Swing the Fly Issue 2.4 Spring 2015 - Page 109

Sojourn to the River Spey

By Lee Davison

The genesis of our trip to the River Spey was really miraculous considering all of the circumstances that led up to a chance meeting of kindred spirits while fishing the banks of the Miramichi. My wife, Nancy, and I were on our fortieth wedding anniversary trip which happened to be our first Atlantic salmon fishing adventure to New Brunswick, Canada. And yes, Nancy agreed to this venue without duress because she has grown to enjoy the sport of Spey fishing and the environs of Salmo Salar, as well.

We were guests at Country Haven Lodge, owned and managed by “Byzie” Coughlan, near the town of Miramichi. During our stay, Byzie wanted me to meet a good friend of his who had stopped in during a short visit to inspect the construction of his new home on the river nearby. His friend was named Christopher, and he was interested in my casting techniques and the type of gear I was using.

Christopher is English and has a love for Spey fishing, so we were soon casting my 13 foot Gary Anderson rod loaded with my Ballistic “Vector Series” 7/8 line on the river bank near the lodge. A Spey rod of 13' was rather novel to Christopher, as he had grown up with the traditional long rods (15’+) used for eons on his home waters in the UK. Although we are both a little long in the tooth, he was eager to try something new, and so began our friendship.

The next day Nancy and I were invited to lunch with Christopher and his charming wife, Vivian, prior to their departure back home. We enjoyed their gracious hospitality, lively conversation and the gorgeous view of the Miramichi River from their dining room that afternoon. We covered many topics and during our talk, I invited them to come and visit our place in Idaho and be our guests for some excellent trout fishing. Christopher accepted on the condition that we come visit them first and fish with them for a week next summer on the River Spey. Needless to say, he did not have to wait long for my eager reply. So began our sojourn to the namesake river of our two handed casting sport we call Spey fishing.