Al Campbell, Field Editor

October 4th, 2004

Denver Fly Show
Al Campbell

OK, it is after the big fly fishing show in Denver, so I'm supposed to be able to feed you all the great stuff I saw. I did see a bunch of new stuff, but almost all of it was just the same stuff being done over again by somebody else. There were new fly boxes and reels and fly rods, and more, but nothing truly unique enough to claim it was the "pick of the show."

Sage has a new lighter than light fly rod, and in a small wind, it will be nice, but in the common winds around my place, it will be all over the place. Everyone else seems to have a new rod or reel to show this year too, but very few are truly noteworthy. Nothing seems to grab me by the collar and tell me that I am witnessing something really new, unless it is something that is truly new and I missed it. When will there be a show that offers a new rod or reel that strikes at the heart of fishing?

There were a lot fewer dealers at this show too. I'm not sure if it is because this is an election year, or that many of the retailers have given up on the big show. I can recall when you could go to the show and get lost in the new products from all the retailers. Now it seems that everyone is in the same game, and playing it the same way for the most part. The biggest show seems to be the after show dealers dinners.

I have a big question; whatever happened to the big dealers giving out big deals on rods and reels? Was there ever a big dealer thing that allowed us to visit their fly rods and reels and make serious comments on them? Was there ever a thing that allowed us to try out lines and reels and make serious comments on them? Where did that go?

If I had a new fly rod, I would do everything in my power to let people try it out and make decisions on that rod. Is it a soft rod or a powerhouse that will fling your clothes along with it? Will you be looking for a better line or maybe something more soft? There is only one way to get people to make a decision, and that is to let them try it.

The big show in Denver this year was just that; a big show in Denver. There were fewer people there to try out new stuff and to show new stuff to those who were trying it. I didn't see many people with lines and reels to hand out or let you try them out. And, there seemed to be little new at the show that isn't already covered.

So, what is my pick of the show? I think I'll pick the guys who wander around looking for free stuff to play with. OK, maybe I'll pick something other than that, but that wouldn't really show my displeasure with the show. I think we have sunk to a new level of not showing anything new. So, I'm not going to pick anything new, although there are a few things that might fit the bill. I'm going to just check it as a show that had little or nothing really new to show. And, if I have to choose something; It will be those fly fishing boxes that offer the new guy something that is truly unique.

So, how did I view the fly fishing show this year? I think it is time to start something new or just trash the whole program. We have better things to do with our time than waste it on fly reels and lines that are remakes of last years products. We have way too many complex things to decide about than to waste our time on a new reel or fly box that really does nothing new. We could spend more time fishing and less time wasting our time on new fly boxes and reels that are truly a remake of last years stuff. I think I could go fishing on the money spent this year looking at new stuff that was truly old stuff with new labels.

What would I do with the fly show? I would suggest a new show or at least some new ideas. We all have better things to do than to waste our time on stuff that is old or a variation of the old. I could be fishing. ~ AC

Previous Al Campell Columns

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