Archive for sutton spoons

Spoons and Pie

Posted in Gear, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , on March 11, 2011 by stflyfisher

My loyal readership will likely remember this blog’s not-so-distant discovery of a titan of enterprise, a skunkworks of technological wonderment, and a darling of Wall Street not too far from the Southern Tier. Lest you have forgotten, click here for a diatribe on the Sutton Spoon Company of Naples, NY.

Sutton's corporate headquarters - conveniently located next to the chinese restaurant where corporate takeovers are regularly planned...

You can thank STFF staff member, master swimmer and long-ago side stroke champion Kelly, born and bred near the place, for turning my attention to this world-class lure-maker. Kelly is still a regular visitor to the sprawling metropolis of Naples and soon after the Christmas holidays, returned with new tales of that oh-so-special place on the south end of Canandaigua Lake. Indeed, I felt much like Thomas Jefferson must have felt at the return of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

First came the pictures from Kelly’s winter expedition:

Christmas in full splendor - one stop shopping for the entire family...

Kelly had to literally press through throngs of people, all waiting to see what Sutton had in their display window under their towering Christmas tree, just to get these rare pictures. But the boots, trucker-style hats complete with Sutton logo, Carhart clothing, wool socks, leather work gloves, ice fishing tip-ups, and WD-40 all paled in comparison to the tray of gleaming spoons of every Sutton shape and size…

Sutton's crown jewels, shimmering like so many diamonds...

And then came the goods. I’m not talking about beaver pelts or Yukon gold – I’m talking a whole, beautifully boxed, thickly filled, grape pie. Yep, grape pie made with the best grapes this side of the Napa Valley – concord grapes – a native american variety – and, no less the same grape that makes the famed Manischewitz Wine…

Grape pie capitol of the world...

The pie came from Monica’s – another one of those Naples, NY trademarks that apparently has quite a following; hell, they’re even on Facebook. Monica’s has been filling pies since way back in 1983 and one bite of just the crust will surely make you a believer in their product. The grape filling is heavenly, just tart enough to put a jump in your step and not leave you puckered up like a spawning sucker. And in addition to the fact that your pie will be neatly boxed, count on a bumper sticker or two to accompany your pie – perfect to slap on the side of your Hyde drift boat.

Spoons and pie are undoubtedly what Naples, NY is all about. I’ve yet to hear from the corporate execs at The Sutton Company regarding my new fly spoon product line…

How could that not attract a laker or two...

It could be “The Board” is still strategizing, pouring over marketing reports, and hiring extra accountants to handle the influx of greenbacks that is surely to follow such a product announcement. Or, maybe they’re a little reticent – you know – the whole “straying from our core business” thing you hear so much of these days from the talking heads of CNBC. If that’s the case, I now know just how to sweeten the deal…

Corporate persuader?

Tight lines…

Spoonfed on Sutton Spoons

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , on December 13, 2009 by stflyfisher

Up in the western Finger Lakes country lies Canandaigua Lake, a 15.5 mile long jewel and one of the eleven famed glacial lakes that look like fingers reaching southward on a map of New York state.  The lake’s name is derived from the Iroquios, “Kanandarque”, which means “chosen spot”, and a chosen spot it is.  At the south end of the lake is the town of Naples, former home to none other than our very own STFF staff member Kelly, the hero in an earlier post that detailed the account of how he singlehandedly negotiated the Class I rapids of the Susquehanna River, while yours truly slayed smallmouth bass at every likely riffle and pool (http://stflyfisher.wordpress.com/2009/09/22/kellys-excellent-canoe-adventure/).

Canandaigua Lake - home to grapes and trout...

While chatting the other day at work, Kelly revealed to me that besides being famous for its grape pies, Naples, NY, is also the clandestine global corporate headquarters for The Sutton Company.  I’d never heard of the company and revealing this to my boastful comrade, I’d soon learn, was a big mistake…

Currently listed on New York Stock Exchange, ticker "SUTN"...

What followed was a diatribe on the virtues of spoons that has never been heard by human ears.  Sutton, apparently, is a household name in Naples, but more so is a brand known ’round the world.

The place Sutton built, in downtown Naples...

And so this blogger decided to follow-up on the claims, and found, lo and behold, that sutton spoons are quite well-known.  Just google the name, and be ready for over 1,000,000 hits, ranging from a multitude of fishing forums and guide reports to a post suggesting sutton spoons make a great wedding gift…

In copper, how nice...

Most of the fishing forum posts hailed the fish-catching abilities of this simple lure, but one in particular gave some insight into the high technology utilized by the company in selling its mighty brand:

Sutton Spoons are made in a small shop in Naples, NY. Naples is about 50 miles southeast of Rochester on the south end of Canandaigua Lake. I doubt very much if they have a website as the last time I was there, the computer served as a paperweight. They are a super spoon and come in many different shapes and sizes. I find them in some of the smaller Mom and Pop stores in the Roch. area. Good luck.

Indeed, the Sutton company seems to pride itself on a number of counter-intuitive marketing principles that STFF staffer Kelly verified on a recent visit to their ivory corporate towers. For one, they do not have a website, apparently relying solely on brand loyalty, word-of-mouth, and the advertising made by other on-line retailers.  And two, they don’t exactly bend over backwards in the customer service department.  Kelly was kind enough to purchase a spoon for me, but in so doing, felt as if he was in line for soup in the famous Seinfeld “soup-nazi” episode.  Seeing a boatload of varieties of spoons on display, he asked to purchase one and made the mistake of asking, if this was, in fact, a sutton spoon.  The reply was borderline indignant, and Kelly took his purchase and quickly exited the store…

That's it - no more spoons for you!!!

There are a wide range of spoon types and sizes for a variety of trolling, casting, and jigging applications, most of them referred to by a number…

And you thought spoons were simple...

The old-timers who trolled the finger lakes for trout used a copper line on a large hand-held spool the size of a pie plate and referred to the technique as “pulling copper”.  The spoon would be run off the copper line with a leader and the idea was to troll slowly, letting the lure flutter off the bottom like a wounded sawbelly (alewife).  Modern down-rigger trolling systems and rod  set-ups have all but replaced “pulling copper”, but some fishermen apparently still use it, as seen in this video on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-4q8Pqi53I).

Lest the readership think I’ve totally reverted back to my bygone years of spinfishery, I hereby publish an idea that could bring the sutton spoon to the fly fishing masses, and catapult The Sutton Company into higher realms of global corporate domination. It seems that some redneck fly fishermen down Louisiana way have been fishing the shallow saltwater estuaries and backwaters with a whole different fly.  The fly (pronounced flaah), often called a spoon fly or wobbler, is a concoction of mylar and epoxy, but at least some variations have a feather tail for balance.

Looosiana flaah - dagummit....

Imagine a different version of this fly, designed for deep trolling, Maine-style, off a full sink line.  Such a fly would more than likely need to be weighted but also have a light enough body to flutter sufficiently much like the sutton spoon at the end of copper wire.  This one would need to be metallic in color – copper, silver, or gold – and very much unlike the southern versions that incorporate all types of shrimp and tidal baitfish colors – hues of pink, purple, and chartreuse.

The colors and finishes of the sutton spoon fly...

And as for names?  How about “canandaigua spoon candy”, “keuka killer”, or “finger lake fly spoon”?  Is anyone at The Sutton Company listening?  Any fly tyers looking for a challenge???

Tight lines…

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