Eye's gleamed menacingly with the fever of a winter trapped inside snow-covered cabins . The prey knew they were surrounded and awaited the inevitable.
The circling began hours earlier. Metallic sharks swam lazy patterns through asphalt oceans; with a predator's strike one-by-one each found the perfect location and disgorged its contents like chum in the water.
By ones, twos, and small schools, the winter-hungry predators stalked the annual hunting ground. There was anxious jostling, but no nipping of fins or tails. The feeding frenzy was to wait until the door was opened and the mass of hungry predators released upon the all too prepared prey.
When the doors to the convention center finally opened the predators found the prey waiting with dazzling distractions that came with the choice-- cash or credit?
I had the good fortune this year to attend The Fly Fishing Show in Lynnwood, Washington. For reasons I can't quite comprehend this is the first Fly Fishing Show, an annual occurrence in several locations every winter spread across the country, that I've attended.
Exhibitors with names both new and familiar packed the hall and adjacent lobby areas. I tested fly rods from established names as well as from companies whose name I didn't recognize, but came to appreciate. I tried on wading boots that fit and felt lighter than my hiking boots and were probably capable of doing double duty as such.
In the realm of new products I discovered High N Dry Fishing products who were marketing environmentally friendly fly floatant. As I noted during my conversations with the folks at the booth I'm always looking at ways fly fishing and environmental conservation connect, but never once had I thought about my fly floatant. I will have a blog post in the near future revisiting their products.
Local artisans, while few, brought amazing works to the show including the metal artwork gem from Creative Iron Works serving as the wall mount for an old bamboo pole I found this summer in an antique store. Then there was McFly and their amazingly designed hats, shirts, and stickers that serve as beautiful reminders of life on the water even when we can't be there.
Seminars and demonstrations were not in short supply. One of the best demonstrations I've seen in a long time came from famed fly caster Gary Borger. If you ever have a chance make sure you take in one of Gary's demonstrations. Unless you're on the professional casting circuit Gary will have a new technique to share with you that will improve your skill on the water. And not to be overlooked is his interactive and fun manner of teaching that make it a joy to watch him work.
With that I will bring this dispatch to an end. But I assure you this will not be the last post on this winter's The Fly Fishing Show.
Feeling a bit of cabin fever yourself yourself? Checkout Wyoming Mountains & Home-waters! It's the perfect read while dreaming of returning to the water.
Until next time,
Cheers & tight lines,