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Need Help in Up-State N Y

4870 Views 28 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Dana
Need help in finding knowledgeable shop in Up-State NY, Syacuse to Buffalo. NEVER cast a Spey Rod but have Redington Red.Fly 914 and STH 10-12 reel with 2 cassettes loaded 150+/- yds 30# dacron. Need help in lining this rod with something that is not going to need major fine tuning so I can start at least "grass casting". Initial useage probably will be SW on Cape Cod unless I can find someone up in this neck of the woods that would take me under their arm. PM me or put everything out for all to comment on. Thanks for your help :)
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Coleman's in Spencerport is knowledgeable and helpful, and can get you pointed in the right direction, but don't carry a lot of spey equipment. They do have lines. I have never been, but Oak Orchard Fly shop near Buffalo I believe was involved in the recent WNY spey clave, and should be helpful. There are a number of participants on this board from WNY and Ontario who may chime in and give you better info. Mark
I live in upstate NY and know where you are coming from. Both of the above mentioned shops are nice shops but are probably not the place to start if you are serious about spey casting. They tend to have very limited oppurtunities to try different rods or different styles of casting. If I know what I want and the local shops carry it I certainly suport them, but they are not the greatest place to go if you are starting out. Unfortunately spey casting is not yet popular enough in this area for the shops to be able to justify carrying a wide selection.

Claves are an excellent way to put multiple manufacturers rods in your hands. I don't know of any area ones coming up. You mentioned Cape Cod. If you get out that way Hunters Angling in Mass probably has one of the best selctions of spey rods in the NE. Juro from CND is also out that way and I'm sure he would be happy to put CND rods in your hand.

Some of the west coast dealers, Red Shed and Meiser come to mind, will send you a rod to try which is another alternative. If you have any opputunity to get to the west coast that is certainly where you will have the most oppurtunities.

I'm in your neck of the woods, PM me if you have more questions.

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Drop an e-mail or call Simon at Rio (208-524-7760).He knows well Redington rods( fast action) and will give you en excellent advice.

I was half asleep when I responded to your post this morning. I didn't catch that you already had the rod. On the rio website there are line reccomendations put together by Gawesworth. If your just starting out the B line ratings may be a better place to start. Belly length is hard to determin without knowing what you plan on doing, and even then it's highly subjective. If you can decide what line you want either of the two mentioned shops could get it for you.

There are a lot of oppurtunities in the NY area to work on your casting.

Oak Orchard does not carry spey rods.
Greg, actually Oak Orchard Fly Shop does carry spey rods. I just picked up a T&T from them a month ago after a test drive. Nick Pionessa is the manager there and was one of the group that put the Cattaraugus Clave together.

Since you'll be heading to the Cape for first usage you'll definitely want to enlist Juro on day 1 of your trip. He's EXCELLENT and you'll get a lot out of spending a day with him at the beginning of your trip. I met him at the Catt Clave and was impressed.

There is a pretty good crew in Buffalo as far as spey casting and fishing goes. Charlie (on this group) is one of the best tiers I know and can cast a very good line, Brian Slavinski is as smooth as they come and a heck of a fisherman, and Nick himself are all excellent resources. I also understand that Rick Kustich is quite a good caster as well. You should be able to enlist those any of these nice folks to further your cause.

Also, the Grand River in Ontario is another hour past Buffalo (sans border crossing). I'm sure you'll find resources there through Peter-s-c and Rick Whorwood.

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It's kind of a mute point since the original author of this post already has a rod, but I do have to agree with Greg. While it is true that the Oak stocks a few speys and would be very happy to get you whatever you want (this is the same story for all Fly shops around upstate NY), they have very limited selection to allow a beginner to try different actions or sizes. It is very hard to shop for spey rods in NY.

