Thursday, September 16, 2010

International Fly Tackle Dealer - Day 1

Last week I wrote up a quick blog post on T.F.M. promising to "Live Blog" while at IFTD. didn't happen.  I walked onto the convention floor and suddenly realized that I had underestimated the whispers and rumors of a "lightly attended show".  There was tons to see and honestly, my first priority was to meeting with as many of Fishy Kid's gear sponsors to go over 2011 talking points along with establishing new sponsors, partners, and overall spread the word that we've got exciting plans for Fishy Kid in the coming year.

Minutes after walking into the convention center I meet with Marshall Cutchin of and over the course of two days enjoyed seeing his process for covering the show with several reporters and himself collecting content, videos, and interviews and getting them online several times daily.  I was impressed and inspired.  Check out the IFTD videos and posts on the 2011 Fly Fishing Gear Blog.  I may need to bring a staff of writers for T.F.M. next year.  HA... 

Fishy Kid responsibilities or not...I am still a bit of a gear hound and took parts of both days to snap a photos and look at some of the upcoming gear for 2011.  I am breaking everything that caught my eye into two posts...Day 1 and Day 2.   Here we go on Day 1...

Besides having a stunning display of new flies offered for 2011, Umpqua Feather Merchants is taking their good idea from last year and making it even better by adding a few new models to their UPG series of fly boxes with the MIDGE, DAY TRIPPER, STREAMER, FLATS, AND DOUBLE WIDE models.  Admittedly I am a fly box fanatic and found these boxes well thought out and very functional.  I may need to add a couple in the coming year. 


I've gotten to know Joe Roope (a.k.a. "Idaho Joe") over the past year or so through phone calls and emails and it was especially neat to find him on Thursday morning repping a T.F.M. t-shirt surrounded by the LOOP goods.  I have a real soft spot for the styling and function of the LOOP reels and am planning on adding a G4 to glass saltwater build that I am working on with a custom builder.  I am proud to be a part of the LOOP ARMY and the gear is junkie or not.   

IMAGO is a relatively new company coming out of Sweden and they are making a push into the U.S. market with their products ranging from fly rods and reels to waders and jackets.  The gear looks impressive and I was especially stuck by the design of their limited run of 150 Gaia fly reels in two sizes each year.

I am always on the hunt for new cool products and happened across the FISHBUMS display of magnetic rod holders.  These are different than anything I've seen so far since instead of metal, the rod holders are made from wood, and also have a small front magnetic to keep your fly in place.  FISHBUMS can also engrave your logo into the top or sides of the Fish Buddy for a truly personalized product. 
FISHBUMS does not have a website yet but you can reach Larry Ruggles by email at

Over the past couple years wearing a Buff anytime I am on the water has saved me over and over from a sunburn.  This is a product that I am over and over impressed with.  Not only did Buff commit again to being a substantial gear sponsor on the Fishy Kid website but also sent me away with a pair of the Pro-Series Angler Gloves in Fish Camo and a new angler series Buff too.  You can never have to many Buff's.    

Over the course of two days I spent a lot of time at or nearby the Scott Fly Rod Company booth and do you know which rod rack always had a crowd around it?  You know what rods were on the casting pond over and over? guess it.  All models of the new Fibertouch rods were getting flexed.  I also heard more than once "Where is the Fiberhammer?" with the response of "I think someone is over on the Spey Pond with it already".  These rods are deservingly popular and you have to respect a fly rod company that isn't content on doing what everyone else is but making their own path.   

I am still a little bummed that I didn't get a chance to talk to Derek DeYoung while at the show.  Each time I dropped in at his booth he was out mingling and left Mrs. DeYoung to hold it down.  Nevertheless I was very impressed with this original that is also the cover of the latest issue of The Drake

Over the course of the past couple of years Brian O'Keefe and I have shared a few conversations via email and it was great to put a handshake in there too.  Brian is doing great work with Catch Magazine and I still very much appreciate him taking the time to send along a few vintage photographs and his experiences with glass for a post on T.F.M. almost two years ago.  

Yes...that Cabela's.  A few months ago Joe Wolthuis, Cabela's Fly Fishing Specialist, tipped me off that Cabela's was working on a series of fiberglass fly rods to debut in their Spring 2011 line up.  Joe was walking the IFTD floor when we met up and handed over a green tube containing one of the first final version glass rods from the series.  There will be a total of five rods in this series from a 5'9" three weight to a 7'6" 7/8 weight.  The price point will be right at $100 and will certainly be a great value in fiberglass fly rods.  More information on this line in the coming months.  The 6'6" four weight that Joe sent with me was a big hit at the Fiberglass Flyrodders Colorado Clave this past weekend.

I've always wondered why you don't see too much information other than a few grainy cellphone photos leaking out from The Drake Fly Fishing Film Festival and now I know why.  Everyone is dog tired from a full day at the show and ready to take in a night of craziness with all their industry peeps.  Thursday night was great for meeting everyone in a very informal setting (think plastic cups of free beer and even the odor of some skunky burnt greenery wafting down from the balcony) all while taking in a stunning grouping of films.

Beattie Outdoor Productions "When Guiding Goes Gangster" took home top honors and was certainly a crowd favorite.  RA wrote up a humorous post on his blog, On The Fly With BOP, of the nights festivities worth checking out.  

Felt Soul Media premiered Eastern Rises to a rowdy crowd and damn...this film was worth the wait.  Later in the night I was able to share short conversations with both Travis Rummel and Ben Knight about their films and was lead outside to their vehicle where I was handed a copy of the Eastern Rises DVD which made my night.  Look for a review of Eastern Rises in the next week or so after I've had a chance to view it a couple more times.  You might as well order it though since I find their work nothing short of inspired. 

Thursday night also allowed me to spend a few hours with William Joseph peeps Paul Swint, Corey Kruitbosch, and Bryan Gregson.  I am even more excited to be working with William Joseph as part of their Ambassador Pro Staff.  I was promised that W.J. will be sporting a booth at next year's IFTD event.  I've seen the new workbook and William Joseph has some very solid gear to offer in 2011.

So...Day 1 ended about 03:30 a.m. into Day 2.  After knocking out a short email to Mrs. Manifesto I crashed for four hours and then got up ready to take on Day 2 which I will post soon.


Matt said...

Great coverage thus far, boss. Looking forward to installment 2.
BTW, sign me up as a TFM writer for next year's trip!

floatantmania said...

Great report!

I am worried about Scott F2 and cannot sleep lol



Great post!

ok, You are forgiven! Cameron lol

Cameron Mortenson said...

Matt...Mrs. Manifesto already beat you to the TFM Reporter spot. HA...

Hitoshi...I think you would be very happy with the F2 703/3.

Mark...thanks. WHEW...forgiven. HA...

Ryan said...

Almost as good as being there in person. Great post. And for the record I LOVE Scott rods!

The Average Joe Fisherman

flyfishingunlimited said...

Wow, Cabela's is doing!

Great posts, Cameron!

Cameron Mortenson said...

Ryan...thanks for the compliment. I appreciate it.

Vlad...yes...Cabela's doing glass for 2011. The models all look pretty interesting. I should have the whole series in hand soon.

sprocketkraig said...

I would love to know where you got the GD and fish sticker so i could pick one up, they are to of my favorite things, fishing and good music.