I was fortunate of enough to spend the last weekend at the Fly Tackle Dealer Show in Reno Nevada. I have been going to "the show" for the better part of 12 years...the first time I went it was in Salt Lake City and I had my first run with JaegerMeister and the security of "The Temple"...bad mix. I was 21 years young and have never touched Jaeger again...thats how bad it was. The show moved to Denver and I made that jaunt for a number of years, missed a year or two, then the show went to New Orleans, and now landed in Denver.
The size of the show, number or dealers (brands), and retailers that show up has gone down like a 747 with out engines at 32000 feet. The reasons are complex and not something that I concern myself with but it was an eye opener as to how small the show has actually gotten in the last 5 years.
My main reason for going this year was that Cast Hope (www.casthope.org) was hosting a happy hour at the Scotts Fly Rod booth and as a Scott, Echo Rods, and Air Flo pro-staffer I needed to make an appearance to support the brands. The Happy Hour went great!!!! We handed out 200 Klean Kanteen Pints and killed a keg in 30minutes...impressive. Cast Hope got a lot of much needed promotion, was able to thank those that have supported us over the last 4 years, and we were able to introduce ourselves and our organization to much of the industry. Great event and one I am sure will help Cast Hope grow.
I was also fortunate enough to see all the new product coming out. Here is a quick summary...
Scott has released a 8' 8wt, 9wt, and 10wt in their S4S series...They are sick! great striper or largemouth rods for Northern California. I will ordering the 8 and 9wt to hopefully throw fall top water flies for the bass and stripers. Also the new L3H spey line of rods was a big hit. I am not a big spey guy so I can't talk to inteligently about them but I did cast them and liked them a lot.
Echo Rods has some really cool new new one piece salt rods in echo 3 line and value switch rods for 200-400$. Also the echo ion reel is a deal for the price! I ordered a few my nymph rods and basic trout rods.
Air Flo Lines has some cool new stuff as well. The Sniper Striper line is by far the best shooting head line I have ever fished and their Range Floating lines are pretty sweet as well.
Simms as always had some really cool new gear out as well. All there new gear is up on their website but the new Ocean Trek boot is pretty slick for wading for carp and over rocky bottoms like possibly the Yuba. The cold weather shirts are pretty sweet as well. May get in touch with my inner lumber jack this winter and role one of them on Butte Creek. The Fall Run Jacket (synthetic down jacket) is pretty sweet and warm looking as well.
NRS had a sweet inflatable drift boat on display and Adipose skiffs were there and they look really cool...not sure they could hang in the swirls on the Sac but they look great for the Lower Yuba and Feather.