I drove up early Friday to check out a fishing spot on the Susquehanna for Producer Jason and I to fish this summer. Another benefit of driving up early was that I was able to have lunch at the Lancaster market which closes rather early.
We drove to the market on our way to the Jersey Shore last summer. I headed straight to the same lunch spot, Farm 2 Table. I had a beef in mushroom sauce with caramelized onion and melted cheese on a pressed roll. It was really, really, really good.
I dropped off my fly tying gear at the show, walked around a bit to see the vendors, stopped at the beer shop, then went to bed early.
I describe the local beer shop as 'having the cheapest of the cheap and the most expensive and best of the best.' I picked up some beers we can no longer get here in Virginia. For myself I picked up a Wyndridge double IPA and a six of a new Yards brewing IPA for the wife. A case of Moosehead in cans to store in the basement until it gets hotter outside.
Then there were these beers. I'll buy some freakishly cheap beers just to try them. Remember last summer when I picked up a 12 pack for change back on a $5? Well this is cheaper. I had to pick up a pack of that Lucky Streak for my neighbor Rob. Not Wisconsin Rob, Sheriff Rob, Reclusive Rob, Wisconsin Rob, Tall Rob either. There are a lot of dudes named 'Rob' in Rutherford. Camelia's Rob and I will try these soon.
Saturday morning was beautiful. One of the best weather days we have had at this show. And the crowds were ready to go at 0900.
There was a wave of attendees right when the door opened and it was non-stop almost all day.
I was tying again with Tom of Knotty Eggs.
Tom gave me a shirt to rep his buisness.
I have a major surplus of flies tied from the past few years of the shows so I had those displayed on my table for people to pick up and hopefully purchase. Several people refereed to me as a mad scientist. I love creating new patterns. And the thing about my flies is they are all made from maybe a dozen or so different materials repurposed in different ways. If I don't fish the flies that don't sell at the shows then they stay in the boxes all year until the next show.
I was sharing a booth with an Atlantic Salmon angler and tier. He was at the Douglas booth all Saturday so I was able to spread out.
My newest pattern is the Hula Girl Series. I tied several of these in bluegill and white perch colors. The reception to these flies was great. One attendee cleaned me out of all of the bluegill patterns for a trip to Florida. I utilized my new micro brush bottles of colored Solarez to add a bit of orange to the thread wraps on the bluegill flies.
Another benefit of the show is being able to interact with so many people. My standard questions to people walking by are 'where are you from?' and 'do you fish for warm water species like bass?'
One recurring theme among the attendees is that this show is more intimate. Smaller venue which is not overwhelming like the Edison show. Not only are the attendees able speak at length with the vendors but the vendors get more time with booth visitors. I heard this from vendors several times.
This was the first show that I have ever cast a rod. John Mauser of Mauser Rods got a 5wt and an 8wt in my hands. The cork was velvet smooth. The guides allow less friction when line goes through. I think we'll need to have John on for his own podcast. I was able to roll cast both rods about 50' with no issues.
Another hot fly was my hellgrammite. I didn't bring enough material to tie these and they were gone by mid afternoon.
One aspect of this show is that more attendees fish for shad. I was able to talk about the shad run in DC and invite loads of people down to try it out for themselves. Lets just hope the Potomac drops below 4' at Little Falls quickly.
Several TPFR and NVATU members stopped in. In fact, I've never seen 'Namfos' three days in a row as we had a TPFR Beer Tie the Monday after the show.
Dave from Pa Fly Fish stopped by and took my picture.
Time flies when you are tying, talking, and schmoozing. the show ended with a brief movie tribute to Lefty Kreh.
Saturday night was a quick stop at Wawa for a sandwich then lights out at 9pm as it was daylight savings and we were going to lose an hour of sleep. No more post-show socializing for me. I'm more interested in a good night's sleep now.
A bit slower than Saturday but still a solid crowd. I passed out my card to garner business and informed just about every booth vistitor about my podcast. I demonstrated my bunny tail reapers and hula girls and tied up some bass worms. There was some down time when casting demonstrations were going on. I was able to walk around and do some shopping for beer tie (needed some calf tails) and had a chance to catch up with friends.
Paul tied up orange tube flies for intruders. It looked like a fox had killed an orange chicken around us. I don't think anyone else was demonstrating tube flies and it was fun to hang out and watch his meticulous techniques.
Mauser and I got to hang out for a bit, I chatted for a while with Ryan from RisenFly and talk with the folks recording live podcasts across from us.
I really like tying on Pat Cohen's tails. They remain soft when touched up with markers. Funny, I was unable to find any of my pink markers. Having a 7 year old daughter I can't imagine where they might have gone. These reapers were tied on a smaller than normal hook as I was remiss in packing a wide variety of hooks.
Some more shad flies were demonstrated and I tied up a bunch of my scorpion bugs. Such a simple and amazingly effective pattern.
|Snowhite Scorpion Bug|
Again time flies and the crowds started to dwindle. We started organizing our gear and soon it was time to pack up and leave.
I'd like to thank everyone that stopped by. The podcast listeners, former clients, guides, social media friends and followers, and everyone else. I take a lot of pride in the flies I create. My previous job specifically stated I was not allowed to be creative. Now I get to be as creative as my mind will allow. I will keep up the mad scientist tying as long as possible and as long as the fish continue to eat my flies.
Several of the usual vendors were not there this year. I didn't have the time to visit the new vendors.
We were rather pleased there was no live rooster in the building this year.
I used to bring loads of gear. This year I was able to fit everything inside my trolley.
I'm hoping to unload some of my cache of flies at a fly shop near you.