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Fly Tying
Gene L

Atlanta show

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Friday went to the fly fishing show in Atlanta.  Got there about 11 a.m.  Decent crowd for an opening weekday event,  Quite a few vendors there; it seemed diminished from the last one I went to.  Great tyers were there and casting demos were great.  I didn't see a huge increase in price for rods, but I'm not in the rod market so I didn't look long or hard..  Lots of rods there and three or so bamboo rod makers.  Fine looking rods and not prohibitively over budget.  My buddy cast one, a 8 wt and was able to lay out some nice casts

Glad I went.  Didn't spend a dime there.  Lots of hackle and furs, reasonably priced.  I like to look and feel such, but I have way more hackle and fur than I need.

After the show, went to Bass Pro, which is close by.  Hardly any shoppers there, as quiet as a library.  Went to the fly shop and asked the guy behind the counter if he had any beads.  He told me to go down the shop to the accessories.  It was clear we had a misunderstanding.  My buddy with me said "brass beads for tying".  Which I thought it was an odd response but it was cleared up.

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If you expect the clerk in the fly fishing portion of a Bass Pro shop to be skilled in fly tying, good luck.  The best you can hope for is that they know what’s displayed and how to ring up a sale…. At least that’s what I’ve seen in my local big box sporting goods stores…

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I must be spoiled. My Cabelas store in Hamburg PA is staffed with people that know what they are talking about and they  tie flies right in the shop.  I don’t know if they can ring up a sale because I go to the check out when I leave the store itself. From going into various cabelas around the country I do know the Hamburg store is second to none. I was just there yesterday and the only problem was bare shelf’s. I don’t know if this is because of the BPS takeover or supply chain issues. 

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I stopped going to those Fly Fishing Shows a few years ago. They became the same old, same old...and like Gene L there is nothing I need. If I really need something I'd rather patronize a local shop anyway.

I spoke with a  friend who went to the Edison, NJ show and he told me the number of vendors was down, attendance diminished, fewer tyers...just generally pretty bad. I wasn't there, but knowing this guy well I'll take his word for an accurate appraisal.

Anyone else go there? What was your opinion?

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4 hours ago, Capt Bob LeMay said:

If you expect the clerk in the fly fishing portion of a Bass Pro shop to be skilled in fly tying, good luck.  The best you can hope for is that they know what’s displayed and how to ring up a sale…. At least that’s what I’ve seen in my local big box sporting goods stores…

Or fly fishing for that matter.

Years ago when I had a reason to go near a Cabelas, I stopped to see what they had for fly fishing and tying. When I found the correct area, there was a customer speaking to the clerk and the the clerk was trying to sell the customer a 3 wt outfit for general trout fishing! When the clerk went to wait on another customer, I showed the customer what he should buy.

Some years later, Gary Borger was asked to teach a fly casting and fly fishing class at our local Univ of Wisconsin campus. He told them to contact me and I gave the class for several years. When we went to cast, two older ladies brought their rods/reels/lines and they were 6 ft 3 wts. They were sold the equipment by a big box store.

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I worked fishing, boating, and one or two fly fishing shows over the years starting in the early to mid eighties… At first I was volunteering to assist one shop or other that were ordering flies from me, then finally as an independent commercial tyer once I was picked up by Umpqua.   My usual routine was to tie flies all day long, selling them to anyone that wanted them to cover my expenses… while also assisting in whatever booth that was hosting me.

Those various shows were invaluable, allowing me to meet many professionals and become well known in the industry.  That was how I was picked up as a contract tyer for Umpqua…

When I came back to guiding full time in 1996 I continued to work shows - but as the years went by did so less and less.  At this point I haven’t worked or even gone to a show of any kind in some years.

My preference will always be time on the water.  If I’m ever forced to give up guiding I’ll consider going back to tying commercially if I’m still able… If I go down that road again, fly shows will  be part of the deal…

 

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I'm going to the Denver show on Sunday. I'll post a report.

