Looking for something fly fishing related during the coming winter doldrums? I think that one of the best ways you can spend your non-angling time is at a good outdoor expo. Recently I talked to Ben Furmisky, President and CEO of The Fly Fishing Show, about the 2018 Show circuit. Read what he had to say about his favorite parts of the Show, what it has to offer fly fishers of all experience levels, and why you should attend.
What was the first day after the Lancaster Show, the final stop on the 2018 Show circuit, like for you personally?
I appreciate you asking that. The first actual day after Lancaster is usually finishing up packing supplies and then a travel day. On occasion I try to go visit my Grandmother in Pittsburgh. Once I get home, I look forward to sleeping in after 3 months on the road and many 20-hour work days.
How would attending the Show be beneficial for a brand-new fly fisher?
I personally recommend attending the Show to new fly fishers because it offers a unique opportunity to get an idea of what the sport has to offer. They are all jam packed with information for the beginner from casting lessons to techniques to information about local waters. But the most unique opportunity for the new fly fisher is to see what encompasses the sport as a whole: all the amazing fish, places you can fish, the people, the products, the flies and how they are made, and more. There is no better opportunity to really get an idea of what the sport has to offer and make a truly educated decision on if the sport is something they want to pursue and what direction they would like to follow within fly fishing.
If someone has been attending for years, what is something they should do to experience the Show in a new way?
I’ve been attending the shows myself since the inception and I always make time to check out the fly tiers. There is always something new to see and learn there. But if you are not a fly tier, I would suggest looking through the presentation schedules and making sure to attend some of the seminars or demos that sound intriguing. There are always new ones. You can discover more about your local waters, learn angling techniques, or plan a destination trip while speaking with an expert from that area one-on-one. Our Classes with the Experts are also a very special opportunity if they haven’t attended one of those. I would also highly suggest that any regular guest visits the show for multiple days if they haven’t in the past. There are always different things each day, and by staying at our host hotel you get a chance to mingle with the exhibitors and make long lasting friendships.
What have been some of your favorite moments from The Fly Fishing Show?
There are always funny, special, educational, etc. moments. But I would have to say my favorite moments involve simply making friends and talking fishing with like-minded folks.
If you didn’t have any formal, professional responsibilities, how would you spend a day at The Fly Fishing Show?
This has been a hot topic of discussion the last few years. I really strive to make these events fun for all. I’d love to walk the show with a few friends and plan a fishing adventure together. It would be great to see some presentations on places we would like to fish, talk to the pros, make a decision, and then shop for the gear! Of course, I’d still visit with the fly tiers. I would stay to see the IF4 film festival for sure. It’s very easy to have a fun time.
Whether you are a new fly fisher or an experienced angler, make plans to attend a stop of The Fly Fishing Show to learn, get ready for the season, and make some memories!
- Denver, CO: January 4-6
- Marlborough, MA: January 18-20
- Edison, NJ: January 25-27
- Atlanta, GA: February 1-2
- Lynnwood, WA: February 16-17
- Pleasanton, CA: February 22-24
- Lancaster, PA: March 9-10