No....not THAT season...the holidays are over! I'm talking about the few sources of emotional warmth and light available to all those "Waiting to Flyfish" during these cold, snowy, endless weeks of short days and long dark nights. I'm talking about the Fly Fishing Show season!
Each year during the months of January and February here in the Northeast, the salvation of our flyfishing souls can be found by attending one or more of these 3-day (Friday-Sunday) commercial gatherings of fly fishing tackle manufacturers and vendors, outfitters, fly tiers, authors, and rock stars of the fly fishing industry. We can all come together to attend dozens of seminars, fly casting and fly tying clinics, and exotic fly fishing destination presentations, drool at all the new gear, chat, lie, laugh, share, and otherwise hobnob with our brother (and sister) wielders of the long wand. The Marlboro, MA show kicks off the season on MLK weekend in mid January, followed by the HUGE show in Somerset, NJ the following weekend. More info at http://www.flyfishingshow.com/ Mid February brings the annual one day show/extravaganza hosted by Bears Den flyshop http://www.bearsden.com/page894.html at the Holiday Inn just off Exit 9 on Rte 495 in Taunton, MA, which includes a showing of the annual "Fly Fishing Film Tour", http://www.flyfishingfilmtour.com/ an outstanding collection of fish porn produced by flyfishing film makers from all across the country sponsored by several of the heavy hitters in the industry.
Granted, some of the presentations don't change much from year to year at the 3 day events, but every year truly does bring at least something new, and I, for one, look forward to visiting all the booths at these shows, working my way systematically from one end of the exibition halls to the other. I find that watching the elite fly tiers ply their craft always reveals a trick or two I can use in my own efforts at the vise. Even though I have been fly casting for more than 20 years, the casting demonstrations always yield some useful information that finds its way into my toolshed of skills, or reinforces some of the fundamentals of casting and presentation that make me a better fisherman. And who doesn't love to sit in a darkened room and watch a film or narrated slide show of some warm, tropical paradise, with palm trees, deep blue skies, and white sand flats teeming with bonefish or tarpon on a cold January afternoon?
This year, I'm trying to put together something that will add a new element of excitement and enjoyment for me, and possibly, for all of you who may be thinking of attending one or more of these shows. I'm not sure what, if anything, will come of my work on this, but I will post something on that in the very near future. Do check back within a week or so!