This past week in Denver at the convention center, was the annual Fly Fishing Retailer show. This is where all the fly fishing manufactures come to show off their new stuff. This year the show was moved to a smaller hall in the convention center. Why? Was it due to the economy, the lack in manufacture support, retailer attendance, or just the fact that the fly fishing industry is shrinking. Last year Cloudveil was a show sponsor, but failed to attend, this year they were back, was that due to bad economy and lost sales for not exhibiting last year.. Hmmm... This year missing was a whole slew of manufactures. Orvis, Wapsi, Spirit River, Hareline, Hatches, Biodz, Nature's Spirit, ect... I was SO surprised that all the major flytying supplier manufactures were not in attendance. Was it a conspiracy not to show up for the only major flyfishing show. Is AFFTA loosing its grip on the Fly Fishing Retailer show. Every year that I have gone, the show seems to be shrinking and loosing ground. I received a letter from AFFTA president, stating the following... "The 2009 FlyFishing Retailer Expo (FFR) wrapped up just two days ago. Although this year's show floor was smaller in size than previous years, the excitement and intensity of the show was just as strong as ever - maybe even more so given our current economy. Everyone that I and numerous others spoke with commented that the show far exceeded their expectations." Hmmm... I wonder if he was at the same show I was. Most of the exhibitors I talked too were very disappointed in the lack of retailers at the show. You think having the show in Denver would bring shops in from all over the country even for a few extra days to fish some great water. Next year no dates or place has been set for the show. It appears Denver has seen it's last Flyfishing Retailer show... It is almost certain to take on a new location. Some of the locations being tossed out is Disney in Orlando, Las Vegas, or even combining the show with the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City. I think the latter makes the most sense. Keep the show in a mountain vicinity with near by fishing for some of us who will be traveling to the show.
It will interesting to see what happens.
As for great new products that are hitting the market place, hmmm, this is a hard one for me to figure out, because I really didn't see anything super new or great that I would need to go and get. Alot of the older products have been revamped or repackaged, or stayed the same. Nothing really jumps out at me.
The highlight of the show would be Modern Midges book signing by Tak and Jerry. They had a great turnout at the Stackpole Book booth. Met a few of the other tyers that submitted patterns to the book.
I also got to meet Mark and Sharon Lance! Super Nice folks that are doing alot for Trout Unlimited and our States waterways. Hopefully I will hear from Sharon soon!!!
Otherwise my opinion of the show was it was a weak show in need of a huge makeover!!!
Just an FYI... I am starting to get booked up for the fall/winter flytying demos around the state. I will be traveling to Ft. Collins and Co Springs this year for Demos as well as a few local shops as well. Stay Tuned for more details...