Another Fly Fishing Show has come and gone, and I find myself already looking forward to the next one. Unlike previous NC shows, which were hosted in Charlotte, this year's show was held at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds. While the venue was not as large as the Charlotte convention center and the number of participating vendors was much smaller, the show was definitely a success. Instead of going into great detail, I'll simply provide my list of highlights from the show.
1. Dave and Emily Whitlock - I cannot think of better ambassadors for the sport than these two fantastic people. Emily is so outgoing and friendly that everyone who speaks with her comes away smiling. Dave is an amazing artist, and his willingness to sign books and shoot the breeze with fans was great. I even saw him sketching in a few books that people had asked him to sign.
2. Bob Clouser Casting Demo - I'm always thrilled to see the ease with which master casters throw line. Of course the distance casts are impressive, but the line control and effortlessness at shorter distances just blow me away. In broad casting demonstrations like the one done by Clouser, decades of learning and practice are shared in a matter of minutes, and we are all better casters because of it.
3. Simms - Simms had the best vendor booth at the show by virtue of being the only major vendor booth at the show. In this regard, I was disappointed. However, I'm always impressed by the products from Simms. Their ability to both rework classic designs and develop new products produces a lineup of quality gear every year.
4. Taylor Bussey - Taylor was my favorite tier, and I forgot to take any pictures of him or his flies. One of my favorite patterns that I came across was also one of the simplest, the Purple Berger. It ain't fancy, but it will fish.
5. Meet-Ups - I had the pleasure of meeting some new folks and seeing a few guys I hadn't seen in a while. I have to thank Cam from The Fiberglass Manifesto for the decals he gave me and the blogging tips he's provided over the last few weeks. Also, I ran into a few of the guys from Nat Greene Flyfishers TU/FFF Chapter.
I had a great time at the show, and next year's show will only be bigger and better. See you next year!