Spey Fest returns to town this Saturday
The Muskegon River Spey Fest is coming to Henning Park this Saturday.
No, not a clinic to manage the population of our feline and canine friends. That’s spay.
This is a gathering filled with information for aficionados of this adventure in angling (as well as wannabees) that began at the turn of the century and draws ‘speyniacs’ from far and wide.
We contacted co-organizers Kim Benbow and Ken Shabby to gather some skinny on the event and posed a few questions. Mr. Shabby provided the answers to our queries.
Tell us a little about Spey fishing.
Spey casting and fishing originated on the River Spey in Scotland some 200 years ago. The technique has spread world wide and attracted many adherents.
How long have you been doing it and how did you get involved?
I have been involved in Spey casting since 1995, a natural progression from single-handed fly casting.
What are the benefits to be had from the sport?
The benefits of Spey casting include the ability to cover large swaths of water without the need of a back cast, and to fish water normal fly fishermen usually cannot access.
How long has the Muskegon River event been going on? How did it start?
The Muskegon River Spey Fest started in 2000. I started it because people expressed an interest in hands-on learning, as it is difficult to learn from videos and books.
Why should people come to the fest?
People should come to this free event in order to see a variety of demos, to try out different Spey rods and lines at no cost, and to learn from the region's best Steelhead guides and anglers.
What should people know if they’re attending?
There is a $7 entrance fee to the park but the event itself is free; food is available to buy; multiple vendors ( reel manufacturer, cane rod builder, fly tyers, local non-for-profit fishing and habitat organizations, Spey and singlehand casting lessons and instruction, guide services).
If you want to cast, bring waders, a hat and glasses. No hooks allowed.
Anything you might want to add?
"Spey casting is like tai chi with a long stick"
For more info visit their fb page.
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