Sandy River Spey Clave 2007

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The 2007 Sandy Spey Clave?
"The Woodstock Of Spey Casting Events"
"The Funnest Spey Rod Party on Earth"

May 5-6, 2007 at Oxbow Park on The Sandy River

Free Demonstrations !!!
Free Food !!!
Free Instruction !!!
You will see the largest selection of Spey Tackle Ever Assembled In One Location !!!
You Can Play With All Of It !!!

The party is starting early !!!
“Breakfasts at the Clave”

Again this year The North Santiam Spey Casters Club will host the “Welcome” booth and prepare pancake breakfasts Saturday and Sunday mornings May 5th and 6th, starting at 7:30am.  Cal has built a new grill especially for breakfasts at the Clave.   This club provides a great service to the success of the Sandy River Spey Clave. The breakfast is a great way to meet a lot of other spey casters. The smoothness and camaraderie of all the volunteers makes this a great experience.  Pancakes, Little Smokies and hot coffee are the menu.

Friday Night, May 4th, the North Santiam Spey Casters is hosting a potluck
, informal dinner at the Sandy Spey Clave. Cal will be doing a Special Dutch Oven recipe and the rest of us will bring a side dish or dessert. Dinner will be at Group Area "A" where the kitchen will already be set up. You bring food to share, your beverage/s of choice, plate, utensils, appetite, chair and the NSSC and FFS will provide a campfire “atmosphere”. RSVP if you think you will be around. We need to know how many to plan for the meal.
After Dark Entertainment will be provided by Mark Bachmann and Brian O'Keefe with slide & video shows of fly fishing adventures & opportunities.
This celebration might last long after the Oxbow entry gate closes.  More info

Big Flies, Big Fish !!!

This photo came to us from Brian O'Keefe, who sent it with this message,  "This photo comes from a friend I met on the Estancia del Zorro in Chile. He hooked the 13 inch brown and the bigger brown hit it and got hooked also." 
It proves that some very large trout are cannibals, although the fish in the picture is probably an extreme.  Large fish need to take their food in big bites.  That is why streamer flies are so productive for large Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and Bull Trout.  Though very popular in many parts of the country, streamer fishing in many rivers in Oregon is comparatively unknown.  We have experimented with streamer fishing here and it often works when nothing else is going on.  Use a fast sinking line and short, stout leader to get your streamer deep.  Cover lots of water in the same manner you would if you were steelhead fishing.
Try the following types of flies: 
Streamers, Wooly Buggers

Teach A Kid About Fly Fishing
Eric & Jasper

The sport of fly fishing takes every angler from one learning experience to another.  These learning experiences are more memorable when shared with like-minded friends.  Information about fly fishing flows in all directions.  It is possible to learn from younger anglers as well as older, more experienced ones.  There is something in each of us that feels good about giving.  Teaching is giving your knowledge, feels good. Teaching a kid about fly fishing can pay big dividends to your soul.

Automobile Rod Mounts

These automobile rod mounts attach to any smooth, clean surface and hold 1, 2, 3 or 4 rods securely.  Mounts are held in place with a powerful lever actuated suction pad.  This soft material will not mar your paint. Be sure that all surfaces are very clean for best performance.

Item Description Price To Top
RODMT-1 Adipose Rod Mount, per each $59.95

RODMT-2 Adipose Rod Mounts, per pair $115.00


Spring Spey Rod Fly Fishing

The land around our local rivers is turning green with the fresh new leaves of spring.  Some nights are still freezing and the water is still winter temperature, but the weather is getting warmer.  Bright winter steelhead are still available in reasonable numbers.  Some have been big 3-salt fish. Winter steelhead are gradually being replaced by summer steelhead. Not much feel yet  for what this summers' run will amount to. Spring Chinooks are in the Columbia River, but few have found their way into any of the tributaries. All runs appear to be slightly later

than the 20-year average.  The managers are predicting average numbers of Chinooks for this season.

