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Spey Daze

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In Spey Daze, award winning film maker Robert Thompson takes on the story of Steelhead in America's Great Lakes. He joins the fishing enthusiasts who revel in catching them and talks to some of the scientists and conservationists who are constantly working at maintaining their existence. Steelhead are a migratory form of Rainbow Trout that were introduced to the Great Lakes at the end of the 19th Century, around the time that the Atlantic Salmon, indigenous to Lake Ontario and the St Lawrence River were being catastrophically over fished. Their numbers are maintained by constant restocking, but there is an established population of 'wild' fish, particularly in Michigan and Ontario, that are regarded as the ultimate prize. The migratory nature of the fish, means they travel along the rivers and tributaries flowing into the lakes, to reach their spawning grounds, and so it's these journeys that present the angler with their opportunity. 'Stripping' the fly with a traditional trout fly rod works, but 'swinging' the fly with a two handed Spey rod seems to be the ultimate way to go, after all these are large fish that can grow to over a metre.

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Spey Daze - Steelhead were introduced to the Great Lakes in 1872 and it didn't take long before they were thriving. However the subsequent damming of their three main spawning rivers put a big question mark over their long term viability. A stocking programme was introduced, that now adds millions of Steelhead to the water system every year and although there are pockets of the original (much prized) wild fish to be found, it is the stockies that provide today's angler with a reasonable chance of catching a fish. The film follows a number of devoted Steelhead anglers, fishing on the rivers and tributaries of the Great Lakes along which the Steelhead migrate more than once a year. The steep river canyons along the south side of Lake Eerie have become known as "Steelhead Alley" and provide a spectacular day's fishing. The Steelhead along the north shore of Lake Superior are much harder to find, it can take days of frustrating trial and error before a group of them can be located. The Pere Marquette River that runs into Lake Michigan is one of the few that can boast more wild Steelhead than stockies, so holds a special place in the heart of those that get to fish it. Spey Daze is split into two parts, this is Part 1 of 2. To watch Spey Daze Steelhead now, just login or join
Steelhead were introduced to the Great Lakes water system in 1872. They are a strain of Rainbow Trout that migrate from the lakes to their spawning grounds several times a year. In Part 2 of Spey Daze, award winning film maker Robert Thompson continues his study of how the Steelhead population, which is under threat from lack of prey food, parasites and changing water conditions, is maintained by an extensive stocking programme. They are not the only species in trouble and the film also covers the plight of the Brown Trout, Chinook and King Salmon that at various times have proliferated. The thousands of tributaries flowing into the lakes provide an enormous range of fishing opportunities and this film covers just a few of them. It also introduces us to a few of the anglers devoted to the Steelhead, all with stories of how catching them has changed their lives and all with an opinion on how best to do so. More and more of the anglers have switched to a two handed Spey Rod enabling them to enjoy the art of 'Swingin' the fly across the current. Advocates claim that the hits with this method are far more dynamic than when using conventional cast and retrieve tactics and even on a blank day, the act of casting is in itself reward enough. To watch Spey Daze Part 2 now, just login or join


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