Monday, March 18, 2013

Overview of The Fly Fishing Show - Lancaster, PA

Since this was both Luis and my first Fly Fishing Show, we were both super stoked. If you could have heard us the whole drive up from Annapolis, you would have laughed at the fact that we sounded like two little girls the whole drive up giggling and telling stories.

We really didn't have any expectations except for it to be overwhelming and amazing. We had a slight idea of what we were getting into through other peoples experiences at the Somerset show. Although it as not as big as the Somerset show, it was still the biggest fly fishing expo we had ever been too. If you ask Luis of what my reaction was when we first walked in, you'll probably find yourself on the ground laughing, I honestly wanted to just run around and jump up and down. But Luis did a great job of pacing us, allowing us to take it all in and get the most out of this amazing experience.

The drive was great, simple, easy, no traffic, and as said before, full of stories and good times. After realizing we got a bit lost (despite me knowing full well how to get to Lancaster from going to Messiah College, just shows how much fun we had) and rerouted about 30 minutes, we finally arrived in Lancaster City and found a spot to park. We walked into the Lancaster Convention Center and checked in, got our tickets, and entered our ticket numbers on the iPads they had lined up for everyone to have a chance at some amazing door prizes. There were about 5 booths right in the lobby hosted by Casting for Recovery, the Federation of Fly Fishers, Project Healing Waters and a few others. 

Within 5 minutes of walking in, we were greeted by The Fly Fishing Consultant himself, one of our most avid followers, Rob Snowhite. Rob was a part of the Project Healing Waters booth and is also part of the CarpPro team, serving an amazing cause and dishing out some great information for people looking to fish the DC area. Rob is the only fly fishing guide in DC, and the man catches fish, seriously, check his site out. Rob also runs a Podcast under the name The Fly Fishing Consultant (check out his latest one, we actually make a little appearance on from this past weekends Lefty Kreh's Tie Fest). Aside from guiding and PHWFF, Rob also ties some amazing flies and has been an amazing help for us in the area of getting us on some fish (we hope to try out his secret spots this year, THANK YOU Rob for sharing your info with us, cant thank you enough, cannot wait to fish with you soon). 

Once we finally got past the first 5 booths and a great conversation with Rob, we headed into the main convention auditorium to immediately become overwhelmed by the sheer size and amount of room/booths the auditorium held. We worked our way meticulously from booth to booth picking up a few materials and pieces of gear as well as crucial knowledge as to where the sport is headed in the year ahead of us.

The first thing we saw as we walked in was the enormous casting pool (one of two of them) to our right that already had casting demos going on. Pretty cool.

One of the coolest booths we stopped at was the River Traditions booth. River Traditions is a company based out of Michigan that makes laser etched fly boxes, reels, and sells some super customized gear. After talking to the owner, David Humphries briefly, we moved on. Near the end of the day, as the amazing crowd that was earlier all around the RT booth has settled, we had time to talk to David a bit more. Not only is David an awesome guy with a great vision, but he's totally in the know when it comes to the fly fishing community. We had a great chat with him and Luis got me an awesome custom fly box.

We walked on checking out the next booth full of fly fishing books and magazines briefly, just basically writing down titles to search Amazon for.

As we weaved in and out of more and more booths, we began to find more and more of you and talk to more and more of our followers. To have such an awesome following is a blessing and for that, we owe you a HUGE thank you for the support and love.

We got into what we called "Tier's Row", the section of the convention center (actually the whole back and far side walls) that were full of notorious tiers. It was there that we caught up with Mike Schmidt of Anglers Choice Flies and next to him, Rich Strolis of Catching Shadows. These dudes had a super sick setup with a swim tank to show how their flies swim in the water. We were able to stop and talk to both of them for a solid 20 minutes or so. Super talented tiers and overall great guys.

As we moved along the Row, we ran into others and made a pit stop at Pat Cohen's booth talking to him for a good bit. Unfortunately we didn't get to see him spin any hair but simply looking and holding his flies was enough for us. In our opinion, the best hair spinner there is and I'm sure part of that comes from his use of a Peak Vise (I'm biased). You can check his work out for yourself on his blog and even order yourself one of his flies at

Next was our favorite part of the show, meeting up with and having an awesome conversation with Scott Hunter, owner and founder of Vedavoo. Scott and I have been chatting back and forth for the past couple of months so to finally shake his hand and see his work was jaw dropping. Not only was talking to him cool, but watching him give his "Made in the USA" pitch and demonstrate his gear was pretty gnarly. The man can sell, and he sells one amazing product. From 18 to 70 year olds, Scott had people lured in and when we had talked to him initially around 11am, he had already placed a rather significantly large number of custom orders. I had the privilege of trying on his infamous Tightlines Sling Pack and I must say it was definitely one of the most comfortable packs I've ever worn. We will be talking to Scott more over the next few weeks as we have recently moved into his media package team and will absolutely be featuring him and Vedavoo soon.

We decided after talking to and watching a few more tiers and walking away with a few more steals on fly tying materials, it was time to move on to lunch. We headed across the street to a little local pizza shop and grabbed some cheesesteaks, amazing. We talked about the day up to that point and made a plan for the afternoon. Bellies were full and plan was made so we headed back into the show.

We continued on down Tier's Row and saw booths of more amazing tiers, even ol' Popovics.

I picked up a few more items for tying like rabbit pelts and some .99 threads. We got into one booth from a shop in central PA who I unfortunately cannot remember the name of, that had some awesome prices on tying materials. I ended up picking up about 6 packs of Sili Legs for only $1.29 each, some foam bodies, and random feather materials for altogether under $10. To make things all that much better...the next booth, again from another small fly shop, had this mysterious storage tower with drawers labeled 2-3wt, 4-5wt, 6-7wt, 8-9wt, and 10wt+ that was full of fly lines. They were only $10 each and come from every brand, from Rio to Scientific Angler's. They were labeled as used but, according to the owner (and the looks of them), they were basically demo lines from show spools. I walked away with 4 new lines, another rabbit pelt, 3 bags of dyed full rooster capes, and some misc. items for only $55, it was like Christmas.

As we neared the end of the booths, we got into some smaller booths like Mystic Rods, Hardy/Greys, and TFO. The TFO booth was pretty cool since Clouser and Lefty were both hanging out around it but slightly disappointing with the salesmen seeming to know next to nothing about their rods. As we asked about their newest rod series, the Mangrove Series, nobody really knew much about it, if only Flip himself were there, maybe he could have told us about his new signature rod... Either way, it felt great and looks good, I hope Luis keeps up with his TFO streak and adds one to his arsenal so I can give it a go.

The final booth we check out was the Enrico Puglisi booth, in which EP himself was not only spinning thread and fibers but selling his stuff. I had no clue EP had so many products under their name. Enrico tied up one of his newest patterns, the Tarantula Crab, which in turn made me buy some of the EP Tarantula Brush. EP didn't knock down his prices like all the other vendors did but simply meeting him and buying his stuff right from his was pretty cool, a good way to end the day.

The drive home was pretty uneventful but definitely a great two hour drive to reminisce about the day and take in the smell of rabbit and feather I had whirling around the car from my day's pull in materials. For the photos not included, check out our Instagram for the full day's pictures.



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