Thought the show kinda stunk. I came in all the way from Spanaway and did battle with Seattle traffic and was gouged with a hefty parking fee to see boats,trailers, and beef jerky stands.
There were however, some worthwhile programs and booths in the fly fishing area. It was an honor meet to Skip Morris and his wife, and I was able to talk to a guy with the Green River Steelhead Trout Club.
The baggage check and the lack of shooting sports in the displays stood as evidence that the show should have been held in a less urban area of western Washington. Downtown Seattle is the worst place to hold a show for the state's recreational recluses.
I think the organizers of the event should, in the future, encourage the non-profit groups(FFF,Ducks Unlimited,Trout Unlimited,ect...) to make the bulk of the displays. I think we all went there with the expectation of learning something new.
The other thing I'd like to see is new product dispalys. It seemed like most of the booths were selling thier old stuff at dicount prices.
Anyway, jes' thought I'd givw my two cents worth,
Hi all, I didn't think when I posted the Sportsman Show poll. Perhaps I should have waited until it was over, just to give everyone a fair shot at it. A bit like east coast election results while our polls are still open. Hope the results haven't kept anyone from attending. Just as an aside, I liked the show alot. I always learn something when I go there. I was really impressed with the effort the guys from Avid put into the show with tying demonstrations, and casting lessons. It was nice to see Abel reels there, and Jack Dennis from Jackson Hole Wyoming. I drooled on the pontoon boats too. Flyfisher Frank :THUMBSUP
I went on Saturday. I wish I would have been able to stay for more of the speakers. As newcomer to the sport I thought they were exceptional. As for the rest of the show; If I would have known that the only two rows of flyfishing stuff was by the casting tank I would have saved lots of time. Overall if you go for the speakers it is worth the 16 dollars (8 for parking, 8 to get in). If you are looking to go to Alaska great. Otherwise go to your local fly shop, the sixteen dollars you save would probably equal the discount you might get at the show.
I went on Sunday afternoon, and enjoyed it. Parking was free on the street, and the $8 was ok, the fly tying theater was with folks that I had seen before, so that was a bummer. Watched some hot caster giving a seminar on double hauling that was very interesting. I really think that the stuff I enjoyed the most were the discounter booths selling thier wears, and I really don't mind the jerky, RVs or boats. Heck, I spoke to a saleman with Duckworth/Weldcraft boats that was a fellow fly fisher who was interested in Puget sound salmon fishing and big water lake fishing that I am planning with the 17 to 20' boats I was looking at.
I would give the show a B-, I hit Puyallup and enjoyed it, too, and I would rank it at a B.
I don't fish anyway but flies, or hunt, and I can only stomach the guide/resort pitches once a year, as I can't afford any of them. So I am really hoping to see the Fly Fishing show next year, and I hope there are some beef jerky vendors, as I rather like the stuff.
This was by far the worst sportsmen's show I've ever been to. In the words of my brother, "it was like paying to get in to GI Joes." There weren't any great deals to be had at the very few fly fishing booths that were there..The few there were mobbed with people, impossible for most of us to ask questions- I would have bought a reel if I could have had someone talk to me..and I'm also a hunter and perhaps I'm asking a bit much, but where were the guns?
There are some other things that burned me about the show, some stuff about particular seminars used basically as promotion (not a fishing-related one). And...get the car wax, glasses cleaner, and paintings of flowers out of there..
Next year I'll skip it and just go to the Puyallup one.
I went on Thursday and again on Friday. Found free parking both days, and had a free ticket on Fri. I had a specific errand to run (booking a trip to BC for this summer). I also use the opportunity to say hi to people I like and generally only see once a year (I used to work these things). I do have to say that if not for that, I don't think I'd bother going.
