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Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Fly Fishing Show: Welcome to the Western Branch of TFM

I had the best time today at the Denver Fly Fishing Show! I'm only half joking when I say that Windknots feels like the Western branch of Cameron Mortenson's Fiberglass Manifesto. Many people know that Cameron and I are good friends and fiberglass flyrodders. I wear my TFM shirts proudly whenever I'm in the company of other fly fisherman and today was no exception. 

Looking good Cam!
On more than one occasion I've been called Cameron. It's good for a red face and a laugh and today was no exception. Of course, most could be forgiven because they haven't met Cam. This guy rockin' his TFM bluegill shirt should have known better. His name is Mike Broward and he is Cam's best friend. Not to worry Cam...I'm only joking, Mike finally got it right! Mike it was great seeing you today. I'll see you on the Poudre.

Seriously though, it was kind of nice to be recognized as me by one or two people. I spent most of my time there in the company of one of my best friends, Larry Snyder, better known as Flyfishingcrazy.com.  As usual for me, I hit fly tiers row right off the bat. Sadly, I didn't get much further than that but saw some great tying and caught up with a few tiers that I admire.

Hopper Juan...one of the really good guys.
 First up (because he's always close to the exit?) was Hopper Juan Ramirez. Juan is a great guy and a great tier and he remembered me from last year! If I didn't fish with his incredible hoppers, I'd still tie them just to look at.
That's a look of amazement...it's so real looking.
Next up was Carl Pennington from cp's flyfishing and fly tying. Carl is one of my favorite Colorado tiers and as you can see, he enjoys a good laugh. I think he was harassing Juan.

One of the nicest folks you'll ever meet and an unbelievable tier is Al Ritt from Al Ritt Flies. As you can see from the photo, Al loves his work and loves to chat with the likes of me. Thanks Al for the fun time. Ask Al what he was laughing at when I snapped this photo.

Beauty and the Beast? Eric and Tracey Stroup









I really got my money's worth at Eric and Tracey's booth. You all know that Eric is an amazing fly tier, author and a really nice guy. Eric has a book out called River Pimp and it looks like it's going to be a great read. I also had the pleasure of meeting Tracey Stroup, who is a wellness consultant and seems to specialize in fixing up broken fly fisherman. Tracey was kind enough to work on my torn rotator cuff, which allowed me to spend the day enjoying the show. If you've got issues that come along with growing old and fly fishing, check out her web site Trained by Tracey (click on the link above). She is amazing. Thanks Tracey!

Ken Walrath
Ken's Custom flies (smallest flies I've ever seen.
Right next door to Eric was Ken Walrath from Ken's Custom Flies. Ken is an amazing tier and ties probably the smallest flies I've ever seen and each one is beautiful.  I would highly recommend checking out Ken's site or next time you're browsing Flyfishingcrazy, you can check out Ken's flies there. You really won't find a better deal on flies. It was good to meet you Ken.

My buddy Erin Block and Grant Taylor

It started to feel like a party when I ran into Erin Block and Grant Taylor. Of course everyone knows Erin for her great blog, Mysteries Internal and now her soon to be released book The View from Coal Creek. I fully expect to see Erin with a booth at the show next year. Grant Taylor is the amazing and talented photographer behind A deliberate Life, the video of the year in my opinion. Check out the trailer, you won't be disappointed.
John thought he was going to get by without me bugging him...no way.
 When you've reached my age, you've probably gone through a barrel of "heroes," I know I have. But the one guy that just keeps teaching me and tickling my funnybone is John Gierach. John is my writing hero. I can't get enough of the Trout Bum. John is the most gracious "celebrity" I've ever met. When I told him that, he laughed at the word celebrity then said, I guess it must be so, it says so right here...as he pointed to his shirt which read Fly Fishing Show Celebrity! Yes John, it's so. John said his next book would be out in 2014. I'm hoping it's sooner rather than later.

Nicest new guy I met at the show.
I had the pleasure of meeting Randy Babas. Randy was at the show representing the Cheyenne Mountain (Colorado) Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Randy and I are new friends on Facebook and is another one of those guys you meet and instantly like...and he's a big dude. Randy I'll be up to Colorado Springs to fish with you the next time I'm in town. 

Dave Whitlock
Last, but certainly not least is the Energizer Bunny himself, Dave Whitlock. Dave and Emily just keep going and going and I'm glad. Dave's artwork has always amazed me. I should have taken some photos of his work...it's the closest I'll ever come to owning this man's art. Check out Dave's web site if you haven't...it's a feast for your eyes.

Well after about 5 hours of talking and visiting with new and old friends, it was time to call it a day. If you get a chance to visit a Fly Fishing Show near you, I highly recommend it.  Later...

