Somerset NJ Fly Fishing Show

This past weekend was the Somerset, New Jersey Fly Fishing Show. Somerset is the largest fly fishing show in the world. Hundreds of exhibitors including fly fishing product manufacturers, travel companies, lodges, guide services and even fly shops were there. Worth mentioning were Simms, Rio and Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures, all companies of which I’m lucky to be affiliated with. There were demonstrations and seminars given by big time fly fishing celebrities such as Gary Borger, Steve Rajeff and even Lefty Kreh. Amongst these legends of the sport were another 20 or so well known anglers and fly tiers.

This year marked the 19th anniversary of the three day show that always begins on Friday and ends on Sunday. I was there to speak about warmwater and saltwater fly fishing, a couple of my favorite topics. My talks are done as PowerPoint presentations and using photos I explain the equipment and tactics I use for various fish species followed by pictures of big fish that you can catch when everything goes right. I have an assortment of pictures of not only big fish that most fly fishers are familiar with but also several unusual ones that many in my audience don’t even know exist until I put them on the big screen. In my saltwater show a huge roosterfish always stirs the crowd while in my warmwater presentation I show the giant tigerfish of Tanzania and I get to laugh as everyone in the audience nearly faints!

Between my programs I sat with the local fly tiers and while they tied gorgeous flies I painted fish. I finished up a greenback cutthroat watercolor I started two weeks ago while at the Denver Fly Fishing Show. Painting attracts the shows wandering visitors to my table to watch and then I hand out my business cards and hope to generate future art business and speaking engagements.

Show highlights always involve running into old friends. Dan Swift and Evan Schwanfelder, two former fly shop employees of mine, spent hours at the show. Dan even hung around for dinner with Granny and me. Also, one of my college pals, Danny Zilker stopped by for a visit.

As fun as the shows have been, I’m ready for a break. Granny and I are presently between Detroit and Salt Lake City on our way back to Victor. We fly into Jackson Hole around 10 PM and we’ll get home late tonight. I suspect I’ll be shoveling before I can get the car in the driveway. I’m not looking forward to that.

I have a lot of work to do in the next few days from artwork to final organization of the Brazil trip I’m hosting in March. The good news though is that Sunday I’ll be headed to Baja for a week of fishing with my pal Sam Vigneri. Stay tuned as I promise I’ll be blogging about fishing instead of working here soon!

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