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.