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Welcome back to the new NEFF. Take a break from Twitter and Facebook. You don't go to Dicks for your fly fishing gear, you go to your local fly fishing store. Enjoy!

Fly Fishing Show for 2008


Boston - Title Town USA
Another year another show you would think after all these years you might be getting tired of it, but I haven’t.

The game plan this year leading up to it remained the same as previous years, review tying materials needed, down load the program and review the guess speakers, date, times they will be presenting, prioritize as to interest and time slot for that day.

The first thing I noticed was the program change this year, very much user friendly. It replaced the nine pages that I down loaded, so out came the highlighter and I was set for the next two days with my primary and secondary choices identified.

Every year the show has its own unique feel and this year it was no different. Some of the larger regular NJ fly shops are gone, The Fly Hatch and Down and Trout both had big booths. Dave was there selling travel packages for your fly tying materials and stopped by for a long chat. Also like his Orvis shop, the people in there were very knowledgeable and friendly.

The large casting pool in the back was moved and was much narrower which I liked. If you wanted to try a rod there was another area in the far corner to cast off the carpet. Saturday afternoon there was a very noticeable line waiting their turn to test drive the rod of their choice. For some reason the narrower casting demo pool this seemed better, or it was because when I did make it there, there wasn’t the thick crowds. I guess it was just timing on my part. The sound system could have been a bit better.

Two dozen lodges and just as many outfitters with booths scattered throughout the hall. Hate to say it but without them the show might not still be in existence.

The fly tyers were pushed further down the hall along the wall and two rows in the corner and they did away with the row of tyers who use to be across from Tight Lines booth.

The first presentation I attended on Friday and again of Saturday was Ken Tutalo’s A System Approach to Flyfishing the Upper Delaware</ST1:p. It was obvious from the start a few things, he was very knowable about his trade and very organized in his presentation. The hours and hours he must have put into his program to me were very evident. He broke up the fishing by seasons. A novel approach and for me it was easy to see the change in locations, fly patterns, and approach needed to be successful up there no matter what the season.

Mike Hogue’s What’s new in Fly Tying is a staple for me. I am always amazed by the lack of interest in his topic. This year there were only a half dozen of us in the room for the presentation, a “hands on presentation.” He always comes in with some new and interesting materials for us and this year it was no different. You can’t come away and not feel that you have gained a good deal of knowledge not only about the materials and tools he spoke about, but asking questions on any type of material.

I sat in on Fly Fishing Central PA – The Streams, The Fish, The Fly patterns presentation and maybe next year he will have an outline he could follow. But all in all I have an interest in fishing PA and well there is always some thing new to learn.

The only true disappointment this year was the Landlocked Salmon Fishing in Maine </ST1:ppresentation. The man never showed up, well I gave it five minutes before I got up and left.

Nice turn out for our own Matt Grobert and New Jersey Trout Stream Tactics. The book seller was out of his books by Saturday afternoon! I should have picked up my copy on Friday. I didn’t have a chance to speak with him but you could sense the exhilaration of having your first book on sale at the largest fly show in the country and before the second day all your books were sold. Congratulations to Matt and everyone who purchased a copy. Hope this trend keeps up.

Ed Engle is always very informative and the ease in which he presents his program is always a treat.

Another gem was Tom Brtalik’s Prospecting for Trout: A Guide’s Perspective. He was chalk full of good and useful information that was easy for the novice and the well worn veteran to take in. He guides on spring creeks and anyone who fishes that type of water knows just how difficult and technically challenging it can be. I have to admit I was very impressed and I will this spring hire him as a guide and really tax his knowledge base. I have the feeling I will learn more from him in one day than another five years of fishing spring creeks.

In my previous life I had the opportunity to send many of my people off to schools to advance their careers and each and every time I did so upon their return I would always take the time and ask them how they liked the course and what did they gain from it? The responses ran the gambit, but there was always one answer that would just drive me completely up the wall was, “I didn’t learn a thing… or it was too basic.” I personally don’t care if you have years and years of experience and had to sit through a week or two of basic material, I don’t care who you are there is ALWAYS SOME THING to be learned! Just have to be open to hear it.

As always, I gained a bit more insight into the sport we care about, now I can’t wait till next years Fly Fishing Show.

