Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sportsman Show Report

Well this was the first time in a long time that I have enjoyed this show. The reason is I spent time talking to folks in the fly-fishing booths. I am not trying to curry favor with the readers of this blog but it is the honest to goodness truth. My brother in law is usually upset with me because after 30 minutes I have walked through the show and want to leave. We spent 3 hours at the show this year and it was quite enjoyable.

It started off with a conversation with Fred Kretchman. He builds classic split bamboo fly rods. He took the time to explain the differences between bamboo and graphite. To my surprise he let me mock a few casts with a $900 bamboo rod. When the time comes I may find myself in the market for one of these things. If you are interested in his work here is his website: Bamboo Rods.

In the next aisle, I met Marla Blair (western MA fly fishing guide and instructor) for the first time. A few weeks before I started this blog I found her website and read a few of her entries and came upon a phrase I wasn't familiar with so I sent her an email and asked her for some context. She wrote back and explained what it meant and I was then able to reread the text and grasp the meaning.

I mentioned this to Marla and though she didn't remember she thanked me for reading her blog. I mentioned that I was going to start fly fishing this year and planned on taking a lesson at LL Bean. She smiled and then came around from her booth and gave me a short lesson right there for nothing (as a Scotsman you have no idea how this warmed my heart). If you are ever in the area, then you may want to check out her guide services. She fishes some nice rivers out here (Deerfield River, Swift River and Farmington River) and here is her website: Fly-fishing New England.

Finally I found a place I have always heard about and hope to go to some day. The town of Pittsburg NH is home to the Connecticut Lakes (don't ask me why). I have been told that this a destination for world class fly fishing and I think I found a place to stay. The ladies from Lopstick Cabins had a table at the show and their accommodations seemed first class too. Here is the link to their website: Lopstick Cabins.

I am not getting paid by any of these places. I was pleased to met these people and happy to engage in a conversation with them and let others know about their services. I fish for bass and very rarely do you find people who fish for bass as willing to help you  as people who fly fish. My brother in law decided that he is going to fly fish with me this year and he is a committed bass fisherman.


  1. It has been a while since I have enjoyed that show and rarely did I find much fly fishing stuff. I am glad you were so successful.

    I second your plug for Lopstick it is a great place to stay in an awesome area to fish. My wife and I really enjoy it up there.

  2. If you take the time to sort through the stuff, you can always learn something, as well as finding that unique piece of fly tying material, or talk to an angler who will give you that small tidbit on presenting that fly to a wary streambred brown.

    There is good in the show.

  3. Mac, sounds like my idea of a very successful outing. I love the Fly Fishing Show and enjoy it even more now that I have a double purpose, spending and learning. Thanks for the tips and keep up the good work.