Denver Merchandise Mart
Sun. 6 Jan. 2013
Justin, Greg and I went to the Denver Fly Fishing Show at the Denver Merchandise Mart. The show is the first weekend in January after New Year’s Day. It claims to be the largest fly fishing only expo. I love this expo for three things:
1. Getting cheap flies for the spring: You can generally find $8-10/dozen flies and $2 for mouse and other large flies. While you can get similar prices online, at the fly expo you can at least inspect them to weed out the ones that just are not worth even 60-80 cents. This year I got stashes from the Front Range Anglers Fly Shop ($8/dozen) and the Crested Butte Angler ($10/dozen and $2 mouse flies, cash only).
2. Buying rods, vests, and other equipment: The great thing about the fly expo is that you can cast everything on their two casting ponds (providing that a demo is not going on). But more than that you can try rods from five or six different fly shops. Justin got fine 7-weight streamer for $250. He had never heard of the brand but liked how it casted.
3. Attending the talks and demos: This show has some of celebrities (at least among the high brow fly fishing community) – John Geirich, AK Best, Gary Borger. These were just the names I had heard of – I am sure there were many other great names that I walked right past.
The demos are great for learning new casting techniques. This year we saw Gary Borger give a talk on casting. It was both a lesson on the history of casting (we learned the inventor of every cast and when it was unveiled) and a great lesson on the basic casts. Even though I consider myself able to get a fly on the water I still learned some things.
The talks are great for hearing about great trips and fun adventures. We did not go to any of these talks this year (just not enough time). There are also fly tying demos, but last year I found these to be tedious to watch and did not attend any this year.
Going back next year we plan to give ourselves that whole day instead of getting there mid-day. However, we did prefer eating off-site. There are brews there though which are good for working up the courage to tell your wife about your purchases (although we felt we were very well behaved this year). I definitely intend to hit this one up again next year.