Today was my first time visiting the Midwest Fly Fishing Expo, and I am definitely glad I went. It was extremely fun and worthwhile. As I was leaving Matt snapped a shot of me by the expo sign:
Matt and I met up for breakfast and then we headed over to the show. The first thing we saw at the show was a good fly tying seminar with Jerry Regan. He showed how to make some parachute variations that are somewhat distinct to Grayling, MI. He also gave some good tips on what types of materials to use – like yellow polypropylene yarn, and deer hair from a 5 year or older doe.
I found a good rod-maker I would like to purchase a rod from. They are called Green Stix Rods, and they use a carbon fiber blank for the rod giving it a lot of strength and durability. Bamboo is nice, but (as Matt pointed out) I could get five rods from them for the price of a bamboo from someone else. They are local to Michigan, and I really liked the rods and thought they were very reasonably priced. My next rod I’d like to get will be for small streams and I am thinking about going with a 6’6″ 3wt.
I did buy a couple of things (but strangely no fly tying materials). I signed up for a subscription to Fly Tyer Magazine at about 60% the newsstand price, and I bought one of the TU Challenge Chapter guide books for the Pigeon River. I would like to visit the Pigeon River more than any other of the rivers in the lower peninsula. There was also this cool fly fishing artist selling some cool artwork that I just could not afford, but he was also selling a sticker that says “Flies Only – Catch and Release” which I bought and will be going on the Jeep.
One nifty thing I definitely cannot afford but I think would be really cool to have is a kayak made by Freedom Hawk Kayaks. The kayak is built specifically for fishing, and what is nice is the interesting outrigger setup where the back end of the kayak actually folds outwards allowing you to gain stability while standing. With the outrigger portion disconnected the kayak weighs 65 pounds. This is very cool.
Lastly, I got to see Joe Humphreys give a short casting seminar. My favorite part was when he was showing how you don’t have to “look like you have a wedgie” to cast long distances. While he was casting I noticed all of a sudden the line looked like it was tangling a little bit by the reel. I then realized he had casted out ALL of his fly line and was into the backing. The casting pool was 100 feet long, so he was casting somewhere around 75 – 85 feet. It was fun to watch, especially since I have enjoyed watching his DVDs – my favorite being “Tactics for Casting in Tight Brush.” The lighting was awful to take pictures, but here are a couple pictures of Joe that turned out decent:
Overall, it was a fun experience, and I’ll most likely be attending these Expos in the future. Matt was talking about how Fly Fishing is expensive, and walking around this place would make me agree. But on the other hand, you could buy an initial rod and reel setup, get a fly box, and maybe some waders and that is all you really need. But they sure do make it easy for you to spend money…