As the International Fly Tackle Dealer Show winds down here in Orlando, I’m left thinking the following.
I complained to my family, my friends, and colleagues aloud about having to schlepp it down to Orlando in the middle of July. Too hot. Too sticky. I couldn’t imagine a place I would want to leave home base in Colorado less to visit, other than, perhaps, Fort Huachuca, Arizona.
As it turned out, I spent an epic day of fishing out of Jupiter the day before the show, thanks to GoPro, Costa, YETI, and Simms. I then had the three most productive work days of the year, and am leaving with strong plans for 2016. I saw old friends. Got stuff done, and I am looking forward to next year.
The point being, you need to be here. Fly fishing is a family. This is the family reunion. I know it’s a big ask to get away in the prime of the season for many of you, but you will get out of the show exactly what you are willing to put into it. If you’re on the fence about next year, it’s worth thinking about coming back.
The industry may well be headed to a scenario where there are fewer dealers overall, but those who remain will be “super-dealers.” The super-dealers, by and large, are already here, or being groomed here. My two cents.
AFFTA did a fine job. My hat is off once again to Ben Bulis and the AFFTA board.
My hat is off to the American Sportfishing Association for a fine ICAST show as well.
Speaking of the ICAST-IFTD marriage (committed through 2017, both shows in Orlando) I’m glad Loomis represented on both sides. I understand why some companies might have set up camp in one side or the other, but the fly-conventional crossover companies tended to occupy border territory. Some companies, however, that talk the fly game were conspicuously stationed far away from the fly side, and I’m not sure what kind of message that sends, if any at all.
There’s definitely more conservation conscience in the IFTD atmosphere these days.
Lastly, thank you to the many, many of you who shared praise for the latest print issue of Angling Trade. That was a beefy issue—our biggest ever. We appreciate all the input and collaboration we got from AFFTA on that one.
But no, I am not changing my mind.