On a nicer note I'm headed out to the river. The water is high from all the rain NY has had. Time for some TC and big flies :D .

wilson said:
Greg, actually Oak Orchard Fly Shop does carry spey rods. I just picked up a T&T from them a month ago after a test drive. Nick Pionessa is the manager there and was one of the group that put the Cattaraugus Clave together.
I've spent a lot of time (...and US pesos...) at Oak Orchard, and Buffalo Outfitters just a bit further down the street. Unless there has been a major change in the last 6 weeks or so, the situation is that neither store carries more than one or two spey rods at any one time and the majority of the time they do not have any in stock. One of the original owners of Oak Orchard, Rick Kustich, has had quite an interest in spey rods for GL streams, but OO usuzlly carries a relatively small number of rods in stock and speys have never been a large seller in the area. Maybe that will eventually change, but I kinda doubt it.
Popnesetbay -

(one of my favorite little spots on the south cape shore if I am not mistaken!)

Coincidentally I guide thru the season right down the road in Chatham, and I am a FFF certified Two-handed (Spey) casting instructor. Realizing lately that folks sometimes have difficulty understanding someone wearing a lot of hats, I am hesitant to mention that I am also a Spey rod rep, so I can bring rods for demonstration and exploration of the fine art of spey casting and overhead casting with two-hands.

I recently organized a Cattaraugus Spey Clave with the guys in the Buffalo area where Topher Browne and I made presentations and answered questions in between. Brian Slavinski and Charlie had a phenomenal slide show to offer Sat night after dinner. I held a spey class on Saturday morning, great group and lots of progress made.

Oak Orchard and Buffalo Outfitters were in attendance. Nick Pionessa brought a truckload of rods. As I understand it from conversations they are both committed to supporting spey in the area in the seasons to come.

I am sure Greg's right in that the spey thing hasn't gone ablaze around the Buffallo scene quite yet but there are definitely folks fanning the fire and you can expect a lot more in the next few weeks / months.

Here is the link to the thread:


Definitely attend next years Catt clave, and if you are looking for instruction or advice in the mean time drop me a PM.
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Thanks to all

Thanks to all that took the time to respond. Have started several searches and am sure that I will get the direction that I am looking for. Once the holidays are over would like to meet with anyone in the Rochester area, if for no other reason than to put a face to a name/post. Happy Holidays to All. :)
truthful info on spey's in buffalo

hey Greg, get your facts straight before you post misinformation. the Oak Orchard Fly Shop, that i manage, carries spey rods from t&t , sage and winston. we have by far the best selection in the area, hand picked for our water by myself and many other well informed speyheads. we have been carrying at least 6 rods for over five years now. we were also the first shop in the area to carry ANY two handed rods, largely because Rick was one of the first in the gl to use them on our fish. if you haven't been in the shop for six months then all the two handers are not on display in the summer to make room for more trout rods on our rack. anyone who truly knows us knows of our commitment to traditional techniques and trying to throw off the "glo-bug" logic so prevelant in the gl. i am insulted. thanks to the folks who came to our defense in my absence. anyone who wants more info can feel free to pm me anytime or call the shop 716-626-1323, Greg's info is simply wrong. thanks for the plug, brother.

Nick Pionessa
Manager OOFS

take a look for yourself at:

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Not to turn this thread into an argument but for those out there looking for information on spey rods ion NY I have to clarify a few things from my perspective. I like the oak orchard fly shop a lot. They have a lot of knowledge regarding steelhead in the great lakes and do practice newer techniques including using spey rods for swinging wets.

However, as Peter said I have rarely seen more than 1 or 2 spey rods on the rack while there. This is understandable considering the limited demand for them in NY. Even if all 6 that Nick was talking about were out on the shelf it is still a very limited selection. If there are three manufacturers then that is only 2 from each line. Nick mentioned that they are rods chosen to fit the local waters. That is the real problem with shopping for spey rods in NY. Shop managers and owners have chosen a few rods that they think are appropriate. That usually leads to similair sizes and actions. Not really a lot of true selection.

The best way for someone in this area to try different rods is through claves and other gatherings where reps have the rods or contact manufacturers like CND and Meiser directly who will ship you a trial rod. Certainly if you find a rod you like at a clave and your local shop can get it for you, you should support local business. I would love it if a local shop made the move to stock a large inventory of speys, and I think Oak Orchard would be a great place to do it. But I also know that it would be a financial gamble.

