Well, another year and another great Fly Fishing Show. I hope you got to attend it and had a great show too. Last year I hung my hat at the Orvis booth but this year I was in mobile, and undercover mode. Undercover mode....yes 80% of the people I saw, that I knew, didn't recognize me all slimmed down and all cleaned up, and the skinny jeans only helped me stay in stealth mode.
So I'll just re-cap how the show was for me and what I liked and what I bought. I did a quick walk through Friday and the thing that jumped out and bit me the hardest was a few flies that Steve Farrar had sitting in front of his vice. It was a collection of baby flounder flies some tied with his SF Blend
and others tied with DNA Holo Fusion. He developed these flies about a dozen years ago for use catching stripers up in Maine. Recently he found a container with tungsten powder and decided to tie a few up. Well these are badass looking and I can't wait to try them this spring. Below is a top and bottom view of the fly with the black being the hardened tungsten powder.
Friday night was an all out hoot. Charlie and I got to TK's around 530 and left at 230 when they asked all the remaining people, most of which were intoxicated, to leave. I have a great Colin-roast story that I'll share tomorrow on the blog here.
As far as getting up early and hitting the show......forget it.....we slept in and by the time we got it together and walked across the street in was 1 o'clock, but we still had plenty of the day left.
I stopped and talked with Rich Murphy who was set up in the tyers row. He was cranking out some flies and talking to people who stopped in only that low pitched way do smart and deep way that Rich does. If you haven't read his book, Fly Fishing for Striped Bass, then you should, it's a must read. I read it three times a year.
I stopped by the Simms booth to check out their latest G3 Guide bootfoot waders, which come in both Vibram and felt soles. In recent years all the companies have had issue with leakage in bootfoot waders where the material meets the boot. There was a push to not make felt waders anymore due to the spread on invasives like didymo, but some still and others have bought them back. As you know my current waders in the salt are the Orvis Edura bootfoot waders with the felt sole, HERE. I talked with the reps at the Simms booth and the G3's look they can take a beating. They are priced at $699.00, that's really just $700.
As far as other things. Always nice to see Jim and Laura Matson over at BrineFly, aka Pulse Discs. Donnie Jones from Jones Brothers had a new and sweet 23' Lite Tackle Cape Fisherman to check out. Mike McCauliffe worked his charm and shared the Regal Vice love to those that stopped by Regal to see the vices or the pro-staff tyers that were at the booth.
I stopped and checked out the artwork of Alan James Robinson, aka The Map Guy, and purchased a striped bass chasing some pogies print, you can see his stuff HERE. Below is what I scored.
I watched Cathy Beck as she did a casting demonstration and later Steve Rajeff introduce a potential customer to one of the GLoomis rods. There were companies, outfitters and guides that weren't here this year but have been in the past and some first timers. There were lots of destination booths, from Canada to Argentina to the Bahamas. There was a good amount of shop booths, Greg Becker's Whitewater Flies had the ever always entertaining Collins and Kavanaugh fronting at the vice. Bears Den looked always busy with Jonny King the special guest tyer out front. I sat in on Bob Popovic's seminar "Simplifying Saltwater Flyfishing" and as always it was well attended and very informative. I made the image below during the beginning of the class, it kind of reminds me of the old classic Alfred Hitchcock silhouette......"Good Evening......" If you know Bob then you know how much talking he doe with that finger, and the tufts of hair coming out the back of the hat are a dead give away.
On Saturday night the Orvis company held a meet and greet dinner for the endorsed lodges, outfitters and guides and friends of the company. It was nice to break bread and share a drink with some of the people from Orvis corporate and some of the endorsed partners in the program.
Luckily it was an early Saturday night and by 930 I was tucked into my bed at the Holiday Inn watching the original Godfather on TV. The Holiday Inn was a good deal, for a room with two double beds and full breakfasts each day, and use of the gym which I took advantage of on Sunday morning, was $195.00. Not bad if you split it with a friend.
On Sunday it was a slow start but I did walk in and just catch Bob Popovic's class on tying the BTD- bucktail deceiver. It's rediculous how easy he makes these flies, and in the water they are great. I am going to block some time and just crank out a bunch getting ready for the bunker in the spring. You can watch his video on tying one up HERE. One thing I have learned, and something you should know if you are interested in fly tying or fly fishing the salt, there are some great clubs out there locally you can join, Atlantic Saltwater Flyroodders, Bayshore Salwater Flyrodders, Coastal Flyrodders, and South Jersey Coastal Anglers. The members of these clubs are all about sharing and teaching so don't be afraid or indimidated. Check out their websites for meeting info and do yourself the favor.
After Bob's class I hit the floor for one last time. I stopped in and said hello to Brad Buzzi at BuzFly. Went and checked out Scott Styker's big new pike flies and peeked into the crowd surrounding Rich Strolis.
Next to Steve's baby flounder flies the next coolest thing, for me, was watching Capt. Bill Murphy
tie up one of his squid flies and then one of his Loop Flies. The flies are made with a series of ties using Bill's Body Braid, the cut, and then combed out. I purchased some of the braid in two colors and think this will be a great fly for albies, bass, and even for trout on the Upper Delaware. You can see a video, actually two videos, of Bill tying one filmed up at The Saltwater Edge, HERE and HERE. I watched him tie one in real time and in only takes a few minutes.
As I write this I am trying to think if I am forgetting anything. On Saturday I bellied up to the bar and shot the shit with Montauk Captain and owner of flylifemagazine.com, Andrew Derr. It's an online fly fishing blog/magazine that is updated with new content several times a day (that's a lot of work). I checked it out and you should add it to your daily reading list, you can see it HERE. Also as I write this , at 425 pm, I am waiting for someone from the Atlantic Saltwater Flyrodders to call me and let me know that I won the raffle for over 200 saltwater flies. I filled out a lot of tickets and I am feeling good about my chances, even though I know it only takes one lucky ticket.
So I hope the show was good for you as it was for me. Next year Orvis' will be back and I will have a place to hang my hat and meet and greet, if I don't take the plunge and get a booth for myself. Stayed tuned tomorrow when I fill you in on the Bob Popovic's sponsored Colin-Roast from Friday night, but, it and he really did make me think after it was all over.......