I'm not sure I understand what people expect. The folks in the booths are trying to make a living; most are just squeaking one out. (When I worked fulltime in the "industry," people would tell me they were jealous of my job. I'd offer to show them my tax return.) They're not there to fullfill some kind of public trust. Now of course this is capitalism you don't have to like the pitch, and are free to complain about it, but nobody begrudges you the opportunity to vote with your wallet. Like I say, I'm for the most part not buying, so I find the whole excercise pretty boring. If you are shopping for a trip, particularly, it's probabaly nice to have a bunch of people all in one place to talk to, and if you pay attention, you might pick up something from repeat-customers/hangers-on at the booths. Same goes for boats, floattubes, etc.
I guess I can't say anything one way or the other about the various presentations since I no longer pay them any mind. I'd like it better I suppose if the shows relied more on local "experts" than the big "celebrities." It could be that having been on the circuit, I've had to listen to their schticks over and over, but I have to say I find the Borgers and Dennis's of the world pretty big blowhards (yeah, yeah, I know; look who's talking).
All that said, I took my five-year-old on Fri, and he seemed to have a pretty good time. We were dissapointed that there was no trout pool to catch fish in, but after we got over that hump, we had a good time crawling all over boats, exploring campers, and trying to break/buy Papa a new flyrod. We spent 8 bucks on 2 ice cream cones and another 5 on a chesseburger. Talk about your capitalism.
I thought this show was the weakest of the past 3 years. There were far fewer flyfishing gear companies/outfitters/lodges than previous shows. There were a few big names there (Steve Abel, Brian O'Keefe) that weren't advertised but overall I thought it was weak. For example, two years ago I remember seeing Lefty Kreh, Jim Schollmeyer, Gary Borger, the Rajeffs, and a whole bunch of other people. Now, say whatever you want about them, but at least you can respect their experiences. This year one of the guys that works at Kaufman's in Bellevue was a featured speaker (and as far as I can tell he didn't show up). Interestingly enough the busiest booth seemed to be Hill's Discount Flies, who have always treated me well.
I talked to one of the booth owners and he said that all this was no surprise given this was a new show and was put together fairly late. He expected next year to be a much bigger deal.
The guys from Avid Anglers indicated that next year there will be a fly fishing only show in Bellevue at the Meydenbauer Center. I think it will be a lot more focused and provide more of what we are looking for without all of the clutter.
I have to agree that it was the worst show in the last 3 years. Their wasn't many of the flyfishing companies represented. The demonstrations were by far the poorest I've seen. In the past, I have really enjoyed listening to the fishing experts. The dog "expert" was really bad. All he talked about were his products and those of his sponsors.
As far as the people selling their wares and trips, that's a big part of the show and leads to the dreams we all have about future trips. My $.02.
1)This was the first year of this show (it wasn't the ISE show that we're used to having). The O'Loughlin folks obtained this show from the ISE people much less than a year ago.
2)The ISE folks had a big show going on in Salt Lake City, which is where were many of the major vendors we are used seeing at our shows. Those larger vendors had committed to the Salt Lake show prior to our show coming on the radar screen.
3)I thought it was pretty well done, considering how little time the O'Loughlin people had to put something together. A couple of months ago I thought we weren't even having one, and I'm glad for the one we did have. :THUMBSUP
If you are a fly fisher, this show is WAY better than the Puyallup show. The Puyallup show has a lot more stuffed dead critters at it. The same people that ran this show are those that run the Puyallup show. But, this was the first year of this show, run by them.
I'll bet next year it will be a lot better, although I found this one to be adequate to good. :HAPPY
This must be the FFF show. It was much more worthwhile than the Sportsman's Show for the Flyfisher. It was packed with great seminars in actual seminar rooms without someone blowing an elk bugle 50 feet away. I have been waiting for one of these shows to happen again. It was definitely worth it.
I planned on going to shop boats, but I am buying a house instead. I went to the Portland show in February, the Expo Center has more room than the Exhibition hall could have, great show with lots of everything that you could want, including a trout pond for the kids. Try it next year.