JoeFred, I looked for you Saturday but they did not use name tags unless you were a flytyer or exhibitor I believe, so looks like by your reply above you did not get a chance to attend. I got there about 10:30 AM and had a great day. I had on my LRO Brook Trout Restoration shirt so quite a few asked me about there being no Troutfest this year and how were Paula and Byron. I ran into Mike and he said the Friday night BBcue did well. The Tennessee Smokies folks were well represented by Ian & Charity Rutter's informative seminar as well as a GSNP booth manned by Steve Moore. Jim Casada had his booth and as always giving great insight into the park to everyone who stopped by. Don Kirk was at his booth and honored his promise of a cigar to anyone who stopped by (Don, I smoked mine on the Clinch Sunday afternoon after the storm passed). He only made you promise to tell anyone that asked how much younger he looks in person. So here is my testomonial "He is very lifelike in person"!
I had signed up for the 1:30 pm free "Fish Ed Heeg's favorite fishing spots", I promptly showed up at 1:20 and found out I was the group probably due to the rain! Ed showed up saw it was just me and said what do you want to do? I said you tell me and he than asked where I had fished over in NC, after I told him my laundry list of rivers and streams I had done, he said what about the Nantahala? I said no, he said let's go, I followed him 39 miles from Western Carolina, about 10-15 miles past the NOC and we dropped in for two hours of guide led fly fishing schooling that would have taken me years to learn on my on maybe. All I can say was when some of these people say I took 40 to hand that day, I now see how the experts do it. Ed took in to 10-15, a mix of brook, and bows in under two hours while dragging a knucklehead upstream ( that would be me not a Byron LRO fly!). Ed had to leave and I spent two more hours fishing the Nantahala, the amazing part was it cost nothing, it was a free seminar, it just goes to show you never know when it's gonna be a Forest Gump it's your box of chocolates day!
It was a long day but a great one and I sugggest if you get the chance go to an event near you and sign up for any free advice someone's willing to give and share it with the next person. Thanks to all I talked to there and especially a big thank you to Ed Heeg and a great expierence on a beautiful piece of water!