I spent this past Sunday at the Midwest Flyfishing Expo in Warren Michigan. It was a rainy day so I didn’t feel too bad about spending my only day off this week inside. There were many guides and lodges present and I was able to learn about many fishing opportunities that are only a few hours drive from my new home. I also met some really cool people and ran into some friends as well.
One booth that you couldn’t miss was Derek DeYoung‘s booth. If you know anything about the fly fishing art world, you has seen some of DeYoung’s work. It is on everything from fly boxes to canvas. I was going to take a picture of his booth and he insisted that I hop in there with him. He is a genuinely great dude and an amazing artist. Check out his work!
While I was talking to Derek another of my favorite artists came walking up. Matthew Stockton of Fly2Frame. He had a booth with his partners around the corner. I did not get a pic of their booth but just click on the link above and you can see their great artwork.
One of my favorite booths was the TroutNV booth. It was loaded with cool stuff that the owner Erich makes. He has some really sweet designs and puts them on everything from stickers to leather fly wallets and water bottles. I picked up couple stickers and will be ordering more from him soon, I hope.
Next to the TroutNV booth was another booth with some cool merch. It was Boneyard Fly Gear crew. They had t-shirts, hats and stickers so rad even the wife and daughter couldn’t resist picking up some. I mean who doesn’t want a Bigfoot Brown trout shirt!
Boat manufacturers were well represented. Some of the highlights were Adipose, Steathcraft, Towee and Croff Craft. As some of you might know I have a thing for Towee boats. It is just a well crafted boat that is capable of so much. And it helps that Todd the man in charge is a great person.
And then there is my other dream boat. The Croff Craft! I have a thing for wooden boats. The ones they build are not only beautiful but useful. I was too busy drooling on it to even take pictures. Check out their website and you will understand. Oh and the fact that they mouse for big Brown trout in the dark just makes them that much cooler! Just click the link and watch the video!
On down the line was the Smith Fly booth. It was good to finally get to handle some of their great gear. I see a Darby Creek Sling in my future. It is well made and has just the right amount of storage for summer fishing hikes.
There were many big name fly tyers at the show. One that I had to meet was Rich Strolis. His streamer patterns are some of the best and were a big inspiration in my early years of tying. I was able to sit and talk with him as he tied up one of his Masked Avenger streamers. He is a great tyer and I am looking forward to picking up his book that came out recently, Catching Shadows.
And I couldn’t leave without one of his flies!
Next up was the casting pond which was surrounded by rod manufacturers and I had to test drive a few rods. First up was the Mystic Tremor SW 8wt. It was matched up with an aggressive taper 300 grain line and this thing was a rocket. It wanted to shoot line with every cast. I wanted to really push it to it’s limit but there were too many people around to try long casts.
I also tested out the Redington Butter Stick 3wt glass rod. I was the 7ft model and was surprisingly faster action than I anticipated. It would be a fun rod to chase big bluegills with.
I picked up a few things at the Rio both and found out that they have recently released a full sinking Musky line. I just wish they made it in a 500 grain to go with my Swift Boca Grande.
Overall it was a fun way to spend the day. I am looking forward to next years expo. It’s worth taking the time to go.
What a better way to cap off the day than watching Metalhead and wishing for some time to chase steelhead this spring.