I just got back from the show. I was at the CJTU booth & the project healing waters booth. saw some people that I hadn't seen since last year. I took in 2 seminars on bonefishing & enjoyed both of them. talked to Bob Jacklin & A.K for awhile & watched Lefty Cast , always a pleasure, I finally met Justin @ Allen Flyfishing & spoke to him & Eric for a while. I had planed on getting back there to try out their 11 ft switch rod but got stuck in the booth & before I realized it the show was over. All in all i think it was a very good show. If any one goes Sunday stop in at the CJTU booth in the lobby & pick up Ozzie's videos. He's running a special. In Lefty's seminar even he raved on about Ozzie's videos.
A you walk in the door, on the right, North Chapter is raffling off a nice kayak, You can donate but I'm sure I bought the winning ticket ( heh heh).
Also ck out the Colonial Angler in the lobby, he's the guy that inspired me to try tying without a vise. I've since given up that foolishness.
Usually I stay around Norm's booth ( Nor Vise ) but he wasn't there this year. I like to watch his big hands tie a 20 fly on the big vise. Every year he shows me how & I go home take out the Nor vise & tie my fingers to the vise & put it away again.
He is amazing with that vise isn't he? I never bought one because I know I would just make a mess with it. I had no idea you were a CJTU member, I considered joining a few times but never did. I'll have to PM you and get the low down on that chapter.
Got home from the show an hour ago, went through all my goodies. The kids are STILL going through all the free swag they picked up along the way. I forgot to tell you guys, always bring kids. They picked up about a dozen free flies a piece! Plus hats, decals, brochures, business cards, even t-shirts!
It was nice to see old friends and make a few new ones. Homer, AJ, and the whole crew at Allen, it was good talking with you guys. They even kept the kids busy while I cast the 7wt Switch and a very impressive 6'6" 3wt.
Got home from the show at 4am last night (yay winter weather), and had a great time! It was awesome to get to meet more people from the forum (Marco, I'm going to take you up on some surf fishing for striper) and just to drool over fly fishing products and an absolute mess of tying materials. Spent some time talking to Mike Schmidt (Eunan, I told him you were sorry you couldn't make it, he was bummed that he's going to miss you at the Lancaster show) and also the guys at S&S Flies (doing some scouting for tarpon fly tying and otherwise just really interested in their work). Also, Mike Schmidt has some giant streamers which I'm definitely going to try tying up and using for some big predatory browns and even steel, they're huge and awesome. I got snagged by Lefty Kreh to help briefly with a casting demo (don't worry, I wasn't embarrassing myself with casting, just playing the part of a prop) and ran into Gary Borger in the hotel (we talked about the weather mostly, and how we weren't looking forward to our respective trips home). The highlight of the show, however, was getting to test out the new Allen Olympic series and hang out with the guys from the company (and picking up a new hat!). Definitely cool dudes who really care about their gear but moreso their customers, saw a lot of really happy people leaving the booth with new reels and rods. Everyone seemed really interested in checking out the Allen stuff, and everyone was raving to their friends about it. People kept coming over to the booth saying things about how one person or another said they should check out their products (and this was after the free hooks they were giving out had already disappeared like wildfire).
All in all, a great show and a great experience! I'm definitely coming back next year
Wow! What a weekend! Friday was packed beyond anything I've seen in the last 3 years....and they were booking trips! Woohoo! I didn't get out of the booth much, but It was really great to meet A.J. and Marco. Wish I could have gotten around to shaking a few more hands.....maybe at the Lancaster, PA show in Febraury? Gotta say, standing on that concrete floor for 7-8 hours, even with a mat, made my lumbar ache.
I did manage to hobnob with Lefty and Nick C. from TFO, although I think I hurt Nick's feelings a bit calling him "Mike" (Mike Kinney)!! Mea Culpa! I really am embarassed and meant no disrespect! I'll blame it on a recent concussion...but,you know what excuses are like.... and most of them stink!
Bob Jacklin is a great guy, and loads of fun to chat with. Lefty, God bless the man, 80 whaatever, and worked everyday, I don't know if he even left for lunch. He really doesn't know me from Adam, but he talked to me like a long lost friend. I have the ultimate respect for him, a true gentleman. I hope he has kids and grandchildren, because those genetics need passed on!
Wish I could have booked a trip too, Homer! You're right about the floors, they are murderous. And Lefty is just amazing. Great sense of humor and one heck of a caster. I wonder if there are any pictures of me acting as a brief prop in the casting demo... Either way, watching him cast the length of the casting pool with half a rod and no effort was amazing.
We'll definitely meet up for some fishing soon too! Unfortunately I'm going to miss you in Lancaster, as I'm spending the weekend with the fiancee in Louisville.
As far as the Allen Olympic rods go, they are absolutely worth it in my opinion. I believe I'm picking up a 12'6" 7wt (I'm still bouncing around between lengths and weights). I was hooked as soon as I got to cast them. They are surprisingly light, absolutely launch a line, and I can't wait to take one after big browns and steelhead.
I didn't pick up any of Mike's CDs because at the time I didn't have cash on me. I meant to grab cash and get back but the last day went by very quickly. I'm probably going to pick up both. He was showing me some crazy streamers, but at the time he was tying this awesome pattern called something like the "Conrad". It was in essence a large mouse/streamer hybrid, and looked downright mean. I should have taken photos, but I will definitely be emailing him.
Lefty Kreh is 87 (!!) years old and going strong - my 15 year old son of short attention span was thrilled with his seminar and casting demonstration - I'm so bummed that I somehow missed the Allen booth, I really would have liked to check out their much heralded rods and reels - too many distractions - til next year, I guess...