I hope everyone that attended or worked the show had good selling, good buying, good teaching, good learning, good casting, good laughs, good drinks and most of all good fun. From the days years ago of helping set up The Fly Hatch's triple booths to breaking down the Orvis and Cross Current booths this year it is amazing how much work goes into setting up for the show and how quickly it gets taken down. I was so glad that Orvis had a booth once again this year at the show. With a new H2 (Helios 2) rod out, a new Digi Camo Guide Sling Pack, and Silver Sonic Waders it was a great opportunity for people to come and see and learn about the products. Orvis sent their
best down and I watched as future H2 owners took a rod (under escort of course!) over to the casting pond to see how great the new sticks cast. The Digi Camo Guide Sling Packs came on and off the manikin more times then I could count as people wanted to try them on and see just how much you could get inside. The Silver Sonic Waders with the convertible tops and SonicSeam technology will change any doubters minds that Orvis can make a great pair of waders. It was nice to able to hang my hat at the booth on and off over the last three days. I know all the Orvis guides, lodges, outfitters, dealers, and fans liked seeing the company represented at the show. Hopefully they'll do it again next year!
It was great to see so many of my friends and followers of The Average Angler blog. It was also great to network with other guides and meet current and hopefully new clients. I gave out a lot of cards and talked to many people about the great opportunities of fly fishing the Jersey Shore. While at the show I had the opportunity to re-test for the FFF CI certification which I will now be able to do one more time. Met some great FFF casters and I look forward in working with them to help me meet that important goal. With the test out of the way and a busy Saturday done it was nice to unwind a little at the bar. I found an old friend and co-worker at The Fly Hatch in Capt Dick Dennis. Dick has been doing these shows for years and travels with Bob Popovics who as you know is one of my favorites in the industry. So the three of us set up camp at a table in the bar and for the next 6 hours had an absolute blast. It was a night for me to remember.
This year I wasn't able to attend the various talks and demonstrations that I usually like to do. I was able to sit in on Bob Popvics Flye-Foil tying class where he tied up his new Squid-Foils in addition to his Fleye-Foil silversides. I picked up some tying material including some nice Keogh saddle hackle, an artic fox tail, and some hooks, thread and barbel eyes.
I was asked several times this year if there was anything that was a must see. Well, you all know how I feel about the Pulse Disc from BrineFly Innovations. This is a really cool innovation from Jim Matson and him and his friend and wife were busy the whole weekend. I was glad a lot of clients and readers of the blog went and checked it out for themselves.
I enjoyed watching a tyer from The Bayshore Flyrodders tie up a couple of flies using Steve Farrar's Flash Blend. Of course I stopped in on a bunch of other tyers who just crush both fresh and saltwater patterns. Brad Buzzi's poppers are getting sick looking with his airbrushed-at-the-vice paint jobs. I did buy another hat, something I said I would never do again. I figured from now on I would just wear my own hats and advertise my business. It was a Stripers Forever "Make It a Game Fish" hat. It came along with a ruler sticker for the boat.
I won't try to mention all the people I saw and had a good time with, but thanks to Joe D and Coz and the boys from Cross Current, of course the Orvis folks, Sherri from FUDR, Joe Sawicki - who I was glad to finally meet, all my Facebook friends that I could finally shake their hand and talk to them in "real" life, and of course.....The Jason Dapra.
Also, just to pass along an opportunity, Joe D and Coz from Cross Current Guide Service will be down in Andros in March bonefishing. If you are interested in joining them for one of the weeks for great fly fishing and fun give them a call at 914. 475.6779 or call me at 732.261.7291 and I'll get you the info you need.
It may be short notice but sometimes the best experiences we have in life start out that way!