Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What a Weekend!

Well I just returned from a fantastic trip to California where I provided my Advanced Chironomid Tactics PowerPoint presentation to members of the Mt. Tam Fly Fishers and the North Bay Trout Unlimited chapter.  Local guide and member Larry Lack picked me up from the Oakland airport and then drove me south to my next destination, the Pleasanton Fly Fishing Show.

The Pleasanton show was an excellent experience and from the response I received there are lots of enthusiastic stillwater fly fishers keen on learning new tricks and techniques.  I provided tying demonstrations on my favorite chironomid patterns along with seminars on Sinking Line Tactics, How to Find Trout in Stillwaters and 10 Habits for Stillwater Success.  My seminars and demonstrations were well attended.  I always enjoy the interaction and the new fly fishing friends I meet at shows like this.  Often I learn as much as I teach.  I am already looking forward to the 2011 show.

Shows like Pleasanton also provide me with the opportunity to catch up with friends as our paths often cross through the show season.  I spent a lot of time with Jeff Currier once again who was kind enough to let me hang out at this table.  It is always nice to have a rendezvous location for people to meet me at once a demonstration or seminar is complete.  My latest book, Stillwater Selections and Quick Release Indicators were a huge hit.  Everything was gone by mid morning Saturday.  Friday was one of the busiest days I have ever experienced at a fly show.  In addition catching up with Jeff I also bumped into Ken Hanley and Jay Murakoshi.  Ken, Jay and I have been bumping into each other for many years now as our show paths often cross.  Both Ken and Jay have their own websites, Pacific Extremes and Flies Unlimited.  Ken has been a supporter of my efforts for a number of years.  We keep talking about chasing some of my local pike, hopefully one of these years it will come to pass.

Visiting new shows allows you to meet new friends as well, all crazy about fly fishing.  Chuck Echer was my roommate during my stay.  Chuck's Famous Grouse 'elixir' was a perfect a night cap!  Beside Jeff's table I had the pleasure of meeting and watching Phil Fisher and Dave McCants tie their favorite patterns.  I managed to coax them out of some of their unique designs.  Ben Byng showed me his damsel patterns as well. A few of these will be adorning my fly box this season. Ben and Jeff know each other well and to my relief Ben is a hockey fan.  Sunday was a unique experience as everyone knew I was Canadian and kept me on my toes with up to date scores as the gold medal game between Canada and United States took place.  The end result made their friendly jabs and sometimes exaggerated game reports memorable.

During the past two weeks I had become infected with the Olympic experience.  It was Canada's best performance ever.  In fact, we had never won a gold medal in any previous Olympics we had hosted.  Not in Calgary or Montreal.  To get an Olympic record 17 was unbelievable and made every Canadian proud.  Vancouver did a fantastic job.  A friend of mine sent me a link to a You Tube link that NBC put together about Canada.  I think it did an excellent job catching the essence of Canada and what it is like to be Canadian.  It was nice to let our normally subdued national pride out for the world to see!

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