Certain annual events have irresistible appeal to fly-fishers, like the Hendrickson hatch in the spring or the steelhead and striped bass runs in the fall.
In the dead of winter, the event most of us look forward to is the Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, N.J., where just about every celebrity fly-fisher you can think of will share their tips, strategies and secrets, and aisle after aisle of retailers will tempt you with new toys.
This year’s edition will run Jan. 24-26. Lefty Kreh, Joe Humphreys, Bob Clouser and Dave Whitlock are among the three dozen big names at the show — and that’s not counting the long list of fly-tyers, which include the Capital Region’s own Pat Cohen, Jay “Fishy” Fullum, Bob Mead and Bill Newcomb.
As director Chuck Furimsky says in promotional materials for the show, “get ready to be overwhelmed.” It’s impossible to take in all the shopping, demos and seminars in one day, or even all three, for that matter.
Having wandered through a few of these shows, I’ve learned the best way to get your money’s worth is to decide ahead of time what you want to see, learn or acquire — and stick to your plan.
Want to be a better caster? Be at the casting pool at 4:15 p.m. Saturday for a casting demo by Steve Rajeff, who holds the world record for a single-handed rod at 243 feet. Need big flies for saltwater fishing? Bob Popovics will show how to make his brilliant Bucktail Deceiver at 11:15 a.m. Saturday and 10:30 a.m. Sunday.
The full schedule can be found at www.-theflyfishingshow.com.
I lost count of how many talks and seminars there will be about catching fussy trout. And, as always, there are a great many how-to sessions on exotic fishing in faraway places like Patagonia, Belize and the Bahamas, as well as closer-to-home destinations such as the Delaware River and the tributaries of Lake Ontario.
My friend, Angelo Peluso, will even have a talk on fly-fishing for sharks. And those with youngsters in their lives might benefit from Will Lillard’s presentation “Teaching Kids to Fly Fish.”
Mike Valla of Ballston Spa will be signing copies of his new book, “The Founding Flies: 43 American Masters, Their Patterns and Influences” in the author’s booth.
If all that is not enough, the 2014 International Fly Fishing Film Festival will screen short and feature-length fishing movies Friday beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The Fly Fishing Show will take place at the Garden State Exhibit Center from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $18 per day, $28 for two days and $38 for three. Children under 5 and scouts under 16 in uniform are free; for children 5-11, admission is $2. Admission for active-duty military personnel with ID is $10 per day.
Valla at TU
Valla will read from and discuss “The Founding Flies” at the monthly meeting of the Clearwater chapter of Trout Unlimited Jan. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Albany Ramada Plaza Hotel, 3 Watervliet Ave.
The meeting is free and open to the public. More information can be found at www.clearwatertu.org.
Salmon River Talk at CDFF
Guide Dave Rockwell will talk about the fish that gave the Salmon River its name — landlocked Atlantic salmon, not the hatchery Chinook and coho that dominate today — at the Capital District Fly Fishers meeting at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 15 at VFW Post 8692, 140 VFW Drive in Albany.
Atlantic salmon were wiped out in the 19th century by dams, pollution and overfishing, but efforts to restore them continue.
The meeting is free and open to the public. Contact CDFF president Greg Osenko at 357-3444 for more information.