Saturday, March 14, 2009

Minneapolis Great Waters Fly Expo

So last weekend was the Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo in Minneapolis. Other than myself being in out of sorts most of the weekend with so much on my mind as of late, the show was a fun one.

The club had great representation at the show. We had members volunteer their time in many areas. There were three banquet tables where people could come and sit down, and with hands on teaching, learn could learn to tie Woolly Buggers. This was the second year the club did this and it was a big success. A huge thanks goes out to those who took on the teacher role for that. We had a Membership table for those interested in learning more about the St. Paul Fly Tiers, and we were able to get our name out their to new people. We had a designated booth set up to allow selected members of the club to tie two at a time and demonstrated how to tie various flies; from trout flies to bass flies and things in between.

Then their was the Fly Tying Theater. This was a place for notable key fly tier's like Kevin Feenstra, Kelly Gallop, Denis Potter, and others to tie flies in front of a large audience, hooked up to a PA system and a video camera to show what they were doing on a big wide screen television. There were several sessions where all the seats were filled and had others standing to watch and learn.

Finally we generally kept tabs on Fly Tier's row where local tier's were able to set up a spot, tie flies, share their knowledge, talent, stories, and even a few laughs. I'd also like to give a quick shout out to my peeps of Laughing Trout!

I had a nice time talking to many familiar friends, and new ones. It was a more relaxed show, people held longer conversations then what I have had in the past, there was genuine interest rather than the quick hi-bye conversations, and the weather for the weekend was very "spring."

A couple of highlights were, 1) sharing drinks and cigars among old and new friends. I'd like to say thanks to the very friendly and funny TFO Representative (I think his name was John) who shared his Baccarat cigars (I kept the label as I really liked it) and smooth Kentucky Woodford Reserve bourbon. 2) The traditional Breakfast at the Hotel Sofitel where we spoil ourselves with things like eggs Benedict or crab cakes Benedict and as always, Ursula was there to add her unique flavor of friendly customer service as usual, and 3) I enjoyed a nice social dinner at Kincaid's in Edina. Any place that has that many choices in high end liqueur, mounted trophy Elk and Deer Racks with trophy fish, and Professional Wait Staff, is 5 stars in my book. Oh yea, the fantastic appetizer spread along with the Salmon entree was excellent as well. They were presented in a way that the Iron Chefs on the Food Network would have approved. I especially appreciated that my friend Peter was able to join us along with Bob White. Many stories were shared and laughs had.

I did tie some flies myself at the show. I decided to tie up some tube flies for some yet to be found hungry bass. I was asked by many what the the advantage of tube flies were. Well, I have found there to be three reasons, 1) you can use shorter shanked hooks to decrease the leverage a hooked fish would have in the fight, 2) the fly itself pops out of the way when a fish is hooked, thus allowing for less wear on the fly to lengthen it's usefulness, and 3) they have origins rooted back to the Scandinavian countries of my family heritage (kind of a connect to your roots thing for me). And there you have flies.

So now that the expo season has wrapped up, and the Sportsman's Warehouse tying event has been cancelled, it is time to shift to the preparation of fly fishing now that the Wisconsin catch & release season is underway.
Wishing Tight Lines to everyone in 2009!