Monday, September 7, 2015

Like Drinking from a Fire Hose

Like Drinking from a Fire Hose

The sights, sounds, and sensations are coming at you fast and furious.  It is the 50th Anniversary IFFF Fair in Bend, Oregon.  Everyone had their own personal experiences but here are some of my own personal observations.

I was privileged to meet and speak to the Council Presidents at their Wednesday morning meeting.  Russell Husted, President of the Texas Council presented Facebook and their success in Texas.  It was a really good presentation.  I talked about the IFFF blog and Instagram.  There were some really good questions that indicated a lot of interest.  Everyone understands what it means when you look around the room and see only gray hair.  It means that we need to connect with younger people in way that is compatible and meaningful to them.  Let’s step out of our comfort zone.

I took the time to go to a local tackle shop, just a few miles down the road, in Redmond, Oregon.  They have an awesome gimmick, actually more than a gimmick.  They have beer on tap, and yes it is a serious fly shop and they have a variety of some very nice micro brews.  While there I met one of the younger employees and we discussed using social media with younger fly anglers.  He informed me that they have a local customer that uses Instagram and that he has 12.7k followers.  It is hard to believe but it is real and now I am now one of the followers.  I was also able to connect with several other Instagramers while in Bend.

The fly tying chair, Dave Roberts made sure there were lots of great fly tiers.  The 2015 Oregon Tiers of the Year, Dave and Cathy Hamilton were there and doing a great job as always.  Seveinn Thor from Iceland was there.  I couldn’t understand very much of what he said but he did have pictures of some very nice fish and plastic bags full of interesting tube flies.  One booth barely contained the three guys from Japan.  They had lots of very innovative products and ideas.  Kenji, the one at the vice couldn’t speak English worth a darn but he knew all the materials and words for a fly tier.

On the subject of younger folks, I found a certified casting instructor that was 18 years old and he had plans for more certifications.  I found another young man at age 20 who was studying to be a fish biologist.  Congratulations to both.

Wednesday night was the Awards Dinner.  Right away I noticed that Frank and Jeanne Moore as well as Joan Wulff were there.  A short time later they found each other and it was a special moment to see Frank and Joan engaged in the conversation of old friends.  It was very special for sure.  Later at the microphone, Joan made some very funny comments about the sport of fly fishing.  Many awards were presented and then came the highlight of the evening.  A film was shown featuring Frank Moore while fly fishing and it also highlighted Frank and Jeanne as owners of the Steamboat Inn.  The film also documented the pioneering work they did to stop the massive destruction that used to be normal logging practices.  This was the lead up to the announcement of the new Frank and Jeanne Moore Award.  This new award went to The Honorable Nathaniel P. Reed for his role in passing ground breaking legislation during the Carter Presidency.  It was very inspiring to hear the story of how it came about.

Can you see and do everything at the IFFF Fair.  No way, it is like drinking from a fire hose.   Tom Collett