Sandy River Spey Clave
Stop number two of the On The Water Tour landed the Vanagon at the 16th annual Sandy River Spey Clave, hosted by our good friends at The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches, Oregon. Our Westfalia fit right in at this festival of claves, with camping on-site and enthusiastic camaraderie all around. Mother Nature brought quite a varied showing of weather with scorching sun on Friday, shifting into an all too familiar chilled drizzle for the remainder of the weekend. Weather aside, we came well equipped this year with every two handed rod we make on hand, rigged up, and ready to hit the water.
Amidst Friday’s heat, over a hundred anglers and twenty instructors joined together over several miles of river to take part in one of the largest two handed casting clinics ever held. For three hours, it was certainly a spectacle to see, and a true representation of the passionate culture surrounding Spey. Folks were able to simultaneously combine advanced instruction, techniques, and tools to open up new doors that will greatly improve their overall experience on the water.
Bringing keen, modern perspectives on traditional techniques, casting wizards including Scott O’Donnell, George Cook, Simon Gawesworth, Jon Hazlett, Jason Hartwick, and Dax Messet, educated and entertained an avid crew of anglers with an assortment of demonstrations over the course of the weekend. The show continued in the evenings with Wild Steelheaders United and the Deschutes River Alliance giving unique presentations that further fueled the fire for wild and native fish conservation, protection, and restoration.
All in all, this year’s event was a great showing of the strong spirit that surrounds casting with a Spey rod. The passion once driven solely by a fish-catching mindset is now growing towards an era of respect and understanding of our impact on fish, rivers, and ecosystems, in addition to greater interest in the technical intricacies within the art of Spey casting. The bond between man, fish, water, and tool evolves and grows stronger with each passing year, and this gathering was certainly no exception.
Glad we saw so many of you on the water.