Well it is that time of year again, mid winter means, its fishing show time! This the time of year that I love, new gear is released or is made available to the public. It is exciting, all the pros, you tube personalities and brand reps, store from far away that you only see online or visit once a year, under one roof. It is a fantastic time to be there.
This year was not the case, I am sad to say it was not a good show. Maybe it’s me or maybe it was not a good show, not sure. I know in the past they have had problems with attendance and getting funding for locations etc. I haven’t been to this show in a few years. It is one of the largest and first one in my area. The show use to be a great time to get a few deals, connect with people and see the new products, reps, lodges and trips. This year, there was some great people there, thank god for them. I enjoyed talking to the guys at Streamside booth, G Loomis, an author/artist, Charles Weiss, a local fly tying club, (Isaak Walton fly fishing club) and the Asian carp booth. This is a great place to network for me. The regulars were there, the who’s, who of the fishing industry. Carp fishing is supposed to be the fish of the future, not one carp booth, or guide or anything like that. There are some shops that have carp specific tackle, similar to Europe nothing there, some of the big stores were even there. It was good to see them, but it felt weird. There were no carp fishing booths, other than the aforementioned, Streamside, just rods, there also was no fly fishing/fly tying booths. Like I said maybe it was just me, as I am not your usual fisherman, I don’t target the normal species, here in Ontario. I am a fly fisherman and for years the fishing show fly fishing section has been diminishing every year. This year, nothing! It is sad, I am a dying breed? Even the companies that were there, that sell fly fishing at their brick and mortar didn’t bring any. Is this a sign of the times? Is it that online shopping has been so advanced that they don’t bring it? Now fly tying material is a little different as it is not something you can buy online, but most materials need to be inspected or at least looked at to see if it is going to work on the patterns you are working on. Or is it that fly fishing and fly tying is in decline? This worries me, as I have been fly fishing and tying for over 20 years. Is it a dying sport? Fly fishing has never been easier to do, with advancements in rods, reels and line, the technology has made even better to be a fly fisherman/fisherperson for a fraction of the cost it used to be. The economy has not been as strong in recent years maybe it is that. The major fly companies reps were not even there, other than one, but they also make conventional rods as well so… Times are a changing fly fishing is supposed to be on the cutting edge, the even have their own international fly fishing film festival, they were in attendance, but no one was there to back them up. Not good for anyone. I am sure it is a tonne of work and the cost are probably through the roof, however isn’t that the price of doing business! On a Side note, the show is one of first ones of the year and maybe they will be at the next one. I hope!
So if you’re a fly tying, fly fishing, steel heading, carp on the fly, or anything fly related, you defiantly felt left out in the cold. I know I did!