2016. I can't imagine what it takes to organize one of these events, but I'm sure it takes a lot of time and money. Rental of the McNeil property, the sound system, a pile of food which was served for free at lunch time. The demostrators and instructors got to room in the house for two days payed for by the LSSA. It's hard to believe they covered the bill for all this stuff. I'm sure there's more I don't know about. I sincerely hope people donate in some way to the LSSA to keep these events going and most of all to assist them in looking out for our precious resources.
We had a major cold front blow through, but everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves thoroughly. There was plenty of sun and temps got to somewhere near fifty. It was a little breezy, but not too bad. Definitely better than the day before. No one suffered too much since any steelheader learns quick how to dress for extreme conditions. Actually it was pretty nice compared to some of the conditions we have to face during the season.
Another big thanks for the guys doing the presentations. It was generous of them to donate their time, knowledge and the experiences that they accumulated over the years. Presenters were Bob Nasby, Dave Gellately, Andy Selvig and Paul Sandstrom. We were all sad that Dave Pinczkowski couldn't make it this year to share his wealth of knowledge. He's truly a nice guy to hang out with and learn from.
I've been teaching one on one casting for quite a few years so I said I would help teach during the event. No problem; that was my comfort zone. I was quite surprised to find out the night before that I was actually on the roster to do a presentation. Since I have never done a talk or demonstration of any kind in front of a large group of people in my entire life I would have never outright agreed to do it. I don't like to be the center of attention. They had to trick me into it. I didn't pass out or die.lol
Dave Gellately was there to represent Sage Rods. Bob Nasby and Bob McGraw are on the pro staff and represented St. Croix Rods. I feel real bad because I don't know all the details. Hopefully you guys or Paul will read this and fill in the blanks. I know it wasn't just Sage and St. Croix that were represented.
There were some prizes that were raffled off at no charge. All you had to do was show up and get your tickets. I don't know everything, but I seen about 8 fly lines and a custom made rod that came from Bob Nasby. A switch rod donated by St. Croix Rod Company. I seen a Lund's Fly Shop hat. Please, someone give credit where it is due since I don't know all the details.
The event was only scheduled from 11-3pm, but some of us can't ever get enough casting so we were at it until about 5pm where the last of the stragglers headed off to fish the magic hour before dark. We had a bunch of rain the 2 days before so the conditions were prime over the weekend. It was good to hear stories of broken leaders, straightened hooks, some that were landed and the overall pleasure of just being on the water in such an amazing place.
Wish I had some event photos for you, but I was too busy this time.
Finally getting around to posting about the 2017 Brule Spey Day. Has been a real crazy fall for me. Things are not fresh in my mind anymore so I'll probably miss something.
Thanks again to the LSSA for another great event. They provided food for everyone, lodging for those that were helping with the event, and probably stuff I don't know about.
Presenters were Bob Nasby, Dave Gellatly, Andy Selvig, Paul Sandstrom and Mike Pitan. I narrowly got out of presenting this year, but I was around to help with everything else. Presenters talked about everything spey, from equipment, casting, fishing and more. I heard a lot of questions come from the audience when the presentation turned to fishing steelhead on top.
We had representatives from St. Croix, OPST, Sage, Rio and more.
Free raffle tickets were passed to whomever wanted them. There were a lot of prizes raffled off this year. A pile of stuff from Bob Nasby including a new reel and line that went with the switch rod that St. Croix donated for the event. Other prizes from Lunds Fly Shop and Dave Gellatly of Northwind Sales.
As usual a bunch of people were casting pretty late after the main event was over. I did not hear of any fish being caught over the weekend. The browns were in the system and a few other species just starting to pop up on the radar once in a while. Action was pretty slow. Dusk and dawn are the best chance in early September. My group didn't get anything of notable size, only smolts. We'll be back at it this fall for sure.
I'm looking forward to next years event when we can all meet again and share our experiences. Take care.
Just a reminder that Brule River Spey Day is on again for September 8th, 2018. I'm bummed I'm going to miss it this year and miss out on catching up with people. I have things I need to do with the family on the same day. Someone else will have to report on the event this year. Wish you all the best.
Talked to Bob Nasby who presented at the event. He said there were a good deal more people there than last year. So the interest in everything spey and the event keeps growing. He said there were representatives there from St. Croix, OPST, Speyco, Sage, Redington, Rio. As usual the Lake Superior Steelhead association did a great job of hosting the event. I'm sad I missed out on visiting with everyone and teaching casting. Looking forward to next year.
On a side note, I'm working at Lund's Fly shop in River Falls Wisconsin and seeing more and more people in the shop that want to know what spey is all about. I'm sure a bunch of these people fish the Brule and were at the event. There definitely has been an up tick in interest in the last couple years in our area. There were a few of us that started around 15 years ago, but finally more and more of the local trout folk are starting to see the benefits of fishing small streams spey style. I guess things take a while to catch on with the masses. I think they are finally realizing that it adds more options to their presentation. I talked to a guy last week in the shop and he had completely given up fishing dries and nymphs on the local trout streams and on the Brule. All he is doing now is fishing wets and streamers spey style. Said he has been catching some real nice fish. It's good to see that the sport is still growing and people are expanding their skill set.
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