For the first time I attended a spey clave up in Pulaski, N.Y. on June 25th. There were presentation, rod and reel reps available and a raffle that was to benefit the Fish Creek Atlantic Salmon Club. So on Friday I headed on up on a drive that is now getting to be quite routine. The only big difference on this trip was the weather. Instead of watching the car thermometer hover around 30F (or lower) and driving in snow as well as on snow or quite possibly heading into a white-out, it was 65F and the trees were full of leaves. Weird.
Anyway, aside from the warmer weather the trip was interesting. The presenations were informative and I can say that now only because I could understand and follow what they were talking about! If I had gone last year? Forget about it, it would have been a foreign language.
Andrew Moy did a great job discussing the beginning aspects of spey casting that included anchors, D-loops and the like. Neil Houlding and Rick Kustich demonstrated how to manipulate full sinking heads as well as the necessary casts when using them. So after several hours of picking up tips and what nots, I headed out to the Salmon River for some fishing.
I decided to take out my new Dec Hogan, Echo rod. My latest jewel is an 11'9", 4 wt. that I have designated as my trout rod. I use a compact Scandi 300 grain shooting head and to that I have attached my own home made leader. The fly of choice for the evening was a simple partridge wet fly, yellow or orange.
I headed out to a spot on the river that I last fished in the dead of winter. It was so cold that a curtain of ice formed on my waders! Yes, it was nippy. But Saturday night it was much different. The water was much warmer, obviously there was no ice on my waders or on my guides and the woods were thick with foliage.
The spot I started at had a deep channel on the opposite bank and aimed for that. Whoosh. Nice d-loop right over the water and pretty close to where I was aiming. Let the fly swing, adjust for speed and wait. It felt so good.
After settling down and practing the Perry Poke, Circle C and the Jerry Jahn cast the fish started to hit. The browns and bows were the choice of fish that night and while they were not huge fish, it was still a blast. I worked a small section through some riffles and down some until I noticed that it had gotten quite dark. There were dark clouds moving in and the woods appeared to move in on me. Yeah, I know, I had a flashlight with me but still, there is something called imagination that just spooked me. You might think it was Bigfoot or Sasquatch but no. Perhaps it was bears? Nahh... my imagination worked up bears, gnomes and elves. Something you might read about in a Steven King novel. Now I figured I could deal with the bears (maybe) but the elves and gnomes? They are a formidable group for sure. So I headed on out and decided to come back early Sunday.
Early Sunday I hit just below the spot where I ended on Saturday and picked up again with the simple wet fly. No browns or bows but the brookies were hitting it. My God, those fish are beautiful with each one having a slightly different color pattern and shine to them. Again, swinging that wet fly and letting it dangle for during the next five hours or so produced the most action. It was fantastic.
Not only did I have a great time at the Spey clave but I also started my summer vacation. I've got lots of fishing to do, for sure.