AK Skim
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Good observations, A.K.

I tested a rod, but did so outside, rather than at the regular testing area.

Also, I took Cathy Beck's Ladies casting class and although it was geared toward beginners, I managed to let her know quietly that I just wanted to learn the double-haul. She gave me her rod (better suited for it than mine), taught me the rhythm, and I practiced while the class worked on the stuff I already knew. So, to your point, there is always something to be learned.

Not that I'm good at double-hauling yet, but at least I've got a starting point to practice from. So from that point of view, it was a great class and I met a few other lady fishers from NJ.
Thank you, AK, it was pretty cool. And today I found out that at least one person read it.........they gave me this after I let out my "secret" in the intro......:rofl:

The only true disappointment this year was the Landlocked Salmon Fishing in Maine </ST1:ppresentation. The man never showed up, well I gave it five minutes before I got up and left.

AK Skim

Can't get here from there!.....

Great review. I wish I had seen as much. I went on Friday, got a 2 day pass.
Got there at 10 am, made plans to have lunch with a couple of the fella's and by 11:30 am I was stricken by the plague, skiped out on lunch, then drove my self home and now its sunday night!

Thanks for filling in the gaps.


Great review of the show, very insightful and just what this forum needed for a little boost! THANK YOU!

Now I'll share my experience. I wasn't going to bother going this year. I kinda had the attitude that if you've been there 2-3 times than not much has changed. After hockey this morning, since I was in Edison, I figured what the hell. I had to be at a birthday party in Bridgewater by 2, so I figured that since the show was in between where I was going, then it wouldn't hurt to stop by and see what hasn't changed.

I arrived shortly after 10am and my first stop was the FUDR booth. COZ was working the booth with the new FUDR President, Dan Plummer. I've always gotten along with COZ and think he's a good guy. I never met Dan Plummer, but he seems like a level headed person and a breath of fresh air for the FUDR. Best wishes to him.

I met up with my father while talking with COZ and he asked me if I was going inside. I was a bit skeptical about paying the $15.00 entrance fee, especially because I was only going to be in there for a short period of time. My father offered to pay the $15.00 for me so I figured what the hell.

We walked around for a while and he asked me if I was going to get my Winston hat. For the past few years, I've gone over and made the $15.00 purchase. I was going to say $15.00 donation but you do get a nice hat for the $15.00 + they enter you into this drawing to win a new Rod that I'm sure nobody ever wins. Anyhow, the hat is really nice. Then he mentioned that Orvis was giving away hats so we strolled over to the Orvis booth but they ran out. :( Ohh well, the Winston hat is nicer IMHO.

We bounced around from booth to booth then came to another booth where he booked a vacation for June of 2009. It's a 7 day Montana vacation to the Jefferson, Big Hole, and a few other nice looking rivers. $1350.00 for 5 days. That includes a room and 5 days of floating. I was going to put down a deposit but in my line of work, I never know how long I'll be employed so I left without putting down the deposit then thought about this... Why not send them 100 - 200 ever other month and by the time the trip comes along, I'll just have to worry about air fair. That will be easy because I have enough Amex points to pay for this trip 10 times. I'll call them soon and book it.

We stopped by the Streams of Dreams booth and met up with Emmit Johnson. Emmit/Emit... We always enjoy your company, you're a funny guy (like a clown).

What next... We did a little window shopping. I didn't buy anything (that's what window shopping is, right?) but my Dad picked up a few small things. I stopped by to say hello to the guys at the West Branch Angler (Nice guys) then over to Tight lines just to say a quick hello to Drew. I also thought I'd run into Matt Grobert tying flies along the wall but he wasn't there. I did see Andy Brasko tying his beautiful wet flies. He's come a long way since a few years ago. Check out the low resolution picture attachment.

Time was running thin so we started heading toward the exit. On the way out, We bumped into Matt Grobert. I thought I was going to leave without seeing him and he was one of the reasons I went to the show. Matt helped me make my final decision about booking the trip with my father. Jeez... You really psyched me up for this, Matt. It's one thing hearing about how great a river is from some outfitter who just paid 2k or so for a booth and needs to recoup his money, but to hear about how well these rivers fish from a real person is another story.

