This past Saturday was the annual Connecticut Fly Fisherman's Association's annual Fly Fishing expo and Banquet held in South Windsor, CT. The CFFA Expo is a small local fly fishing expo that offers up vendors from the local fly fishing shops, local guides, Local Fly tiers, product reps as well as some great guest speakers. All that good fly fishing fun and knowledge in one room for a general admission price of one US American dollar, this is a dollar menu worth ordering from.
|Steve O and JT - JT's Fly Shop|
|Loren explaining staying in contact with your flies|
Loren's presentation was on nymphing tricks but started out with a story that took place during a world competition across the pond where he watched a young girl with her fly rod in tow enter this pond and feverishly work to entice those big trout to bite her fly. Watching this young lady brought Loren back to a time when he would sit there himself as a young boy trying to trick a bluegill or bass to bite. Much of this enticing was related to making weird movements, starts and stops, twitches, hard splashing, anything you could do to make the fish take notice. I'm sure many of you that have fished as a kid can related to this, I know I did. This led to the basic concept of Loren's presentation which was to think outside of the box from the typical dead drift presentation of nymph fishing. Obviously when dry fly fishing, getting that perfect drag free realistic drift is important, when nymph fishing is it as important? Loren's experience shows that there are many cases where that perfect natural nymph drift is not going to get the job done and something needs to happen to induce the fish to strike your fly - not new news for many, but it was a gentle reminder for us as fisherman to think out of the box. Many time when mending the line to get that perfect nymph drift we get concerned about fly movement, but is it really an issue? When nymphs are drifting along they are doing all kinds of crazy movements thanks to the different water dynamics they are drifting through. They could be tumbling along the bottom, rising and lowering along the way or even shifting from side to side.
|Loren's table was always busy|
One of the questions I have for my fly fishing readers is, have you ever incorporated any motion purposely to try and elicit a strike? I know I have done so when fishing buggers and it included some slight lifting and dropping of the rod tip when drifting a bugger along, or a few twitches of the rod tip to make it dart or the old Leisenring Lift which was found to entice the fish to take the nymph as it was swept up to the surface like a natural nymph would.
Loren took the time to answer everyone's questions and he even offered up some casting demonstrations out in the parking lot. Lorean also turned me on Cortland's new Bicolor Mono sighter material. It looks very similar to the Jan Siman Bicolor sighter material that I'm using now, but the real test will come on the water when I get to test each of them in the same conditions and make my own determination. I have already scrapped all my solid color mono sighters for the bicolor material as it just seems to work well under every condition. I've found some claims on the web that the Jan Siman material is brighter then the Cortland material but is it enough to force me to stay with a product that is imported and only carried by a few places? We will see.
I also got to check out the offerings from Fishpond as I am in the market for a new fly fishing vest. As I continue to collect more and more gear, my current fishing vest isn't cutting it. Not so much for the storage options, but comfort. The Fishpond offerings are very comfortable, offer plenty of space and organization as well as adjust-ability. One look at their offerings like this Wasatch Tech Pack and you realize just how far we come from your grandfather's fly fishing vest.
I'm always looking at fly boxes and and constantly re organizing and trying to find the right fit. Of course what I should concentrate on is carrying just one box and a small one at that, but like my dad always says - you can't use it if you don't have it. It's hard to beat these little Grey's GS Fly boxes as they are durable and come at a very nice price point, but I think I might have found a winner in Umpqua Pro Guide Fly Boxes. The lids were extremely secure and rumor is they are waterproof. Being as vertically challenged as I am, everything gets wet when I fish so if they are truly waterproof that would be a huge plus alone for me. Some included little magnetic sections for those pesky tiny flies.
One last bright spot from the expo was getting a chance to meet the folks from Mill River Fly Rods and to look over their offerings of fly fishing rods and reels. Mill River is a small local company located in Wallingford,Connecticut whose company mission is to offer up high quality fly fishing rods and reels at affordable prices. They offer up a nice range of fresh water rods and reels that felt nice, looked good and to be of high quality and were definitely an affordable price. The only true test of any rod is to get out on the water and fish it and I would definitely be willing to give their rods a try and just might do so. It sure would be nice to have a small local business provide me with the tools to catch some fish.
These little expos and shows don't get the big draw and press that the regional shows do, but they are worth the visit for sure and a great way to find and support the local businesses in your area so make sure to visit one.