Recently returned from the Flyfishing Retailer Expo in Denver, Colorado. Exhibitor space may have been down about 25 percent from last year’s show, but there is no question that some serious business was being conducted in the halls of the Denver Convention Center.
Matter of fact, I think it’s safe to say that virtually everyone in attendance was rather shocked at the volume of orders being taken. I’m not sure anyone has a clear vision of what lies ahead in 2010, but hopefully, some of the robust commerce on display in Denver will bode well for the coming year.
A fair amount of new products were unveiled. Sage has a hot new saltwater fly rod, the Xi3, while Scientific Anglers expanded its Sharkskin technology to a variety of sinking and clear-tip lines, which should prove very interesting.
Orvis and Nautilus both have new saltwater reels, the Mirage series and the NV 11/12, and Andy Mill was on – hand at the Hardy booth discussing some of his collaborations on a new saltwater line of hard goods that will debut this spring.
Scott was touting the very nice S4s saltwater stick, as well, while Simms unveiled a new line of insect – repelling apparel that features a technology they’re calling “No Fly Zone.” Simms even had a tank full of mosquitoes on – hand to demonstrate how the apparel repelled the critters. Seemed to work great!
Of course, much discussion during the week circulated around next year’s show. According to event organizer AFFTA, three options are on the table. The show – which is owned by Nielson Business Media – will either:
- Remain a standalone event in Denver;
- Move to Salt Lake City, Utah;
- Merge into the summertime Outdoor Retailer Expo (also owned by Nielson), with the stipulation that the fly-fishing portion would remain a separate entity from other niches.
A decision is expected around November of this year. Stay tuned…and stay warm this fall,