Spey enthusiasts to gather at Alaska Spey Clave

The 6th annual Alaska Spey Clave is this Saturday, June 1 at the Russian River Ferry in Cooper Landing. The clave brings together Spey enthusiasts for a day of presentations, casting, camaraderie, and a free BBQ lunch. This is a great opportunity for new and experienced Spey casters to improve their casting skills and demo rods before buying. As always, the clave is free and open to the public.

The event schedule is as follows:


10:00 What Spey Cast to Use – When & Why with Eric Neufeld

10:30 5 Big Bad Casting Fundamentals with Jolynne Howard

11:00 On the Ditch with George Cook

11:30 Skagit Casting Made Easy - Dispelling the Myths with Dave Lisi

Noon Hosted BBQ lunch courtesy of Mossy’s Fly Shop

  1:00 The Cast with Jacob Zirkle

  1:30 Key Concepts, Spey Casting and Fishing with Heidi Wild

  2:00 Skagit 123 Beyond the Cast - Setting Up for Success with Jonathan Farmer

  2:30 Understanding Spey Lines & Sink Tips @ the booth with George Cook

  3:00 - 5:00 Demo equipment and casting with the Pros

There will be about one-hundred two-hand rods in a variety of sizes lined and ready for you to test drive at anytime during the day, including rods from Winston, G.Loomis, Sage, Redington, and Echo.

Presenters include:

Eric Neufeld - Eric lives in North Bend Washington. He studied Psychology at the University of Colorado.  While living in Colorado he worked as a fly-fishing guide, fly shop employee and commercial fly tier. With a growing passion for fly fishing, Eric continued his guiding career at Alaska West Lodge, Mission Lodge and Sandy River Lodge and spent the winters guiding at El Patagonia in Chile. In 2003, Eric retired his guide boots to become a fly-fishing sales representative. He currently is the Pacific Northwest sales representative for Simms, Winston, Echo, Airflo, Bauer, Nautilus and Umpqua.  

Jolynne Howard  - Jolynne is a long-time Alaska resident with a passion fly fishing and sharing her passion through teaching others. She has been active for many years with the Alaska Fly Fishers and is a three-time presenter at the Alaska Spey Clave. Jolynne is working towards successfully testing for her FFI Certified Casting Instructor designation.

George Cook - George is the Godfather of Alaska spey casting. He has been on the forefront of the spey casting evolution in the northwest and Alaska. A native of Washington State, he now shares time between Washington and Alaska. A sales representative with Sage Rods since 1987, George also represents RIO, Redington and Sitka Gear.  Early in his guiding career, George developed the popular Alaskabou fly series which are still popular today.  George is always entertaining and is an engaging casing instructor and presenter.

Dave Lisi - Dave is the Owner/Guide for Cooper Landing Fishing Guide, LLC located in Cooper Landing. Dave also makes his home in Cooper Landing year around. Dave has a passion of fishing the Kenai River with two hand rods, swinging flies for the large trophy rainbow trout resident in the river.

Jake Zirkel - Jake operated Alaska Fly Water Guides for 14 seasons guiding on the Kenai Peninsula and fly out rivers. Jake has taught spey casting in clinics and with his clients on the water for several years. Jake moved on from guiding and currently represents G.Loomis and Umpqua products in the Northwest Region.  

Heidi Wild  - Heidi is the Head Guide for Bear Trail Lodge on the Naknek River. She spends most of her time on the river guiding clients who fish two hand rods. Heidi is a keen observer of clients casting and fishing and spend considerable time with coaching clients on their casting and fishing skills. She is a consummate teacher and coach and is great company on the river or the lodge. Her winter months are filled with running “Wild on the Fly,” a custom fly rod building studio.

Jonathan Farmer - Jonathan has lived and fished in Alaska since 2008. He is a commercial/custom fly tier who designs and ties trout, steelhead and salmon flies for Mossy’s fly shop in Anchorage, OPST- Olympic Peninsula Skagit Tactics and Alaska Troutfitters in Cooper Landing. As an avid local angler, he has a passion for sharing his knowledge on skagit casting, fly tying and fly fishing in Alaska. 

The Alaska Spey Clave is sponsored by Alaska Fly Fishers, Mossy’s Fly Shop, Ballistic Flylines, and R.L. Winston Rod Company.

For more details about Saturday’s clave, visit the official Alaska Spey Clave Facebook page.

I’ve helped with logistics the for the first five years of the Alaska Spey Clave as a member of the Alaska Fly Fishers.  This year I’ll take on the additional duty of emcee. 

I hope to see you there! 

-Ben