A Brief History of the Conclave
The Conclave has been the flagship event for the "Salty" Flyrodders of New York since the club's inception. It started in 1966 as Shelter Island Weakfish Tournament for Saltys members and moved to Soundview Inn to accommodate more guests and exand the fishing area to the entire North Fork from Mattituck to Orient. In 2010, a format change was implemented from single invited guest host (like “Lefty” Kreh, Lou Tabory, Bob Popovics, Nick Curccion, Ed Mitchell, Alan Caolo, David Skok and more) who made a slide presentation and casting demonstration to an “on the water” experience (and still evolving to include additional learning opportunities).
Fishing the North Fork and Shelter Island
The Conclave headquarters at the Soundview Inn is centrally located on Long Island's North fork providing access to both Peconic bays and the Long Island Sound. These are prime Striped Bass locations with diverse structure and terrain available in close proximity to the hotel (pristine flats, estuaries, salt creeks, sand beaches, pebble beaches, boulder fields and deep channels). Town of Southold parking permits and a detailed fishing map developed by Joe Blados (renowned guide native to the North Fork) will be provided to weekend program attendees. The Shelter Island ferry extends access to some less traveled beaches and estuaries and opens unique angling opportunities to the adventurous angler.
Friday June 8th
Saturday June 9th
Sunday June 10th
The centerpiece of this weekend's agenda is the guided fishing experience all day Saturday June 9th. Four top rated guides who all fish the Peconic bays will lead four sessions to share their experience reading the water for features that produce fish (structure, rips, bottom contour changes and color changes). Fish for striped bass with the foremost East End Guides such as: ROBIN CALITRI: professional Long Island guide and motivational speaker who is also a retired teacher with 30 years experience helping people learn new things; Joe Blados: renowned for his CREASE FLY (used world wide) and has guided on the North Fork more than 25 years; David Blinken: fished Peconic Bay, Montauk, the Keys and Andros his whole life, his secret fish-catching flies will be unveiled; Paul Dixon: helped pioneer flats fishing in the North East, and plies his trade from Montauk and Orient, to the Keys; Bill Cox: a Long Island native and life–long international angler guiding on the flats and back waters of the Peconic’s North & South Forks for many years.
The principle goal of the program is to familiarize anglers with observation, evaluation and fishing techniques that will improve their rate of success in locating and catching fish with a fly rod in saltwater. Some knowledge of fly fishing equipment, rigging and casting will be assumed, so if you are lacking in these areas you should strongly consider enrollment in the beginners program that will be conducted that same morning and join the guides for the afternoon part of the program. The guides will address the collective group for the first 15 minutes of the session and then set everyone loose fishing while they attempt to provide as much individual assistance to each angler as possible. The guides will have experienced Saltys members as assistants to ensure that every gets their questions answered. Anglers will need to attend sessions with their own gear and flies. Subjects covered by the guides during the session will include:
By becoming familiar with the areas highlighted during the guide sessions, the angler will be more intimately familiar with the area and where to concentrate their efforts if they choose to return in the dark of the night for more fishing. Daytime reconnaissance is a routinely employed strategy for the wise night time angler. Finally, there will be a round table question and answer session with guides during an indoor lunch at Soundview Inn between the morning and afternoon sessions. Get more questions answered and hear questions from your fellow anglers that you hadn't considered yet. The guides will share their knowledge and expand on things they discussed during the morning sessions.
Beginners Casting Program
Two-handed and Spey Casting Clinic
Banquet Dinner and Raffle
At the conclusion of the Saturday program, Conclave attendees gather for a night of revelry and camaraderie over cocktails and a sumptuous dinner. While dining, we conduct drawings for dozens of raffle prizes donated by our sponsors. These prizes include fly rods and reels, guided fishing trips, fly lines, books, magazine subscriptions, fly tying materials, boxes of flies and more! This part of the event represents the only major fundraiser for the Saltys annually. The revenue obtained from the raffle is used to operate other club meetings, events and to subsidize member benefits.
As our event is weekend long and some choose to fish by night AND day, we maintain a hospitality suite that is open 24 hours a day from Friday afternoon through Sunday morning. The hospitality suite has all the amenities of a standard room except a bed. It is fully stocked with snacks and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and provides a great location for making a pit stop when traveling between fishing locations. A whiteboard will be present with the latest fishing reports to help you decide your next fishing destination. Club members will demonstrate tying techniques and produce patterns that work. At all times, you will find a helpful club member or reference that will enhance your weekend experience.
The Fly Masters Tournament is a friendly competition among weekend Conclave attendees for the largest Striped Bass caught. It is a catch and release tournament that requires a witness for the catch to encourage people to fish together and preserve the precious resource of fish for future generations. Qualifying fish must be caught when wading and with a fly rod. Hence, catches from a kayak may not be entered. The winner of the competition will be honored with a plaque at the conclusion of Sunday breakfast after all the fishing reports have been collected.
Area Family Atrractions
While the Conclave program agenda is focused almost entirely on the angler, there are many attractions for the rest of the family should they decide to attend. The North Fork is noted for its fine dining, world class vineyards with wine tasting, golf courses, art galleries, museums, shops, boat tours, cinema, miniature golf and arcades. The Soundview Inn provides and on premises restaurant, private beach, pool, and tennis courts as well as telephone, television and wifi internet access in every room.