Being stuck in the grips of winter is certainly no reason to stop thinking about fishing. After all, a full slate of boating, fishing and general outdoors shows is sweeping across the nation.
For example, last weekend, the International Sportsmen’s Exposition (ISE) made its annual stop in Denver, drawing thousands of outdoor aficionados to the Colorado Convention Center. ISE is an all-outdoors event, featuring everything from demonstrations on casting and fly tying to dog training and conservation It’s also a showcase for fishing lodges and fishing shops, offering great opportunities for anglers to plan a dream vacation or maybe find a hot deal on a rod or reel. Perhaps best of all, the show includes a number of seminars by pro anglers on topics ranging from better trolling techniques to matching hatches on fly fishing rivers.
While the Denver ISE may be over, the show will be making stops in Phoenix February 21-24; Las Vegas February 28-March 3; and Salt Lake City March 14-17. Tickets cost $15, and active-duty military and children under 16 are admitted for free. If you’re looking for a great family event in those areas, and want to brush up on some fishing skills in the process, be sure to plan accordingly. www.sportsexpos.com
Also, for fly anglers, The Fly Fishing Show will take place this weekend (January 25-27) in Somerset, New Jersey. This event has evolved as the premiere fly fishing extravaganza in the country, and it features over 200 exhibits, again ranging from travel to skills improvement and products. There are also a number of seminars from some of the best professional guides in the business, as well as author book signings and more. If you want to rub elbows with some of fly fishing’s most notable luminaries, Somerset is the place to do so.
It’s worth pointing out, however, that you don’t need to be a die-hard angler to get your money’s worth (admission is $18; $10 for military; $2 for children under 12, and 5 and under are free). The Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) will operate a Learning Center throughout the show, offering free lessons on casting, fly tying and general fly fishing strategy. If ever you thought of dabbling in fly fishing, this would be a great place to start.
For other fishing and boating shows, check here.
Kirk Deeter is the editor of TROUT, the national publication of Trout Unlimited, and an editor-at-large for Field & Stream magazine.