IFTD ‘14, Orlando


FLY FISHING’S annual shindig the IFTD was on in Florida last week, and as per our annual schedule Bec and I flew in on what turned out to be a brutal drive/weather delay/missed flight/ delayed bags/ mystery rental car debacle. We could have driven and had couple of hours extra sleep. .

The IFTD used to be the mecca for all things new and groovy, but quite honestly with the penetration of social media, different company product schedules and the timing, a lot of dealers and company’s don’t view the Show as important as it used to be.

The IFTD used to be a stand alone event but its now combined with the vast, and I mean vast ICAST show for the entire fishing industry. Even including “our” large casting pond, the fly section wouldn’t have cracked 10% of the floor space.

All that being said it was awesome to catch up with some great friends we don’t get to see often here in Arkansas, like the crew from GeoFish, Thomas & Megan from Diablo Paddlesports, Simon Gawesworth taught my wife how to toss beer coasters, plus the TN crew from 3 Rivers Angler and Southern Culture on the Fly and Dun Magazine.

Anyway here’s our highlights:

Umpqua’s catalogue this year run’s over 400 pages, with a huge array of new flies, and much much more.

But it was the Tailgator Organizor that was getting a bunch of buzz. The Tailgator turns any plastic tub or tote into a techy piece of fly fishing equipment.

Tub and totes are in the back of trucks and SUVs up and down the river, as a cheap and convenient way to organise waders and boots. With the Tailgator “saddle bag system” which adjusts to most size tubs, now you have organisation for tools, fly boxes, spools and more.

Use it just for road tripping or list the while thing into your boat for a float. $79.99

Umpqua have also added a $59.99 small chest pack called the Rock Creek, which is going to be a hit too I’m sure.



FISHPOND’S iconic aluminum nippers are getting a makeover, the first in 17 odd years. The biggest change is going to be the return of replaceable blades, an original design feature.

Fishpond have a big lineup of new stuff for 2015 including the new tippet holder (pictured at left, which I think is pretty trick.

You will get to see new fabrics, new bags and a makeover of a lot of the westwater waterproof bas and packs. Fishpond is also doing come co branding on some new products, a pricey but very cool line of high-tech merino products, and some Fishpond webbing Chaco sandals.





ABEL have a bunch of very cool new designs including this mayfly pictured right, for Grateful Dead fans a “Dancing Bear” graphic and appropriately a 420 graphic.

The company is also introducing an aluminum zinger to join its stable of vest  accessories.





Orvis are unveiling a very cool one piece version of the H2, initially in the heavier rods, that we will be keen to get hold of for streamer season. Its definitely a faster and stouter rod, particularly in the upper third of the blank, than the H2.

There is also a killer rod & reel bag I really dig that has out-thought the competition. More on that to come.

WE showed off the new Sage rods & RIO lines last week _ these will be hitting the shop in early August.


Our good mate and Umpqua Rep Banning was excited about Chad’s picture in the catalogue

THis might be only cool to Chad Johnson, myself and out families but I confess I was left gob-smacked to find a full page version of my pic  of “Mississippi” Johnson and a White River brown trout staring out of the Umpqua catalogue.

In fact my mate, or fish he is holding are in there 5 or 6 times, in a nice rub for the Ozarks. It’s hard to beat the scenid beauty of the Tetons or the Keys, but its kind of rubbed me the wrong way over recent years that just about 90% of the catalogue and magazine, advertising images out there are of the Rockies or Florida.

Tosh Brown’s visit, and subsequent article, in Gray’s Sporting Journal last year proved we have the fish and scenery worth seeing. PLus its going to be cool seeing Umpqua take more of Johnson’s awesome fly patterns to the world stage.

We were chuffed