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Here in Mass each year the Fly Fishing Show is held at a facility about  500' walk from my office.  I love attending mostly because it's a little taste of fly fishing in January and I usually haven't been on a stream since November.  Tying flies to fill the holes in my boxes gets me through the dark of winter but after a while I really start to miss the water.   Typically I cut out of work at noon and walk over with a list of materials that I need to restock or that are hard to find or that are best seen in person before purchase.

Last year the show was cancelled as the facility was used for Covid testing AND this year it was rescheduled due to covid.  I'll be travelling on the reschedule date.   It's going to be a long winter- 😦  

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What they had I didn't buy but probably should is Indian necks.  A nice selection of them, $5 each two for $9.  I don't need them but I probably could use them eventually.

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Here’s a tip for anyone bargain hunting fly materials at shows… If you go the very last day of a show just an hour or two before closing you might find some great bargains if you offer to purchase this or that as they’re beginning to pack up the goods for the road… 

Early on before I had solid wholesale connections it proved very valuable buying necks, saddle patches,etc for this tyer…

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Went to the Edison show for the first time ever this year. First fly fishing show ever actually. Drove 4-1/2 hrs through the storm. Stayed for two days, spent a bunch of money, went to a seminar. watched some casting demo's, talked with some great people. It was nice to be able to actually cast some different rods, try some different lines. Overall I had a blast. It was great to get out the damn house. I thought the setup with the guest fly tiers was great. 

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5 hours ago, Upstate said:

Went to the Edison show for the first time ever this year. First fly fishing show ever actually. Drove 4-1/2 hrs through the storm. Stayed for two days, spent a bunch of money, went to a seminar. watched some casting demo's, talked with some great people. It was nice to be able to actually cast some different rods, try some different lines. Overall I had a blast. It was great to get out the damn house. I thought the setup with the guest fly tiers was great. 

It makes me have this flashback moment as I read about your first fly fishing show ever.

I know I sounded like a cranky old fart in my previous post, but the shows have run their course for me. It is nice to know that the shows still hold a special place in the heart and mind for another generation of fly fishermen & women. They sure do get rid of cabin fever...don't they?😁😁

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one of the better fly-fishing shows in the New England area was the one the Shriners put on in Wilmington Massachusetts area many many years ago

the upcoming fly-fishing show in Marlborough, Massachusetts has gotten smaller and smaller in recent years with less and less vendors with not much new under the sun. i dont need a $1000 fly rod or $750 fly reel. i have a small fly shops worth of tying materials in my tying room, so i dont need much anyway

i really dont think the vendors are going to offer discounts on the last hour of the last day of the shows. i'm sure they pay a premium for the minute square footage for their booth and with inflation of wholesale prices they have to pay, theyll have to pass that on to the retail customer. they didnt go there to lose money

i went the year before covid hit and to be honest i was out of there after a couple of hours. i'm covid free and hope to stay that way 👍

anyway have fun if you go

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It seems that the shows are a repeat of the previous year...same ol', same ol'. I thought about going to the Atlanta show but really didn't see anything that rang my chime. 2019 had a seminar by a guide, Henry Cowen; www.henrycowenflyfishing.com . He is famous in the Atlanta area for striper and carp fishing armed with the skinny stick. Great seminar but it was the last one of the day. Got to drive home in the afternoon demolition derby.

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Just got back from the Denver show. It's was at a new venue this year. Maybe a bite bigger than 2 years ago. Plenty, more than plenty, of outfitters. Lots of vendors selling most everything. The tying wall was good. Caught up with my old friend Tim Cammisa and had an interesting conversation regarding Atlantic salmon flies with Ted Patlen. The bamboo section was pretty good. Chatted with most of them including my buddy Alan Kube. In fact I picked up my 8'3" 5wt quad from him on Tuesday just passed. Got a private guided tour of Jeff Hatton's traveling fly rod museum. Rods from the late 1700's til the 40s. That was fascinating and educational. A great 2fer. Never made it to any demos. Spent about 3 hours just wandering. Of course you have to buy something so I bought a lump of tying wax. And this.... All in all it was a pretty fun way to spend a Sunday morning without being on the water itself. 

20220213_143516.jpg

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