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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
1,771 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It was 10:30 and I had just completed my last family obligation, driving Miss Daisy (my teenage daughter) from her Friday night fling when I started to pack. Just as I gained momentum packing the police phoned to report that there was trouble at the bank and my wife needed go in to clear the alarms. Of course being the gentleman that I am :rolleyes: I escorted her and we arrived at midnight at the bank. After some shenanigans downtown I re-commenced packing at 1:30am. By the time I had packed all 14 rods and my gear, it was time to drive to the airport. I thought everything was finally settled but soon things really got messy…

The rods did not arrive in Toronto! Livid is not a strong enough word for how I felt. I was delayed nearly an hour filling out paperwork for the airlines crew and Canadian Customs with over an hour to drive to Brantford, supposed to start my scheduled demonstration immediately upon arrival, but of course arrived late. I pulled up at the spot to see Steve Choate had taken the spot. My first thought was hmmm…. I really hope people think he’s me based on the schedule they handed out! :devil:

No chance, he's too good looking to be mistaken for the likes of me. Steve is an amazing caster, and although I should have been putting on waders I was hypnotized watching the power and style he has developed. Steve took the trophy at MUSTO last year and it’s easy to see why. As I backed up the rental car, I accidentally hit the horn with my elbow as if to say “bonehead’s here!”. I walked down and enjoyed the show, and at that point I was already glad to be at the Eastern Canada Spey Clave.

As I settled in at camp to a wee dram in the morning (thank you Neil), I couldn’t help but be impressed by the banquet tents, the registration table, the campsite and casting areas, and the caliber of the Spey casters who were in attendance (Andy Murray, House of Hardy; Way who developed the XLT line and Steve Choate as mentioned earlier, and of course the one and only Simon). I was equally impressed with the friendly spirits, hot food, toasty fire, and great camaraderie that the good people of the Midwest had to offer. It was a first class clave, and all who love this sport should extend a double shot of appreciation to Neil and Rick who put their hearts and backs into making this all happen, and of course to their wives and generous friends who all put in their time and efforts as well. This event truly raised the North American spey community up a notch.

As the weekend rolled on we enjoyed presentations by the masters by day, by night an area biologist provided a slide presentation on the wild steelhead situation while a clandestine meeting of the minds made progress with the certification process. By the river anxious anglers admired and tested new rods, lines and ideas, and people absorbed new and exciting insights about the spey world from each other, from instructors and from time on the water… it was really very exciting.

On top of it all, Neil and Rick announced that they’ll be making a donation to the speypages.com / flyfishing forum from surplus after the costs of running this event have been figured.

I’ve been lucky to attend claves all over the continent over the years and I must say, this was a dandy. Other than the weather, which varied from gorgeous to monsoon (that’s just during my schpeel), and despite my lack of artillery until the last couple of hours, it was FANTASTIC!

Most of all I enjoyed the chance to interact with a lot of folks who genuinely had passion for spey casting and gained many friends in the growing "spey nation".

Kudos to Rick, Neil, and all who gave their time and energy to make this a weekend to remember.

(photos to follow)
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