After leaving Matt, I drive to the party, and before getting out of the car, I put my brand new camera on my lap as I open the car door. This is all in one motion. It was so fast, there was no stopping it... The camera flung off my lap and landed on the pavement where the batteries fell out of my flash. I thought for sure this camera was done. I Picked it up and not even a scratch, and it still works perfect. The front of the lens (not the lens itself) got a few little scratches but that was it.

So I'm walking up the pathway to this party and I receive a phone call.
+ "Hello, is Dennis there." This was a 406 area code phone number so I said, "No, Dennis is not here can I take a message."
- "Sure, this is so and so from the Winston Rod Company". (Thinking to myself, Ohhh boy, did I leave something behind?)
+ "Uhhh... Actually, this is Dennis... I didn't recognize the phone number and figured you were calling to sell me something, but since you're from the Winston Rod Company, hows it going? Did I leave something behind while at your booth?"
- "Nope, I'm calling to let you know that your name was chosen out of our raffle and you're the winner of our brand new 2008 model Boron IIMX rod"

+ :rofl::hysterica
:dizzy: :D:king::thumb:... And I thought nobody wins these things!!!! WOW! I was so excited because I've wanted one of these (Boron IIX) rods for so long but never purchased one and here I am with a brand new one for pretty much, FREE! I honestly do like the hats and think they're worth every bit of the $15.00 you plop down for the raffle ticket. The funny thing is that when I was filling out my name and address on the ticket, I was thinking to myself, "I doubt anybody ever wins these things". I'm still in shock and can't wait to put this rod to good use. Someone stepped in a big pile of sh!t today!!!

So, I now have a new outlook on the show. Go, have a good time, and who knows... Maybe you'll get lucky!

I can't wait until next years show!!!


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Can't get here from there!.....

I was stricken...


Sorry to hear that Ralph. Its tough when you wait for an event every year and the time when it is here you are unable to attend.

Look at the bright side, since Thanksgiving you have been actually on the streams more than anyone else.

Best I can say for now.... but it sure is one great bright side.

Fish on!

Dennis, since your dad paid for you to enter the show does he get half of the rod? Any opinons from the members of this site?
Went Saturday. Highlight was meeting plenty of people. Not too many bargains, but then I don't need that much stuff anymore.

My highlight was a talk by Charles Jardine on European nymphing techniques. An entertaining and informative talk.
I wasn't able to make it this year, had to work. :crap: Sounds like there is less to learn and buy every year. Pretty cool to win a new Winston rod.
That's fly fishermen for you, myself included.

We go to the FFShow year after year to look at pretty much the same stuff. We go to our favorite fishing hole to catch the same fish we released last week. We migrate to the SR to catch those mangy salmon every October. We're stuck in an infinite loop.

But then...the FFShow is a good place to search for those hard to find items, and it's just as exciting to catch that rising trout for the 10th time, and those salmon are new ones cause the ones we caught last year are now deceased.

"There in always something wonderful about a new fishing adventure trip. Fishing is like Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece." Zane Gray

Might I be so bold as to add..."fly fishing shows" as an integral part of that quest.

Sad to say, I didn't go this year. To many fishing trips already. I needed to stay home with the wifey to earn some brownie points. Next weekend being the Super Bowl and all. Not to mention the steelie trip planned for the weekend after. :)

Thanks for all the posts about the show. Now I feel like I really missed out.

OK , so I went again this year, on Friday. Did not plan to buy anything since I really don't need anything, but once at the show I couldn't pass up buying the new SA Sharkskin WF 4. Buying it at the show, you got a free SA hat (very nice) and a free SA flybox, which I couldn't pass up since I'm getting rid of my chest box with its thousands of flys that I never ever use.
So if I can cast another five feet with this new technology, it will be a lot easier than practicing in my backyard. Man am I lazy!!
AKskim: I attended Walt Young's presentation too. I though the same thing--he need to be better prepared. I'm from the area and know what he's talking about. I thought maybe I'd learn something new.
I'm from the area and know what he's talking about. I thought maybe I'd learn something new.

I know what you mean.

He obviously has a passion for fishing and knowledge of the area, I personally would like to see him try it again next year using the meantime to get his thoughts together.

Like everyone else, we all learn from trying.