Hey guys -
Back in Atlanta from Troutfest. The festival was bigger this year and not marred by rain. I want to thank those of you who made it to my talk. I think Troutfest's attendance was actually up. There were several newspaper photographers running around so I kept my camera in the car.
I also want to mention the CFR booth, specifically the section run by Abe Mathews, who I thought had a really cool idea: he set up a side-booth and asked people walking by to sit down and tie a pheasant tail for CFR. He probably had three dozen by the time I got there and added a couple misshapen ones. I just thought that was really cool and fun - almost all of us can throw a fly together for a good cause and they (Abe, really) provided the materials.
I also thought it was cool getting to meet Jim Casada - I have enjoyed his posts here and I admire his writing work. More manufacturers were present, including Simms (who ought to have been there last year). The only one I didn't see was Scott, but I know they are having their national sales meeting out in Colorado this weekend and I think it's all hands on deck out there for them.
If you're considering going out tomorrow, be sure to drop by the CFR tying desk - I told Abe he needed a more obvious sign, because when I walked by I thought it was another demonstration tying desk.
Zach, thanks for the session. I really wanted to see it. The wife and I had our newborn and we had hung around to watch it, but finally just had to get her back to the cabin. Hopefully you'll do it again next year and I'll be able to attend.
Went back to Troutfest today, Lefty Kreh taught me more about fly casting in 90 minutes than I've ever learned from books or videos. I agree with Zach, it's a great festival and I've really enjoyed watching it grow over the years. I've been to all of them and it's just a lot of fun. Thanks to Byron and all the folks for putting on a great exposition.
Totally agree. Nice job by the Troutfest committee!
Zach--Thanks for the kind words, and your graciousness gives me the perfect opening to thank all the folks involved in Troutfest, not to mention each of you from this forum who stopped by my booth to chat. I was especially appreciative of the fact that many of you specifically took the time to express gratitude for my feeble attempts at sharing thoughts and experiences on this forum. That's my intent, and I might add that this is the only forum in which I participate (at least in terms of commenting) on a frequent basis. The folks at LRO have been so good to me in terms of promoting my book, helping me with it in advance, and more, when Byron asked me to come to Troutfest it would have been rank ingratitude to naysay him.
I do need to share what was probably the biggest on many highlights of the weekend for me. That was having the opportunity to sit and talk, at some length, with three guys from the Tennessee side whose acquaintance with Park streams compares with mine on the N. C. side. Hugh Hartsell, Walter Babb, and Jack Gregory are all absolute flowing founts of wisdom, and an exchange of concepts, getting their perspective on things of interest to me, talk about what we have seen change, and much more was really stimulating. So much so, in fact, that I suggested to Byron we have a "Park veterans" seminar next year where several of us share our thoughts and perspectives on Park fishing over the years. I can't take credit for the idea, because Hugh Hartsell planted the seed several months back when he made a post to the effect that forum readers, whether they realized it or not, were reading an exchange which was living history. That's what planted the seed of the idea, and Byron jumped on it when we exchanged some thoughts on where the LR chapter of TU might go with next year's event.
At any rate, if you want to hear a bunch of grey hackles (we'll probably count 200 years of Park fishing between us, and collectively we had exposure, as younger men, to a passel of early icons of fly casting in these storied waters) reminisce and ruminate, put it on your calendar for next year. Truth be told, if such a seminar doesn't draw a soul, I'll be fascinated to be a part of it simply to listen to others call back yesteryear.
Again, to all concerned, workers, planners, vendors, and attendees, it was a pleasure.
P. S. As one last indication of the event's success, I'm in the process of acquiring a new 10-foot fly rod from TRO. I'm a great fan of long rods in mountain streams, and they've got a 5-weight I just have to have, never mind the fact that my long-suffering spouse (whom many of you met) pointed out that I must already have at least 75 and more likely a 100 fly rods.
I gained some very good informaiton form your presentation, and I could tell that you had put some work into it. It is too bad more people didn't get a chance to check it out. I have since used some of the tricks, especially the photo shop ones on some of my most recent photos and all I can say is wow! Almost every question I had made me have 3 more, hope I didn't hold you up:smile:
Thanks Steve. I was kind of disappointed in the turnout for the talk, I admit. But the good news is, I built the presentation so I can use it again. Photography is a popular topic with just about any fly club - I've been called in to speak to groups of up to 500 (believe it or not). I'll get to use it again and more people will eventually see it.
My one comment or suggestion regarding that would be that Troutfest could use an MC next year. The local club does a really great job but when events get to a certain size sometimes you need to rope in someone who does this kind of thing for a living. For example, the auctioneer at the banquet last year (and I'm sure this year too) did a great job. I think Troutfest could really benefit from some big-voiced radio type "directing traffic" every half hour or so. I just don't think people realize what all is going on and where, so they miss stuff they meant to go to. Anyway, several people have told me that since my talk - they wanted to go but missed it because they lost track of when and where, etc.
Thanks again for the note.
Zach, I'm sorry I missed your presentation. Jim and Steve I hate that I missed yours too. I spent most of the weekend at our store. And Zach, you hit the nail right square on the head. We need an MC. Probably our most mentioned failure is not announcing what was going on. That won't happen next year.
Most of us have decided the music was a distraction for people trying to tie and speak and for exhibitors trying to talk to their customers. The music was great I'm sure but not what we need at Troutfest. Lefty told me Sunday night to "get rid of that music". Thanks to all of you for being here and volunteering your time for a good cause. Next year will be different in that we are making a list of changes and discussing all of them already. I appreciate your kind words and encouragement. I appreciate your suggestions. We'll keep getting better.
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