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I have been thinking about this for quite some time now and after reading through the Sandy Clave/Meiser issue I think I will go public.

It may well be time to go big with the spey clave idea. The shops, Bachman's et al have done a wonderful job of developing interest in things spey. However, as we have seen it is about business. We certainly cannot begrudge that, these things cost money and the shops have every right to expect that they can promote their business through these events.

One of the problems I see - and I consider it more serious than the Meiser/Sandy issue is the overlap. As a Prostaff and occasional presentor I have attended most of the events (Poppy maybe I will get out there one day!) and what I see is a core of the same presentors and an even harder-core of attendees. Certainly there are newbies at these events - but it is almost a "club" of guys who attend. And why not, it is fun!

My point is that maybe it is time for a major event - like the CLA Gamefair that occurs in Britain. While I do not know the particulars (maybe Malcolm or some of the other Brits could fill us in) it does seem that this is in the realm of a giant outdoor "Show" like the Bellevue thing, except it is "on the water" as well as field /range etc. All vendors manufacturers etc would be welcome (for a fee I imagine). Contests (the North American Spey Casting Championship?), demos, hands on try-outs etc, etc would be the order of the weekend.

If I am not mistaken the CLA event sees some 20,000+ people visit over a single weekend! That number alone (probably 1/4 of that number) would be enough to get all the NW shops willingly involved and even working together!

While I am neither equiped or prepared to take on such a venture, I am sure there is/are some entrepreneurial types out there who can and would put together such an event. Just imagine - a Pacific Nothwest Spey Fair! It would be very cool.
 

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Interesting concept to say the least. Location, Location, Location! The key to attracting a large enough audience! North American travel distances are significantly greater than in the UK and the concentration of Spey afficionados is found more in regional clusters. There is a small "cluster" in the Calgary area, then the BC cluster, the PNW, Oregon, California folks, the East Coast folks, the Great Lakes folks, etc.
Then there is the competition like the various regional "Fly Fishing shows/casting Competitions" and other such "specialty" shows, like the K-Days.
An "on the water" gathering of Spey folks, with a large participation of manufacturers, suppliers, pro-staff etc, associated gear folks (clothing,packs etc) and a significant "social" component, say a large group dinner, and a "competition" element, like pro casting & amateur, or a pro-am format, or a team format etc. could all be additive to such an event.
So, let's hear from forum folks (for starters):
- How far would you travel?
- How long an event would cause you to attend?
- What "critical" event content would cause you to attend?
 

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Kush, the CLA Country Landowners Association is huge see http://www.gamefair.co.uk/2006/ They have office and a fulltime staff, sponsorship costs are also big. They are looking for a new sponsor for the Speycasting event and they are asking in the region of £12K.

I wish you luck if you intend to run someyhng of this size. I was trying to find visitor numbers online, but cannot but I'm sure your 20 000 is way under.
 

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mjyp said:
Aaron already got the ball rolling, most likely attending his speyfair makes the most sense; always wanted a reason to ride the Empire Builder out of Chicago.

The original woodstock was in new york yet it drew people from the four corners of the globe.

Like the movie says, "if you build it they will come".
Is the Empire Builder still running? That's a great idea if it is.

David
 

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Malcolm,

I use the CLA as an example, it has all forms of outdoor activities, shooting, dogs, etc, etc. I don't propose that, but a Spey Fair (borrowing Aarons name) would be somewhat easier to manage. I do have a bit of an idea of the work it might involve - that is why I suggest that it be professionally run.

With the amount of interest in things spey - and especially if you include flyfishing in general - I do think that there is an opportunity out there for those with the skills to create an event of this sort - and make some money at it.
 

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Believe it or not, Portland has (or had, until it was drained) a casting pond about 75 yards by 100 yards in the Sellwood neighborhood, complete with casting platforms. Built for casting events many decades ago, and still used by some of us as little as three years ago for casting practice. It's in the middle of Sellwood park, a park large enough to accomodate several thousand at least. If the city fathers (and mothers) could bank on income every year from a big event, they might let the thing fill up again, who knows.
 

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Chicago has a casting pool/park as well. This raises some interesting questions: does the fair have to be a steelhead river? Is a city that is easy to get to a factor? Does it have to be during steelhead season, or would it be better to have during an "off time".

David
 

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debarb said:
Believe it or not, Portland has (or had, until it was drained) a casting pond about 75 yards by 100 yards in the Sellwood neighborhood, complete with casting platforms. Built for casting events many decades ago, and still used by some of us as little as three years ago for casting practice. It's in the middle of Sellwood park, a park large enough to accomodate several thousand at least. If the city fathers (and mothers) could bank on income every year from a big event, they might let the thing fill up again, who knows.
Years ago I lived in Sellwood. At that time a Sellwood bar was selling t-shirts that said "Protect Portland! Fence off Sellwood!". Are things different now? Sellwood was a little odd about 30 years ago.
 

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First off-
Debarb, Is that "The Continental" in your avatar? very funny if so.

French Creek, I would be coming from MI, probably flying, as I no longer actually own a VW. Another possibility would be to drive to Chitown, hop the Empire Builder with MJYP and pass the wine bag around for a few days on the train. A Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday thing would be cool. I'd be happy just to hang out and meet some people (with pint glass in hand), but a casting competition would be real cool.
 

