Thursday, January 22, 2015

Marlboro Fly Fishing Show

-- Marlboro, MA - 16 and 17 Jan 2014 -- 
If you live in New England and are a fly angler, you've attended The Fly Fishing Show in Marlboro, MA at least once. Also, as a New Englander, you attend the show in Marlboro (not Marlborough -- the proper spelling). This year, I attended Friday and Saturday.

This was my 6th year at the show and, frankly speaking, it hasn't changed much -- most of the exhibitors are the same, most of the speakers are the same, most of the tiers are the same, but (and a big but), I got more out of this year's show than I have in years past.

The Marlboro show is probably one of the smallest of the seven Fly Fishing Show stops in the United States. The small size gives it a sense of intimacy that brings the best out of both exhibitors and attendees. The more I get immersed into the fly fishing industry, the more respect I have for the faces behind the companies and brands that show up every year at this annual event.

I'm especially encouraged to see New England based fly fishing companies growing and succeeding. Vedavoo, Cheeky Fly Fishing, Finn UtilityBear's Den Fly Fishing CompanyHarrison AnglersPostflyBerkshire Rivers Fly Fishing plus many others.
Vedavoo with my son (Troutdoors) working the show
Cheeky Fly Fishing announced Cheeky Schoolie Tourney on May 30th
Ryan of Vermont based Finn Utility
Bear's Den Fly Fishing Company takes up an entire aisle
Harrison Anglers - Great Guides got me my first trout in 2009
Brian of PostFly - Boston start-up and first time at the show
Harry and Michael of Berkshire Rivers Fly Fishing
It was also great to talk with several other fly fishing companies and notable anglers. Jeff Currier told me about his recent global fly fishing travels including an outing in Dubai. Justin and A.J. of Allen Fly Fishing introduced me to the new USA made Omega Reels and Exterus packs. I had a great conversation with Captain Bob Hines about shad runs in New England. I got updates on 3-TAND's reel lineup and reconnected with Ben, Taylor and Matt of Presenting The Fly and Why Knot Fishing.
Jeff Currier
Justin and A.J. of Allen Fly Fishing
Allen Fly Fishing's new USA Made Omega Reels
Captain Bob Hines of FlyFishRI.com
3-TAND Reels
Presenting the Fly and Why Knot Fishing
I didn't get to spend a lot of time with all the great tiers at the show, but did connect and watch some of the best. Mike Rice of Mud Dog Flies, Enrico Puglisi and Bob Popovics. I learned some great tips and techniques from each of them.
Mike Rice of Mud Dog Flies
Enrico Puglisi
Bob Popovics tying his famous Surf Candy
Friday night, Matt (Troutdoors) & I attended the International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4). There are some excellent films this year taking you to all corners of the fly fishing world. My favorites were “No Man’s Land” by Hooke and “Sensei” by Hank Patterson and April Vokey. The only issue with IF4 at the Marlboro Fly Fishing Show is a better film venue is sorely needed.

Watching these amazing films on an In-Focus projector in a hotel conference room just doesn't provide the film makers' creative efforts the justice it deserves.

"No Man's Land" (Trailer) - Official Selection, IF4™ 2015 from IF4™ on Vimeo.

"Sensei" (Trailer) - Official Selection, IF4™ 2015 from IF4™ on Vimeo.

I was able to reconnect with several old friends, meet some new friends, find some bargains on fly tying materials and cast a very sweet Beulah Opal Two Handed Surf Fly Rod.

I truly enjoyed my time at the show this year.

Did you visit the Marlboro show or one of the other show venues this year? Let me know your thoughts, impressions and experiences from The Fly Fishing Show.