Theresa and I spent two days at the show and had a great time. I could probably write a million words about everything and everyone I saw but I'll try and keep it short, or shorter. I think it was a good show from the crowds I saw. Saturday mid morning thoughout the day was very busy, and since the show is so spread out its hard to figure out just how many people were there. For most vendors, its not the amount of people that pass by, its how much those that do spend. There was a lot of destination booths there and we did spend some time at the Esnagami Wilderness Lodge booth, www.esnagami.com. With the exchange rate at .76 its a great deal. It peaked our interest and made us think of maybe taking a trip.
As far as new, or newer stuff, a few fly reels grabbed my attention. Orvis' new Mirage which is due out in May 2017 is a Vermont made improvement to the Mirage I currently use. But what got my attention was the year-plus-old
$129.00 Redington Behemoth. Many times anglers are looking for a good entry level reel at an affordable price and this reel will surely satisfy those beginners, as well as those who can defy that more money equals best value. Its a neat reel and you can see more
Since the aisles were packed with destination offerings the few fly shops that were there were busy looking for fly tyers looking for materials. Tight Lines booth was packed both days I was there and the tyers booths were busy demonstrating and selling as well. Regal Vice had a nice booth with talented tiers on hand. I always like stopping by and chatting with old friends and seeing what they're spinning. I always make a purchase at each booth and most of my haul this year was in materials.
I spent the most coin at Capt. Bill Murphy's booth gearing up for the sand eels of Martha's Vineyard. After years of donating to Coop's and his floating sand eel fly I decided that I would purchase the materials and make my own this year. I got enough EZ'Body and Bodi-Braid to keep me busy at the vice for awhile. I enjoyed watching Brad Buzzi tying up a fly with the Baitfish Emulator Flash so a variety of colors will set me up well for day and night fishing. Its always fun spending time with Brad who's always giving to any info or technique tyers need to make their tying fun and effective.
I also spent some time and made some purchases at the booths Joe "Birthday Boy" Calcavecchia, Joe Cordeiro- who sold me on some shrimp patterns for the rivers and bays, and Scott Stryker,
who's sweet herring fly made its way into my bag. Theresa spent some time doing reflexology on Scott and his neighbor Pat Cohen. It made for some good fun and times and a few double takes as people passed by. Pat's creations always draw a crowd and I discussed having him make a striped bass fly, which I should see later this year and will share with you.
Ben Rinker an Jonny King were at the Bear's Den booth and King's squid flies are just sick to look at I would assume to fish, gotta get me one of those, I got the recipe, but I don't think that'll help much.
As far as good old stuff. we had good times at the show and at dinner with Jim and Laura Matson from BrineFly Innovations, the makers of the Pulse Disc. If you want to add some life to your flies than you should make the investment into the Pulse Discs and, after a quick learning curve, you will add action and more fish to the end of your line. Trust me, they work.
I also stopped by the Post Fly booth. Although its been around a few years I haven't paid much attention. It seems each day that I am on Facebook their ad, or a post, pops up. It's set up as a monthly subscription where a fly, fresh or saltwater, or a fly tying kit, is delivered. It's something new each month. They are based out of Boston so they provide flies and materials that are East Coast themed. You can check them out at PostFly They also offer incentives for guides, and its good for their clients especially the cross overs or those new to the sport.
In the just cool category are the girls from FlyVines who make jewelry and other cool things from recycled fly lines. They employ 30 stay-at-home moms so it's good for the environment and a good "shop local" king of business. we bought the adjustable bracelet. You can donate your used fly lines to them by sending them to Montana, and they tell me they'll send you something for your donation.
Best raffle goes to FUDR, Friends of the Upper Delaware River, who are raffling out a new Hyde drift boat. Raffles are $40...can you imagine winning a drift boat with two 20 dollar bills. Only 500 tickets will be sold and it will be raffled off at the One Bug April 28-30th in Hancock. www.fudr.org
Theresa took Cathy Beck's casting class and like everyone warns "don't let your spouse teach you how to cast". It was money well spent and she had a great time and learned a lot and was eager to demonstrate her new skills when we got home on Sunday. Can't wait to fish with her this year.
I also got to spend a few minutes at the authors booth with Rick Murphy, whose Fly Fishing for Striped Bass, is one of my favorites and a must read, and Bob Popovic's, whose Beast Fleye's seem to be the big, no pun intended, this year. I have to tip my hat to Bob, and all of the other legendary innovators in this sport, who travel and attend just about all of the shows and spend countless hours with fly fishers and fly tyers alike. With no disrespect, doing shows is exhausting for even the young and fit and trim, and as we get old and crickety so do they. It's their love of the game that keeps them coming year after year after year.
One of my favorite images from the show captures for me one of the best parts of the show. It's the times spent after the show, sometimes deep into the night, sharing stories, and drinks with friends and or future friends. I was surprised that the bar traffic wasn't busier Friday and Saturday night, but do realize that people travel to local restaurants or have get-togethers in their rooms sharing good times in just a different environment.
One thing I did realize is that I do miss being a part of the "business" and the circuit, either the shows or the talks that I used to do. I signed on with FUDR for this years One-Bug, either as a guide or in any other way Theresa and I can help out. I am also torn with "doing" both the upcoming Fly
|The Fly Fishing Show 2014|
Symposium and The Fly Fishing Show. Yes, it costs good money, but it is good both personally and for business. I'm hoping to return to guiding more this year as I have figured out the balance between work, school, and fishing.