27 comments:

  1. Looks like you a great time. Events like this make me wish I lived in a more fly fishing focused part of the country. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks Jay. I really couldn't get through the Winter without the fly fishing show. It would force me to do something like go fish!

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  2. Howard...you are to damn much. HA... Great report.

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    1. Thanks Cam. I had a great time talking to Mike. Were your ears burning?

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  3. Thanks so much for taking me along with you via your pictures and story telling. Just makes me sick to my stomach ('er back and hip I mean!) to have to miss this show. I would have enjoyed meeting all those great folks and others, too.

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    1. Mel I carried you around on my back the whole 5 hours. I know you would have enjoyed it as much as I did. We'll catch up soon.

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  4. I can't wait for the NC fly fishing show. It is at a new location. I'm wondering who they will get to present. On the site it still says TBD. They have to move it to a new location because they needed more space. It's in more of a central location of the state. I hope that means they can get more interest from vendors and celebrities. David Whitlock has been there before. He is an awesome guy. So generous.

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    1. Kevin, Dave is always in Denver with Emily. He's an amazing man! Don't miss the show in NC, I'm sure it will be great.

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  5. Howard
    I wish I could have been there with you; I could have spent hours there as you did looking and conversing with everyone on the floor and in the booths. This is similar to Troutfest in the Smokies each year. Thanks for sharing

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    1. Hi Bill, I know you would have loved it as well. I didn't really hit the gear folks, not because I'm not interested but just lack of time and energy. I should have gone again today just to cover some of that...but the football playoffs were on. I hope you get to a show this year.

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  6. New Gierach in 2014!!! This is very good news indeed. Great seeing you, Howard!

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    1. Good morning Erin. It was great to see you as usual and I'm sorry we didn't get the chance to talk more. Yeah, John has a new book he's working on. How about you? Strike while the iron is hot huh?

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  7. Great report Howard, I enjoyed it! Looks like I'm not the only one that had the pleasure of visiting a nice show.
    Go bluegills!

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    1. Howdy Paul. Thanks for the comment. I really did enjoy it. I almost felt like I was part of the fly fishing community for the first time and it was nice.

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    2. I understand completely where you're coming from. That is a nice feeling.

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  8. Hi Howard,
    It looks like you had a good time.
    I am going to the same show in February when it makes its way to MA.
    I hope Mr. Whitlock is there because I have the LL Bean fly-fishing book and would love to have him autograph the multi-read copy I have.
    Anything interesting I should be on the look out for at the show?
    Thanks.

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    1. I had a really great time and I'm still hearing about it today! (I was sober)I'm glad you're going Mac. Pay attention to the fly tiers. Even in a short time you can learn alot. If Eric and Tracey are there stop by and say hi. Eric is a great tier, he has a new book and Tracey is drop dead gorgeous.

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  9. That's quite an assembly of fly fishing people.
    Looks like a great time.

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    1. It sure is Alan and these are only a small part of who was there...the one's that I immediately recognized.

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  10. Hey Howard!
    I'm sorry that I missed you Saturday at the show. I am glad that you met Grant though. He told me you two had a good chat. Next time I make it through, I'll make a point of connecting with you!

    Thanks for the shout on the film.

    Be well.
    Matt

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    1. Hi Matt! Thanks for stopping by. First off, I'm sure we'll have a chance to meet again...fly fishing is a small world. You were one of the top two people I wanted to meet. Of course you were slightly behind April...not a bad place to be now that I think about it. I thoroughly enjoyed talking to Grant, he's an amazing talented man and kudos on the film! Daniel Morgan said to give a shout...how was the skiing?

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  11. Ya know, I would live in Colorado... But, then I would be farther away from Yellowstone. So, that won't work. I'm glad you got to hob-knob with your peeps. Fly fishing gatherings are always so much fun!

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    1. I'm sorry Em, but that just wouldn't work out well. There are not enough fish in Colorado to withstand your assault on the waters here. Besides, we don't need no Yellowstone...we've got Boulder and Clear Creek.

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  12. Howard why am I starting to think that the statement, "Never met a stranger" applies to you! Sounds like you had a great time!

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    1. Kevin, it's sad but true. I like most people and certainly enjoy being around fly fishing people. I never could have done this 15 years ago because I was shrouded by my former profession. I'm learning which goes to show you that you can teach a old dogs new tricks.

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  13. cofisher....It was a pleasure meeting you at the Denver Fly Fishing Show. I enjoyed running into you and Mike sporting your TFM bling! Look forward to 2013, getting together on the Poudre, and tyin some flies!

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    1. Hey Al! (God I hope I remembered that right) It was really nice seeing you and Mike at the Show. Hopefully my wife and I will have a chance to fish the Poudre a lot next year. I love the Poudre...her not so much, but a really good day will change her mind. I love the blog! Keep it up...good fishing information from up North is hard to come by. Cheers (borrowed from Cameron.)

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