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So You’re Not Going to IFTD

Ah, Orlando in July. I hear that the summer months are the best time to experience all that central Florida has to offer. If you’ve ever been in that neck of the woods at that time of the year, you are fully aware that you will sweat the moment you step out of the airport until you collapse, exhausted and dehydrated in your $350/night hotel room.

But all of that can be overlooked if you are A) not working, B) lurking in air-conditioned conference rooms and exhibition halls connected by tunnels, and C) looking at fly fishing stuff.

The International Fly Tackle Dealer Show (IFTD) is the American Fly Fishing Trade Association’s (AFFTA) giant showcase at the annual International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST). It is also the largest convention featuring fourteen letters worth of acronyms.

Let’s be real, here. It has been six whole months since the fly fishing show tour was making its way across this country. For literally half a year, you’ve had to go to fly shops. You’ve had to shop online. You’ve had to make up excuses to yourself and your spouse, because, for some reason, “I have to go to the fly fishing show and spend hundreds of dollars because it is what I do” is perfectly reasonable.

However, you’re not going to IFTD. You aren’t getting to see “the largest international gathering of fly fishing manufacturers, retailers, sales reps, media and fly fishing organizations in the world.” You have to wait at your computer or smart phone to see the Tweets and video clips of your next fly rod. And, get this: there are some poor souls that will have to wait months until some physical magazine is written, printed, and mailed before they get a write up on a new chenille for tying. Months!

Most of us in the fly fishing world are going about our normal routines, hundreds of miles away from the alternating pavement/swamp landscape of Orlando. All the while, there are a select few who are getting to walk around all day on concrete floors and touch stuff. Fishing stuff.

Oh, and that means no freebies either. No swag. No brochures. No stickers. No stickers!?!

I was going to write about social media outlets covering the event. Or ways to develop coping mechanisms and to have a glass-is-half-full mindset about this whole thing, but not getting any free stickers is really preposterous.

I guess I’ll have to find some way to take my mind off of this difficult situation… no, this injustice.

Fine. I’ll go fishing. If I have to.

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