Swing the Fly Issue 2.4 Spring 2015 - Page 121

June 21, 2008, the first day of that year’s summer, an infamous river in upstate New York began to change. Until then on The Salmon River or any of the Lake Ontario tributaries, a spey rod was a rare site. You would see a couple every trip (or year). There are some that claim to have been doing it for decades, and they might even be right. But, in that first summer dawn there were tables, chairs and barbecue equipment being unloaded in the dirt parking lot of a boat launch. There is no doubt, a movement was born. Seventy-five people attended the first Spey Nation gathering on the banks representing all regions of the US including some brave souls from the Pacific Northwest. Even that first group of organizers weren’t sure it would work until they crossed the now replaced trestle of the Pineville Bridge and saw three people spey casting in the river.