From Belize to Denver

A couple things are on my mind today. First, it's heartening to hear that the new government of Belize is very close to making possession of tarpon, bonefish and permit an illegal offense in their country. The Belizean Cabinet unanimously passed legislation that mandates a strict "catch-and-release" policy for these game fish. It is awaiting final sign-off, which is said to be nothing more than a formality. This is great news for all anglers - and hopefully, it will spill over into other fisheries and regions where greater protection for our favorite fly-rodding species is needed. Secondly, I attended the Fly-Fishing Retailer trade show last month in Denver and came away feeling pretty darn good about the state of the industry. It's no secret that the economy is in rough shape right now; that's holds true for just about every industry. But the general sense floating about the Denver Convention Center was upbeat, much more positive than I had assumed. The attitude seemed to be, yes, times are tough, but this too will pass. Perhaps not ironically, former FFSW editor Ted Lund (now editor of sister pub Salt Water Sportsman) tells me that a very similar sentiment was emanating at the I-CAST show this summer in Las Vegas (the trade show for the broader fishing industry). In fact, Lund said it was "the most positive show I've been to in 15 years." This is good news, folks. Anyway, a bunch of new products were revealed in Denver, such as a new line of Abel saltwater reels with a very slick, quick-changing interchangeable spool and a new line of fast-action Sage rods, the TCX, that cast like an absolute dream. We'll be unveiling the new gear in upcoming issues of FFSW. Matter of fact, we just shipped our November/December issue yesterday. Watch for it on newsstands in the coming weeks - plenty of good stuff, including features on Florida west-coast redfish, California Delta stripers and a great how-to instructional article from Lou Tabory on incorporating wire leaders directly into fly patterns. You'll enjoy the issue. For now, tight lines, Mike Mazur FFSW Editor