2017 has proven that the Sandy River Spey Clave has a loyal fan club. The weather this year was to say the least: belligerent. Yet people came anyway and there were a lot of smiling faces. Real steelheaders are a hardy bunch. If a little adverse weather bothers you, you aren't going to be one. That is one of the reasons we are proud to be steelhead Spey fishers. A little driving rain in your face is good for the soul. It strengthens your body and cleanses your mind. If you have dealt with a high-powered sound system made from extension cords in a driving rain, it can be a continual lesson in adapt to survive. Nobody noticed. We made it. Every vendor and presenter played their role. Meals were on time, nourishing, and plentiful. Even the camp crow and chipmunk got fed. Our clients got educated and entertained in a uniquely quiet and earthy environment.
Derek Bachmann makes Instruction Beach fun and entertaining with his unique way of announcing our presenters. The sound equipment helps everyone understand every presentation better. The Sandy River Spey Clave is all about understanding.
Count the Sage rods in this line-up. They all have reels and the appropriate lines for you to take to the beach and cast. That is the reason why there are so few people in the picture, everyone has chosen rods from the rack to try on the river. The first person to email the proper number will receive an official Sandy River Spey Clave 2017 hat. Without support from fly fishing manufacturers, there couldn't be a Sandy River Spey Clave. Sage brings about as many rod/reel combos as all the fly shops in the Pacific Northwest combined. Then they allow them all to be taken to the river to be cast by anyone attending the Clave.
Simms, R.L. Winston, Echo, and Airflo are all big contributors to the Clave. Eric Nuefeld and the Simms company organized and sponsored the Beginners' Day Casting School. About twenty instructors donated their time.
Competition Spey caster and LTS rod rep, Donna O'Sullivan with world fly casting accuracy champion (the youngest ever), Maxine McCormick. Donna's other arm is around little brother, Toby McCormick. Maxine has proven to be a prodigy fly caster. I'm sure we will see much about her in the future.
Klaus Frimor from Denmark is just one of the eighteen expert Spey casters who did programs at what is now called "Instruction Beach" at Group Area "A", at Oxbow Park on Oregon's Sandy River.
Beulah was one of a dozen rod companies that together brought several hundred two-hand rods to the party. There is probably no one other place in the world where you can compare so many Spey rods to each other. We have been told by many world travelers that the Sandy River Spey Clave is the largest event of its kind on the planet.
In the background is the tent where hundreds of free lunches were served. In the foreground, a couple of attendees examine a Temple Fork Outfitters rod in detail.
Thanks to all who came!
Dates for Sandy River Spey Clave 2018 are:
Thursday, May 17: for set-up
Friday, May 18: Beginners' Day
Saturday, May 19: Key Presentations
Sunday, May 20: Programs UNDER CONSIDERATION