Spoonfed on Sutton Spoons

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 (https://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…


27 Responses to “Spoonfed on Sutton Spoons”

  1. My Dear

    Im interesed the spoon sutton, please send me the mail to sutton company i write

    thk you excuseme my english

  2. stflyfisher Says:

    Hi Alberto – thanks for reading my blog. Here is the address and phone number for Sutton Spoons: Sutton Company, (585) 374-2628, 120 S Main St, Naples, NY 14512.

    Tight lines!

  3. Dick Verville Says:

    I am trying to purchase a Sutton Silver Spoon 2″ weightless. This is for trolling on a 3 way ring. I don’t
    have a Number for the spoon – can you help. I really
    appreciate your assistance. Regards, Dick

  4. Punisher Lures Says:

    Do u still have flat fish?

  5. Hi, I am also looking for a Sutton Silver Spoon 2″ Weightless.
    Please tell me where I can find some!
    I am located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.



  6. I live 2 miles south of Lake Ontario in New Haven, N.Y. I’ve fished with Suttons since I was a boy in Elmira,N.Y. in the fifties.They made my fishing GREAT in Seneca lake, Cayuga lake and of course Lake ontario!
    I’ve caught Laker’s-Steelhead.Salmon not to mention almost every spiecies in the lakes on sutton’s
    The west river ,the 88 and 76 have served me well!
    Thanks guy’s You made my life more enjoyable
    Doug Hoover

  7. Osvaldo Runge Says:

    I´m from Bariloche, Argentina, and I nedd a catalog from the Sutton spoon. Here in my place is a good place por fishing and I have a Store whit all products for fishing.
    I nedd 200 o 300 spoon in sice 06-38-23 and 72

  8. mike balch Says:

    Could you send me a catalauge of your sutton spoon .?

  9. Terry Lumley Says:

    Looking for a 3″ silver and copper west river spoon.

  10. what happened to the legendary west river? I heard about the west river bEfore even learning about fishing… everybody’s been looking for the silver and copper west river forever here in the province of Quebec, Canada is sutton bankrupt or just stopped making west?
    genuine question

  11. would like to buy Sutton #44,copper back/silver front.Where?

  12. Mike Balch Says:

    Got my spoons and 11 Lakers in northern N.H. memorial weekend. Thank You sutton!!



  14. Does The Sutton Company have a website?

    • stflyfisher Says:

      No, Paul, it doesn’t. It remains old fashioned – writing or phone is the only way to contact them, or visit them in Naples NY for the full experience. If you search the internet, there are tackle dealers that sell their spoons.

  15. milkman Says:

    Do they have an outlet store and is it open on Sundays?

  16. stewart vanburen Says:

    I am looking for a single hook sutton 22 heavy to use on copper fishing known as jerking in the figer lakes. thank you stew

  17. looking for sutton 44 spoon lure anyone know wher to fnd them?

  18. Can you still buy a Sutton Silver Spoon 2 inch weightless??? I am having a VERY hard time finding any. I even tried calling the Co. but the phone just rings. Any help would be great!! THANKS

  19. Tim Daly Says:

    Is the store still open? West Rivers spoons are no where to be found. I’m willing to drive to Naples from Ottawa, Ontario Canada to buy my father as many as I can! He would be happier than a kid on Christmass morning!

    Any update on Sutton co. Would be great! I’d hate to drive down to find out that they are not open any more.

    Thanks in advance!

  20. Dierdre Stevenson Says:

    Sutton Co. is still open Mon through Saturday 9am to 6 pm. Though some days it is closed for the lunch hour when the owner is the only one there. Availability of spoons is variable because of plating issues. We “send out”.

  21. Steve cody Says:

    I still have a few battered West Rivers but would love to get some new silver copper ones. I have used them for forty years and they are my all time favorite. Mostly lakers on steel line but also casting and jigging through the ice. If you can only have one lure…this will catch anything. Steve Cody

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