The only other point I have to address is Nick's claim to be the first shop to carry ANY spey rods. Be careful with such broad claims. I bought my first spey rod from Carl Coleman when the Oak Orchard Fly Shop was still owned by Jerry Senecal and at an entirley different location. Kustich has been a forerunner in great lakes spey fishing but there were some of us doing it before he started writing about it.

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I was in Oak Orchard fly shop last night and Nick had at least 6 Spey rods. (I always have to walk by the T&T's and drool a bit). He also stocks some good reels and lines for Spey fishing. He knows Juro and can get CND rods if you want them. Nick is also turning into a very good caster and can offer some fantastic advice for anyone getting started as well as those who have been doing it for a while. Some of the other shops in the area will be happy to sell you a Spey rod but as for giving good advise on what to get? Good Luck.


P.S. Do I sound like a commercial or what. After all he is a good friend of mine.
I attended the CATT Spey Clave in Western N.Y. in September. There is certainly a lot of two-handed interest and expertise in Western New York.

Although my experience in the area is limited, the Catt and surrounding rivers would appear to be PERFECT for a Skagit-style rod and line, say something around 12'-13' in the #6-7-8 wt. class.

I only wish we had a resource like that where I live...
Hey all...

I just picked up a T&T from them a month ago after a test drive.
It's been a long time since I was in Buffalo and whether Oak Orchard Fly Shop has any spey rods or not is something I can't answer but something you guys should be looking at is in Wilson's quote above. That is the fact that he got a test drive. To me that says that Oak Orchard Fly Shop would be a good place to make a spey rod purchase.
i appreciate your praise of our shop. i won't argue who was first, this is pointless. i admittadly got irritated at the previous posts and probably went too far. my appologies. we are all living in the present and the past doesn't amount to a hill of beans.
on to the present line up of two handers first off we only have one winston, a pre china ibis because that's all there is. the new ones are on the way as soon as winston gets them done. t&t 11-7, 13-7, 12-8, 13-8, 14-9, sage 126-6, 126-8 and the addition of the 14-9 and the tcr 123-8 which are on their way. i didn't even count the ibis or the b2x 11-7. show me a better line up in the area. this i will argue and defend. T&t will send us rods to demo anytime if some one wants to test drive. sage and winston aren't as good about loaners but can be demo cast anytime. i'm sure cnd would be happy to send out rods for test drives as well if someone were interested. we have lines on hand to cast any of our line up.
don't get me wrong, we have room to improve. there is a lot i have done in the past six months, but there is still, always room to improve. we are making the comitment to this type of fishing for our steelhead and we apreciate your support and business. tell us what you would like to see. we will listen. we fish where you fish, you will see us out there and probably have. come in and talk about spey fishing or steelhead in general or politics for that matter. we will always, gladly, sell you whatever you really want not just what we have in stock.

Nick Pionessa
Manager OOFS
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This is good to read. Like I said I have frequented the Oak Orchard since I was in high school and Jerry owned it, it has always been a first class outfit. It does sound like your inventory continues to improve and I think I'll have to stop in and see if I can get in trouble with my wife :hihi:. If you have time to read a few threads on here take a look at some of the recent ones concerning longer rods on the great lakes. Some of us are moving more towards 15+ ft for rivers like the Niagara, Genesee, and Salmon. There is also a move towards Skagit style casting. Good luck growing that aspect of the shop. If nothing else your ardent defense shows you are committed to being one of the leaders in Great Lakes spey.

glad to see that my point got across. we really do appreciate your kind words about our shop. we are a small shop and it's a long road, but we are committed(or should be :) ) to it. i will check out the trend towards longer rods, this is an evolving sport and we would like nothing more than to be on the leading edge. feel free to stop by the shop anytime just to discuss the rods, believe it or not we need and want the feedback. that will make us a better shop, which is the goal. i personally will be there all day thurs friday and sat. fri and sat we have two people on so we can go and cast and take the time to try them all.
for the record Mark Stothard (GRHS) was the first person i ever seen with a two hander (1988?). man does that bring back memories of one of the true pioneers in the field. thanks Mark, for getting all this started here, we do miss you.
It is strange how this topic has evolved to an acknoweldgement of one of our local best, a giant man with an even bigger heart. I am glad to see his memory is fresh and his spirit is among us.
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