Monday, June 27, 2011

The Highs and Lows of Spey Nation IV

I've been looking forward to this years Spey Nation for quite some time. The comradery, the two handed rod and reel representatives, the top notch on the water demonstrations, the endless line of try before you buy rods, the raffles, the barbecue, the beer, and the general ball busting. I got up as early as I could to chase unicorns...the result was a fallfish and a small bass. The weather had been a bit gloomy, but the showers held off for the entire day except at the very end. After chasing unicorns, I made my way to the event running into friends old and new. Geoff Schaake is the brainchild behind the event and has a ton of support and all should be thanked for their efforts. I made the plunge after last years event into the two handed rod realm and it's been no turning back. This year I convinced myself I needed a 4/5 wt switch rod to round out my need for more spey style fishing on smaller streams and smaller fish. I spent a good amount of time eyeing the Beulah rod rack and test driving their rods. Eric Reed was working the booth and he earned his money for sure since there never seemed to be a slow time for him. Walt Geryk had his hands full putting Hardy and Greys rods in peoples hands. I ran into Nick Pionessa who runs the Oak Orchard Fly Shop in Buffalo along with his merry or should I say motley crew. I spent a good deal of time chatting with Charlie Dickson and Wylie Haggerty discussing dee style wings and sampling scotch and bourbon. I ran into new friends Alex Cerveniak, Eric Lynch, and Scott Anderson. The beer started to flow and the burgers were calling me. As I was getting ready to slip out mid afternoon and visit Malinda I ran into my long time friend Matt McGowan and got him on the water to try his hand at two handed casting. I am not the person to teach anyone casting. That is my disclaimer and I'm sticking to it. I got him to move some line and the general outcome was positive. After that I ran to Malinda's Fly Shop and threw down some money picked up some supplies and yes a new Beulah 4 wt switch. After 12 hours on the road, water, and Nation it was time to head home. I left Malinda's crossed Route 13 and headed toward Route 104. Pause to drama affect. Off in the grass there sat a New York State Trooper. Guilty I was, rehashing the days events and thinking of casting that new rod. The car was suppose to be on autopilot! 54 mph in a 30 mph zone. In all of my life I have never met a nicer cop. I explained to the officer that I just blanked out and wasn't paying attention. I admitted my mistake. He looked over the car trying to find fault. Inspection, registration, headlights, signals, tires.....something to give me a break. And drum roll please for affect.... the ticket was unauthorized stickers. That Spey Nation sticker in my back window got me!! It really bummed me out to be pulled over after having such a cool day, but it could have been worse. Now I gotta find some time on the water to christen the new rod.

Walt Geryk

Scott Anderson

Rick Kustich

Eric Reed and Nick Pionessa

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