Josh Linn to Perform at Sandy River Spey Clave 2007 !!!
Don't miss Josh's on the water presentation: May 5, 1:30pm-2:00pm

Josh Linn guides locally on the Sandy River in Oregon, as well as the Sandy River in Alaska for steelhead and Chinook salmon. His presentation at the Clave talks about overcoming adversity in spey casting and fishing with a 2-handed rod. Josh works at The Fly Fishing Shop and is always thinking about fishing & scheming on his next trip or developing a new killer fly or refining a rod/reel combination for a specific duty. Josh has been heavily influenced by Henrik Mortenson and the Scandinavian school of spey casting, but also incorporates many facets of Skagit Casting

into his bag of tricks.  Josh uses a lot of very large flies for winter steelhead and Chinooks. The many pictures of Josh holding extraordinary fish which have appeared in this web site attests to his continuing angling success. Many of these fish have come from places that few other anglers have the skill to even try.  When you fish from the deep side of the river using large flies that are fished deep in the currents, your presentation gets proportionally more complex, but if done right, your catch rate can go up, but only if you are willing to conquer adversity.

            CAMARILLO, Calif. – Ever heard of a Tarpon Tournament that’s conducted when and where the angler wants to fish – with no ceremonies, no weigh-in – operated strictly by honesty and trust?
            Abel reels is sponsoring such an “on your honor” tournament, with the winner and a guest flown to California, hosted by Abel, and given the reel of his or her choice.  The winner will watch the progression of their personal reel being precision machined, anodized and finished.  Value of the prize is approximately $3,000.
            “We hope to disprove the myth about all fishermen being liars.  We contend that there is honor and integrity among fly-fishers,” said Don R. Swanson, Abel general manager.
            All fish must be caught on Abel Reels and released as quickly as possible.
            Entrants must forward one or more clear digital photos of the fish, together with the following information –
-         Name, address, phone and e-mail of the angler;
-         Name, address, phone and e-mail of the guide service or lodge (if any);
-         Best guesstimate of the *weight of the tarpon utilizing a recognized formula of length and girth;
-         Date of the catch;
-         Abel reel model used;
-         Location of the catch.
            All entries must be posted by July 31, 2007.
            “The winner can pick any Abel Reel from our catalog and we will machine, anodize and finish it over about two days.  We will host the angler and his or her guest for airfare, transportation to Camarillo, motel, meals, and an extensive tour of the factory,” said Swanson.
            The “leader board” will be updated weekly on the home page of Abel’s website:
            Tarpon photos and accompanying required information should be sent to
*For a very accurate estimate of the weight of a tarpon –

  1. Measure the fish in inches.
  2. Measure the girth at its greatest point in inches
  4. Calculate the weight by multiplying the length x the girth squared and dividing by 800.

Example – if the fish is 60-inches long with a 30-inch girth, square the 30-inch girth for 900, then multiply by 60 for 54,000 divided by 800 for a 67.5 pound tarpon.
Going tarpon fishing and need a new Abel reel to catch your winning tarpon with?
Here is the best place to buy it: Abel Reels

Reprinted from the New York Times
The Sandy River Spey Clave Hits The New York Times
"Spey Rod Is Long-Range Weapon in Anglers’ Arsenal"

Brian O’Keefe Photo

Mark Bachmann spey casting in Oregon. The longer rod allows an angler to cast for more distance; an accomplished spey caster can send a fly nearly 200 feet.

Published in The New York Times: April 21, 2007
PORTLAND, Ore. — Steelhead trout, like Atlantic salmon, have been described as “the fish of a thousand casts.” On the larger steelhead rivers of the Pacific Northwest — the Skagit and Bulkley, among others — hooking a steelhead on a fly may require a thousand very long casts. After all, the longer your cast, the more water you can cover and the better chance you have of a fish seeing your fly.

To achieve consistently long casts over a long day of casting, many steelhead fly anglers in the Northwest have taken up two-handed rods and a technique called spey casting. Where traditional single-handed fly casting requires the angler to make a back cast before accelerating the line forward, spey casters use the tension of the water to load the rod and make an exaggerated roll cast.

