I literally own only two poles for spin fishing. One is a salt water rod that I bought for pier fishing 10 years ago for $20 and the other is a 4.5 foot light weight trout spin rod I got before I started fly fishing and haven't used in over ten years. This fact however does not prohibit me from attending one of the largest fishing events known to mankind. Especially when it is only a few miles from my front door.
So yesterday, with the temperatures below the freezing mark, a buddy of mine (who is strictly a spin fishing guy) and I went to check out the expo.
Guy Harvey is known the world over for stunning portraits of fish.
That there was enough to make the entire day worth it for me. His art is by far one of the most recognizable of any fish artist, I dare say in history, and graces the backs of many a fisherman searching for ocean going fish. Originals of his work can run you quite a few thousand dollars and they are worth it. The quality in his work is fantastic. The marketing of his work might be a bit overwhelming (you honestly can't walk around a sporting good store or fishing pier without seeing his shirts) but you can't argue with success.
Another plus of the expo was the amount of toys both big and small. Toyota had a huge booth I spent a good deal of time at - and had a bit of fun with. Big trucks, and enough bling on boats that Snoop Dog might look under dressed. The only thing that was missing was a party barge... wait,, I think I saw one of those as well.
St. Croix was the only manufacture with a fly rod at the booth so it was no wonder that I spent a good deal of time talking fly fishing with one of their marketing guys. I happen to own a St. Croix 7w strictly for my bass fishing and love it but after looking over a few of their other new bass setups, I might be looking at an upgrade. Specifically a fly rod called 'The Bank Robber'. this strong backed rod would kill some bass and I even like the name.
An of course I hit the Simms booth - notice the bass on the logo in place of the standard trout. I took a turn in the their GORE-TEX rain suit and a wet booth set up to test the use of the gear. After five minutes of getting drenched, I was still completely dry. I will on the lookout for these. As one would expect from Simms - another quality product.
Old Milwaukee shirts which are sure to be worn.
With all these sponsors throwing money and gear around like confetti I wonder - could a fly angler break into the Bassmasters Tournament and come out on top??? I might have a new mission. :-)