ICAST ORLANDO 2016

One Third of the HUGE Icast Floor, way off on the far wall is the fly zone

 I can hear the sound

Of slamming doors and folding chairs
And that’s a sound they’ll never know

Now roll them cases out and lift them amps
Haul them trusses down and get ’em up them ramps
‘Cause when it comes to moving me
You know, you guys are the champs

But when that last guitar’s been packed away
You know that I still want to play
So just make sure you got it all set to go
Before you come for my piano: Jackson Browne, The Load Out



I’m sitting 14 stories above the mayhem of Load Out from ICAST 2016, and Jackson Browne’s melancholy is ringing in my ears, a keyboard, a screen and intermittent wifi connection my cross, rather than breaking down rod samples, tearing down a booth and lugging boxes.

My desk is littered with business cards, scattered notes, catalogues and coozie, a small bottle of gin and a bigger cold brew coffee maker, lime halves and restaurant receipts, and a blonde asleep in the bed: Fear and Loathing in Orlando.

My wife has the best idea, catching up on lost shuteye. Sitting here trying to make a little sense of the mayhem of the last four days is akin to making sense of a tornado in its immediate passing. At best you are glimpsing snapshots, a leaf here and there, so here is my Orlando Photo Essay, to quote the good Doctor: “For Good or Ill”.

1 _ We fly fishers might consider ourselves the pointy end of the fishing pyramid, but the base of the triangle is enormous. The IFTD was alloted a wafer thin section of the Show, with the conventional tackle aisle stretching on foreever. The image above is just a third of the floor space. In the interests of journalistic research I wanted to spend some time looking around “over there”, but to be honest I don’t walk that far anymore without a fish at the other end. The lesson if we want to execute any change to improve fisheries we have to bring them with us, the numbers convey enormous clout.

There was a lot to like about the Sage One, but flat out the new replacement the Sage X is going to probably appeal to more people. This is a ridiculously easy casting rod, with a lot more going for it at normal fishing ranges. The One at times almost had too much grunt.

We will have demo examples for casting in the shop on  August 1 and models for sale if not then a couple of days later.

Orvis is going to have some interesting rods for our waters including a one-piece 5wt, ideal if you have a river cabin, and an H2 Covert in trout weights a blacked out stealth version. A $425 10′ 3wt Recon is going to generate some interest as well.

Our friends at TFO will be delivering up the Gary Loomis made Edge rods in an expanded range. I’m really keen to play with the 9′ 5wt fast action Alpha rod.

Our newest reel addition Nautilus are selling one thing better delivery. We have really had a great reception to the X reel, though it arrived about 6 months late. The Nautilus crew make awesome reels and I love some of the custom colors _who says black reels are better. But this is a really high grade performance package for under $300 in a 5wt. Come in and check them out.

Traditionalist will love the Orvis Battenkill Disc’s return, under $200 and reel which just looks well Orvis. These will be 2017.

Sage are adding a new color to the very popular 2200 series. These will be in stock as soon as we can get them.

One of the smartest products at the show was this cooler based gear organisation system from Umpqua. With the amount of Yeti coolers around in White River Jon boats these are going to become a familiar item for taking care of all of the little odds and sods you need handy. November arrival

Meeting old friends is one of the best reasons for coming to the show. My wife swears Chris Willen and I were discussing recipies. Somehow I think she is making it up.

That aside we have got some cool stuff in the makings, with some visitors we are planning to introduce y’all too through classes, or the Lovefest. Stay tuned.

I’m old enough to remember when the fly fishing uniform was a cotton vest, and a beige shirt. Not any more. We have been sniffing out some new brands to add to our selection of Simms, Howler Bros and Orvis, partoicularly on the logo front.

We want to keep you dry, cool enough, warm enough, sun protected enough and looking damn good while you are doing it. And you don’t really have to have yellow palm tree on your flat brim cap to catch more fish. But I’m pretty sure it will get you noticed.

FLYMEN Fishing Co has released these double barrel popper heads and dinosaur eye that are ridiculously cool. They are on their way.