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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.

Best Regards,

Steelheadkid1
 

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IMHO - One of the NICEST thing about the claves is there aren't price tags and vendors trying to cram new gear down your throat. Claves are just a learning experience and a way to try some new equipment before you buy it. All of the pricing information and statistics are on the web anyway. Its the touchy feely part you get from the clave. I have all winter long to watch guys tie flies. Now is when I want to go out and fish or cast some new rods.

Meiser is a sponsor of this site and his website is http://www.meiserflyrods.com.

Nametags is a good idea.
 

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GL Clave

I, too, want to thank the organizers for the excellent time on Saturday(had to leave early Sunday). Everything free--amazing--one thought I would suggest for next year would be a donations box so we can help with the expenses.

Andy and Neil are some smooth casters and good teachers--thanks to you both. Can only dream of casting like that!! I echo the comment by Steelheadkid 1 that Neil is generous with his time and expertise--just ask him and he's there!!

Was a good site-we slept in a van in the park-good facilities---AND, there were 2 lightning strikes nearby that literally shot us out of bed at 1am--

Looking forward to delivery of the Meiser rod--it's a beauty!!

Again, thank you!!
 

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Thanks to all organizers

I had a dandy time. Nice to see you all.

My son asked when we can come back.

Thanks to Andy for the Friday lessons and to Andy and Neil for the Saturday demos. The best tip for me was to sloooow down and bring the bottom hand back to my breast pocket.

Thanks to Great Lakes Fly Fishing Company (please become a sponsor of this site)

Thanks to Bob Meiser and his rods (Casting the 13' 3" 6wt confirmed I made a great decision in ordering one)

Thanks to the Sage rep for bringing the gear and grub (sorry I don't remember your name).

thanks to Juro for getting out the CNDs.

Thanks to House of Hardy.

I attemted to try all rods with a 6 or 7 rating, but I'm sure I missed at least one. If I went Sunday I would have worked my way up to the 8/9 rods. (Peter, I didn't get a chance to try the Lochmor, maybe next time. I wished I knew you were looking for a lighter line to try. I brought a Midspey 6/7 and DT9 line)

Again, thanks to all who pulled off the event.

Gary
 

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I had a great time at the Clave ... in spite of some storms. Saturday morning was a bit wet.

I would also like to add my thanks to Andy for the Friday lesson. It is amazing how much better I cast with Andy standing off my right side telling me ... slow down ... slow down ... now easy.

Neil for the all his help all weekend long ... helping my casting and helping me get the right line set up for my rod ... big difference. And of course for all the demos.

Thanks to all the sponsors ... Great Lakes Fly Fishing Company and House of Hardy for bringing in Andy, Bob Meiser for all the rods, to Sage for bringing the food and T&T.

Thanks to Mark for working to set up the Clave and some great Italian Sausages.

Thanks to Rick for a great discussion on Spey flies.

Thanks to Pat for going fishing with me on Friday. We didn't catch the big one but it was a beautiful day on the river.

Doug and Peter also ... thanks for your help aways good to see you.

Again ... thanks to all who attended and helped make the Great Lake Spey Clave a real fun event.

I am looking forward to see you all in the fall in Brantford.

Stephen
 

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Brantford again???

Isgrigg said:
I am looking forward to see you all in the fall in Brantford.

Stephen
Yahoo!!!!!
Where's the sign-up page?
 

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Meiser rod delivery

:) Received the Meiser rod today that was donated to the clave. Everything about the rod is beautiful!! It is visually a true work of art and as a novice caster I noticed an immediate improvement in my casting!! Neil and Rick also cast it and were impressed. There were quite a few compliments from them--in a word "GREAT!!" We used a Vision Ace head 10.8m 31gm ST910F and it really went out there--Neil was easily casting 100ft with it!! He commented that maybe a heavier head would work even better--that's on for another day.

Thanks again to the clave organizers and to Bob Meiser who was excellent to deal with and he also allowed me to upgrade the rod to the 4pc 13' 7/8 model. :) :)
 
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