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Kush,
I think this is a great idea,i know there is great distances involved in getting everyone to one big event,but spey casting has a huge and loyal following and i think this would be a great success if it was set up right,the CLA game fair has a lot of stuff going on apart from fly casting,but it has an attendance of around 125,000 people over the weekend,so if your setting something up count me in.
 

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Jamey, yes, THE Continental!

Kerry, I suppose it depends on who you ask, but Sellwood pretty much gentrified at this point. 2000 sq. ft. houses going for 300k--that's a whole new brand of weirdness!
 

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Kush

I think your thought is a thoughtfully excellent one:). That said if you are looking at a NA version of a UK style game fair, it would be progressive and insightfull to recognize that in NA "spey and DH" has expanded beyond the confines of steelhead and salmon and include those directions as part of the norm/tradition NA style.

Will
 

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Is there enough dedicated Spey Rod owners in America/Canada to do this

My oldest son is a good friend of many of the rod and line reps, fly shop owners and others involved in the fly fishing industry.

From those good people, for over 3 years, he keeps hearing the same stat about the number of dedicated and active two handed rod owners in America and Canada.

That number has been 2,000 for 3 years. Most of that 2,000 is in the PNW including the speyers from that adjoining part of Canada. There is a cluster in the Great Lakes Area and in the NE. There are a few of us in N California.

He jokes with me that if the 200 fanatics, who keep this site going, disappeared or dropped out, the two handed rod market would be basically dead in America.

Just look at the surveys about how many rods we own. We probably represent the bulk of the US and Canada Spey market for rods,lines and the other Spey needs.

We currently have the Speyorama in N California which attracts some great Speyers from around the world. A lot of Speyers are turned on by the casting contests. There are some of us who watch the professionals cast but prefer to talk to the rod makers, line makers and other gear makers and to try the rods/lines in the ponds. It is nice but a lot of us have a mental problem with casting from a pond. It just isn't the same as casting from the shore of a flowing river in a beautiful area.

Personally, I would like to see the clave held on the Rogue in the Medford Area or on the Lower Rogue. However, I know how hard that would be to get to for most people.

The Sandy River area is a great place. You advoid the mess of a big city, and yet you can drive to Portland if you want to for dinner in a half hour or so. The Portland airport is one of the easiest airports to get into and out of.
 

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Does it have to be????

Dornblaser said:
Chicago has a casting pool/park as well. This raises some interesting questions: does the fair have to be on a steelhead river? Is a city that is easy to get to a factor? Does it have to be during steelhead season, or would it be better to have during an "off time".

David
Chicago? You gotta be kidding. Casting pool??? in a park???? Ditto. Casting ponds get real crowded with a bunch of spey casters. And everyone better be casting switch casts or we're all in trouble. Have to be on a steelhead river? No. Any river of sufficient size with a decent flow rate will do. Does it have to be during steelhead season? Does Chicago even have a steelhead season???? :Eyecrazy:

All kidding aside, I can't see myself getting on a trian, bus, subway, whatever and going anywhere with a bunch of spey rods, waders, boots, etc. etc. Just kinda takes something out of it. Ditto for casting ponds. Especially those blue plastic porta-ponds. In hotels, or convention centers.

I would rather stand in a river, in the rain, if necessary. Sit outside, by a roaring fire, in good company, and share a dram, or two, or three. ;) And if I have to travel very far to get there, it would be nice to have the option of extending the trip and doing some fishing.
 

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Amen, Brother!

JDJones said:
Chicago? You gotta be kidding. Casting pool??? in a park???? Ditto. Casting ponds get real crowded with a bunch of spey casters. And everyone better be casting switch casts or we're all in trouble. Have to be on a steelhead river? No. Any river of sufficient size with a decent flow rate will do. Does it have to be during steelhead season? Does Chicago even have a steelhead season???? :Eyecrazy:

All kidding aside, I can't see myself getting on a trian, bus, subway, whatever and going anywhere with a bunch of spey rods, waders, boots, etc. etc. Just kinda takes something out of it. Ditto for casting ponds. Especially those blue plastic porta-ponds. In hotels, or convention centers.

I would rather stand in a river, in the rain, if necessary. Sit outside, by a roaring fire, in good company, and share a dram, or two, or three. ;) And if I have to travel very far to get there, it would be nice to have the option of extending the trip and doing some fishing.
I would have to be hijacked by Jihadists to fly to Chi Town again. Last October, my wive's mother died. She lived about 2-3 hour west of Chicago. I flew back with my wife to be with her. That was the first time since 1972, when I refused to fly into O' Hare or even Midway.

Even flying into and out of Midway was like taking a beating re the hassle in the airport, in the rental car office, parking lot and of course the freeway leaving the area and trying to get 90 miles west. It took close to 5 hours with no bad weather, just normal Friday afternoon evening traffic. :(

Last but not least flying into and out of Chicago is one of the most expensive air fares in America even on SW.
 

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a geographical dilema it seems:)- how 'bout Winnipeg Manitoba( geographical center of Canada- 75 miles north of the US border) you could all come catfish fishing:)

Will
 
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