OSWEGO COUNTY, NY – Hundreds of spey casting fanatics will celebrate their unique sport with expert instructors and equipment manufacturers on the legendary Salmon River Friday through Sunday, June 26 to 28, for the eighth annual “Spey Nation.”
The informal gathering gives anglers who cast with spey rods the opportunity to discuss techniques, buy equipment, learn from the experts, and share their enjoyment of spey casting as a form of fly fishing.
“Spey Nation is a spey clave that offers the unique opportunity for enthusiasts and manufacturers of two-handed rods to gather in a streamside setting, and it lives through our actions,” said Geoff Schaake, president and publicist for Spey Nation.
“We definitely have a dedicated following,” Schaake added. “We love steelhead rivers, and we want them to be the best they can be. People who belong to Spey Nation talk about concepts like streamside etiquette, conservation, returning Atlantic Salmon to historical watersheds, and angler rotation…and we share our knowledge with everyone who listens on this special day.”
Spey casting is a fly fishing technique that originated in Scotland. Spey rods allow anglers to cast great distances using a double-handed rod and larger reels.
“The Salmon River is an outstanding destination for spey cast anglers thanks to its challenging steelhead fishery and its pristine waters,” said Dave Turner, director of the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning.
The weekend kicks off with an international fly fishing film festival (IF4) at 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 26, at the Tailwater Lodge, 52 Altmar St., Altmar. Short and feature-length films produced by professional and amateur filmmakers from all corners of the globe will showcase the passion, lifestyle and culture of fly-fishing.
Spey Nation begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 27, at the Salmon River boat launch on Sheepshead Road, Pineville. Dozens of manufacturers, instructors and vendors that specialize in fly fishing will display rods and reels and related equipment. Presenters include some of the nation’s best-known anglers, including Mia Sheppard, who holds the current record for women’s longest cast at 144 feet, Travis Johnson, who holds the world record for a 198-foot cast, Jay Peck, Will Teryk, Michael Mauri, Andrew Moy, Lee Davison, and Walt Geryk.
Anglers may book private lessons with instructors on Sunday.
Admission is free. Several drawings will be held for a variety of donated equipment. Proceeds will benefit efforts to stock native Atlantic salmon in local streams through the Fish Creek Atlantic Salmon Club.
For more information on Spey Nation weekend, visit http://speynation.com/. For Oswego County visitor information and current fishing conditions, go to www.visitoswegocounty.com.