Went last year I plan to go again this weekend. I spent the whole day down there last year and plan to do the same again this year. I spent a lot of time at the warm water tank, and did some shopping and research while I was there. The only trouble was that it was hard to see some off the presentations due to the large crowds, and the fact that many of the main walk ways were right next to things like the casting pond. It made it distracting to watch the shows when people kept bumping into you. Just like a day on the water bring your patience.
FishPirate and I head down and spent about 6 hours at it today. I bought an IM6 9' 4wt blank for $25, and FP picked up a new reel at a sweet deal. We had a great time talking with guides and the owners of lodges. I think we both were into the Canadian ones that were interested in giving decent accomodations at discount rates.
Sportco and a ton of other retailers had booths selling at discount prices. We also saw Don Johnson, a local commercial tyer put on his hour long presentations on simple but effective flies, well worth every penny of admission.
This show is acres larger than the Seattle show, and it was tremendous. FP and I pondered about a boat for slamon fishing on the Sound, we checked out a number of booths where fly tying was going on, and learned a new candlefish pattern.
I will be back next year. No problem. I loved the show, and I am glad I went, as I have only seen the Seattle show in previous years. Most of the fishing is located in the Main Exhibition Hall, not in the side buildings. don't make a mistake and not think its small, and not all that fishing oriented. We actually gave up looking around, and probalby only saw 80% of the show.
Went Fri. night for about an hour and a half. Not much qualtity as far as materials or rods. Found only one booth with a few materials at 40% off. St. Croix had a booth right next ot hte casting pond. One booth with a few Lafontain Stealth rods. Not much else for retail small items for flyfishing. Good forums however.
I also attended on Friday. IMHO, the Sportsman's Show was OK but anyone going in with high expectations was probably disappointed. I was expecting more in the way of fly shop and manufacturer representation considering the American Fly Tackle Trade Association (http://www.affta.com/) is located in Kelso and we have a good number of high quality fly shops throughout the area. Call it "forgone opportunity" if you will. I guess one has to realize this was the Washington Sportsman's Show (hunting, fishing, camping, etc.) and not the International Fly Fishing Exposition. Some bargains to be had but, again, not of the scope I anticipated. Tying and other FF demos/seminars were very good and those involved deserve a big "attaboy." Bottom line: a pleasant way to spend a few hours.
I went today and was far from being impressed. I went looking for a rod,and could find no deals. I was told or heard that there was an area on fly fishing only but walked all over and could not find anything. For the miles that I had to go I don't think it was worth the ride. All that I found out was that the knives on display are very sharp. Jim S :MAD
went friday, the duffle bag had good deals. bought some powder paint. cool stuff. the fishin hole tackle shop in port orchard had a big section. good guy, good deals. 66 lb salmon in the cooler was quite impressive. found some great camping areas around barkley sound for my gettaway this summer. canada is calling me. Ben
I went on Saturday, I enjoyed the show but wished there was more for fly fishing. The presentations were good. I did find one fly only booth with good prices on materials 40% off. Spent the whole $10 my wife gave me there.... oh well, maybe I'll have $15 for the next year.