Every winter I head to a few outdoor and fly fishing expos. There are things I want to do for Casting Across, friends in the fly fishing industry I help out, and, ultimately, simply my personal enjoyment.
Consequently I end up talking about fly fishing shows a lot. My wife accompanied me once, years ago. She appreciates the scene, but with four kids, and two under age three, she has a good reason to sit them out. However my two older boys, who are six and four, try to go where I go and do what I do.
We live close to the Marlborough, Massachusetts stop for The Fly Fishing Show. I spent a whole day at the Show on my own. Then, I returned the next day with my two boys. We had a great time. It would be easy for me to talk about how much I enjoyed seeing the things that got them excited, how warm and friendly the vendors and attendees were to them, and just how much fun we had together.
Instead, I’ll let them tell you about their experience:
Can you describe The Fly Fishing Show for someone who has never been?
- 6: “Well, there is a lot of fly fishing they fit into it. It is so big. There are lots of booths with really cool pictures behind them. People were nice and gave me flies, and told me about how to catch a lot of fish with them.”
- 4: “It is a good place to go to see what fishing is about. There are lots of guys trying to hit rubber ducks and circle things… hula hoops with their flies.”
Tell me about an interesting conversation you had at the Show.
- 6: “A lot of people asked me how old I was. In a few weeks I’ll be seven. And Mr. Klane (Brackish Flies) told me how I can still catch fish on a Clouser when there are still just a few hairs left on it.”
- 4: “Mr. Hunter (Vedavoo Gear) showed me that they make different sizes of pouches to hold all your fly fishing stuff.”
Tell me about a cool booth that you saw.
- 6: “I liked the guys who had a big TV with pictures of people going fishing and who let us get in their boat (Harrison Anglers).”
- 4: “The one with all the pictures of fish and bears (Fins and Furs Adventures). They had a moose antler, too.”
Did you spend any money at the Show?
- 6: “I did. I spent $14, and I bought some flies and some fly tying stuff for beetles from Mr. Corwin (Bruce Corwin).”
- 4: “I spent some money to buy flies. My favorite was big, furry, green woolly bugger.”
What was your favorite sticker that you got?
- 6: “The one I got from getting my flies at The Fly Shack. It has a colorful fly on it.”
- 4: “Ms. Schuster (Kismet Outfitters) gave me lots of stickers!”
What was one thing you learned at The Fly Fishing Show?
- 6: “When you are tying a fly, you don’t make the first wraps too tight. ‘Cause it could squish the materials and make them turn over.”
- 4: “Don’t get your fly stuck on the ceiling… someone almost did that when they were casting a rod.”
Would you tell other kids to go to the Fly Fishing Show?
- 6: “Yes! ‘Cause I think they would like all the pictures, the boats, and the fishing gear.”
- 4: “Yes, to learn more about fishing.”
What are you looking forward to doing the next time you go to a Show?
- 6: “I want to buy more flies!”
- 4: “I’ll make some flies.”
If you have children in your life, consider taking them to the next outdoor and fly fishing expo that comes through your town. Regardless of their level of interest in the outdoors, the people, places, and things that they’ll experience will probably have a positive impact on them. More importantly, it will be quality time with you.
Plus, they’ll get a lot of stickers. And who doesn’t like that?