I came to appreciate the advantages of spey casting after a frustrating (and largely fruitless) fall steelhead season on the Lower Deschutes River in north central Oregon. The Deschutes is powerful and its basalt bottom is notoriously slick; there is the sense that a false step might lead not only to a dunking, but to the big steelhead river in the sky.

As I tried to make the 60- or 70-foot casts that would reach the water where the fish most likely were, I became discouraged. My line was constantly becoming fouled in the tall grasses and/or cottonwoods that extend down to the bank in many spots.

On more than one occasion, my fishing partner, Peter Gyerko, hooked fish from runs I had just fished; the extra 10 or 15 feet he could muster made all the difference. Sufficiently unnerved, I sought assistance in the form of a 14-foot spey rod. The longer spey rod — generally 12-16 feet in length — allows the angler to cast the fly as far as 100 feet. Highly proficient spey casters can toss a fly nearly 200 feet. (The world-record spey cast is 295 feet, by Steve Rajeff.)

Twenty years ago, two-handed rods were almost unheard of in North America, though they were the weapon of choice on Atlantic salmon rivers in Britain and Scandinavia. The rods’ ungainly size was certainly one reason for their lack of popularity here.

“When I was introduced to spey casting in the U.K., some anglers were using a rod called the Double-Built Palakona, manufactured by Hardy,” said Simon Gawesworth, one of the world’s pre-eminent spey casting instructors. “It was 18 feet long and weighed 54 ounces — a rod for real men.” (Nine-foot single-handed rods weigh about five ounces.)

Thanks to advances in rod-building technology, my 14-foot rod weighs in at about 10 ounces, and costs less than $300.

“With the fly lines designed specifically for spey rods now available, I can have most newcomers casting 70 feet with just 15 minutes of instruction,” Gawesworth said.

Like any fly casting, throwing a line with a spey rod is not without its frustrations. In Gawesworth’s hands, the gentle sweep of the rod is effortless as it forms the “D-Loop” that is central to the cast; with a forward stroke, his line hisses through the guides. Yet a sweep that is too fast or too slow results in an embarrassing puddle of line.

There are even certain perils to spey casting: if you are casting over your right shoulder and forget to anchor your cast on your right side, you can send the fly hurtling at yourself at great speeds. Cases of anglers piercing their waders, their hats or their flesh with errant casts are not uncommon.

The benefits, however, far outweigh the pitfalls. With the two-handed rod, I can easily make casts far longer than I could ever hope for with my nine-foot rod, and I can do so with less effort — especially with the heavy sink-tips that are necessary to reach fish during the winter months. Just as important, I can control my fly line much better with the two-handed rod, throwing large mends upstream or downstream to slow down or accelerate the fly, depending on the situation.

After acquiring my first two-handed rod, I proselytized the benefits of the spey experience to my single-handed brethren, winning several converts — including Gyerko, after landing a steelhead behind him on the famed Camp Waters of the North Umpqua.

For spey-casting enthusiasts, the high point on the year’s social calendar is the Sandy River Spey Clave, held each May just east of Portland. The event was first organized in 2001 by Mark Bachmann, a fly fishing guide and fly shop owner based in nearby Welches. The two-day festivities (which attract as many as 1,000 devotees) include how-to seminars by some of the world’s leading spey casting authorities and the opportunity to try the latest equipment.

At last year’s Spey Clave, knots of anglers chatted as others took turns casting on the grass of a picnic ground that served as the event’s staging area. Nearby, a makeshift kitchen served free hot dogs and chili.

The real action was down on the river, where a procession of presenters demonstrated techniques from “Snap-Ts” to “Snake Rolls” to hundreds of onlookers. Most in the audience bore awestruck expressions as caster after caster easily landed their fly on the opposite bank, some 120 feet away.


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Fish long & prosper,
Mark & Patty


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