Well that was the backdrop for this year's visit to The Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, NJ...the annual "big show" on the East Coast, and an opportunity to ogle at and play with all of the new gear that the fly fishing industry brings forth for the upcoming year.
In a revival of last year's mission, I met up with Matt from The Functioning Fishaholics far too early in the morning, however this time we also joined forces with Mike from Dub The Thorax and his friend Silent Bob Fly Fishing before the trek to Jersey.
Now if you're expecting a really extensive post with tons of pictures, reviews, and all that good stuff people read blogs for, well...sorry for the letdown. I really didn't wear my blogger hat well at the show, and I took zero pictures. None. I know. Lame. So for the purpose of this post, I'm just going to steal pictures from other places...accredited of course....
That said, our posse did run into quite a few people we knew, either from prior encounters, or virtually, through the magic of blogging. It's still kinda weird to say "Yeah, I'm Mike from Troutrageous!" and strangers actually know what I'm talking about. It's at least good for getting swag, although I try not to be a swag pig and pick up 100 of each and every freebie from every table or person. I mean I've got Orvis stickers stuck to everything already, do I need more?
|Example of some random show swag...taken at my house...after the show....|
Some of the highlights from the blogging front were encounters in the aisles with the likes of Cameron Mortenson of THAT blog (he'll probably have a good write up of the show BTW), Matt Smythe from THIS blog, Lou DiGena from THAT blog, and Bart Lombardo from THIS blog. I probably forgot a person or two, I'm sure I am an asshole because of it. Sorry.
At the various booths we also encountered other interesting folks like Pat Cohen who ties THESE, Mike Schmidt who ties THESE, Gaeron Friedrichs who ties THESE, not to mention artists like Eric Hornung who does things like THIS, and Rob Yaskovic who does things like THAT.
|Example of Rob's work...screen grab stolen from theflyshutter.com|
On the gear front, there were all the usual suspects in terms of rods and reels and bags and whatchamacallits and doohickeys. Don't get me wrong, all that stuff is super cool to look at, but nothing jumped out at me except the price tags. I'm cheap. I will say that Cortland had a nice booth. Talked to a guy there for 5 or 10 minutes, they evidently have new ownership and seem to be looking to really build out their business beyond their well known fly line in the next few years.
Of course, being a Tenkara dork I stopped by to say hi to Daniel & Tj at the Tenkara USA booth. Contrary to popular belief, Tj's head is not impaled by a giant Tenkara rod at all times. There's some new things coming in 2013 from those guys, some noticeable, other minor. All I know is "I'm in," and will surely see those guys again at the 2013 Tenkara Summit in May.
|Tenkara Crew with an impaled Tj....image not taken by me and stolen from Facebook|
Chris Stewart had an impressive TenkaraBum booth with lots of rods brought in from overseas. Might have been the biggest tenkara rod assortment I've ever seen in one place. I'm not going to debate if they were all actually "tenkara" rods or not, but they were damn cool and amazingly light. I kind of have my eye on a Suntech Kurenai to play around with small brownies and bluegills. Plus it was nice to meet Alan, who was also helping Chris out in the booth.
|Suntech Kurenai...image stolen from TenkaraBum.com|
Finally, got to meet up with Scott from Vedavoo packs. He ran me through the line - from the familiar to some newer models not quite on his website yet. I hope to have more on that in an upcoming post, particularly the hip pack geared toward Tenkara....we'll see. Regardless, a nicer guy you won't find.
|An actual picture from the show...of Scott & I...although still stole it from the Vedavoo Instagram Feed.|
And that was the show from my eyes. Almost as soon as our motley crew arrived, it was time to go and we left and we were headed back to sanctuary in Pennsylvania. Although I really didn't score much besides some random knickknacks and swag, it was a fun way to spend an afternoon and definitely worth the day trip if nothing more than to shake hands, kiss babies, and see Cameron's amazing facial hair in person.
|image stolen from Chota Facebook Page|