Sunday, January 14, 2018

Denver Flyfishing Show 2018

Fly tiers along the wall, all the way back!
One of the events I failed to write about last year was the Denver Flyfishing Show.  While fishing with Howard Levett late in the summer of 2016, we chatted about shows and he mentioned he rarely misses the Denver show.  I asked if he'd mind some company, so Mrs. Fading Angler and I joined him in January 2017.  It's a good sized show, probably about 3 or 4 times larger than the Great Waters Expo that's held here in Minnesota.

Obviously, we enjoyed it because Mrs. FA asked if we could do it again, so plans were made in October for the 2018 show.  The show again coincided with our anniversary, so it's a great excuse to take a mini-vacation.  We went to college two hours north of Denver at the University of Wyoming and I worked in Boulder for three years once upon a time.  We're familiar with the area.  (GO BRONOCS... next year?)

The temple Sage, where I worship... expensive stuff.
We met Howard and his angling buddy Mark for breakfast at our hotel.  We all ate way more  than than we usually have for breakfast and embarked for the show.  The 20 minute drive and subsequent quest for parking gave breakfast time to settle.  Once through the door, Howard took us on a tour of famous fly tyers.  I can enthusiastically report that I actually recognized two: Hopper Juan and "In The Riffle."  (Okay, I didn't actually recognize the gentleman tying in front of the "In The Riffle" banner, but have watched a few of the videos that they produced a few dozen times...)  I really shouldn't be surprised that Hopper Juan seemed to also recognize Howard...

Our first length stop was at the Norvise booth, where engineer, proprietor, and inventor Norm Norlander was holding court, showing off his wizardry.  Actually, calling his work "wizardry" is an insult.  After watching and asking questions for about 15 minutes, both Mrs. Fading Angler and I agreed that there was nothing magical here, just an incredible number of straightforward engineering solutions.  But we had a lot of territory to cover, so on we trekked.

Hey!  Look at this, Ralph!
Around the corner (but not necessarily in this order), Howard stumbled across a book by our friend and fellow blogger Ralph a.k.a. R.E. Long.  This was followed by a stream of questions from Howard. wondering when I intend to return his collection of R.E. Long books.  I suppose it's about time I buy my own.  So it seemed only right to snap a photo of the book and send a shout out to our buddy.  Mrs. FA then forced us to re-stage the shot after I failed to notice a price tag was obscuring the book's title.  Ok, we'll do it your way, Honey... :)

And now, things get a little dark.  Some of you may be aware that Howard is a serial stalker of the famous flyfishing author John Gierach.   He even managed a photo of for me and the Mrs. last year.  I really feel bad about this, but I'm afraid I cannot, in good conscience, suppress evidence of a crime.

You really shouldn't have violated that restraining order, Howard!

I think that's less than 300 feet.

One other truly remarkable thing happen.  First, you need to understand that Mrs. Fading Angler loves her fast-action Sage rods.  I joke that it's like casting rebar.  To her credit, she's tried both of my fiberglass rods, and declared her immediate dissatisfaction.  But something was awakened within her at last year's show: a curiousity.  She spent some time talking to the gents at the Blue Halo booth last year, so she stopped in again.  They had a 7'6" 3 weight, in purple plum. One left.  So I told her to get it.  Worst case, she likes it... (HA!)  The cool thing was that for a second year in a row, she was chatting with Blue Halo company President, Courtney Boice.  And I'll say this: he has a FIERCE beard!
Courtney Boice, president of Blue Halo (the one with the big beard), checking out my wife... er, completing the sale

I think a good time was had by all.  We spent about 5 hours wandering the floor, peeking at this and that.  I recognized Scott from Vedavoo and Kelli from AnglHer, but both were busy do their thing.

I should mention that we went back to the Norvise booth and fell once again under Norm's spell.  As a sort-of birthday present / community property acquisition, we came home with a Norvise setup.

Thanks, Babe!

Cupcakes as and award for another trip around the sun.

A dollar for each year survived.


  1. So, what's that about twenty dollars sonny? Okay, I violated the restraining order but no one knew until now! I'm jealous of the Norvise and the fact that Lynette still seems to like you best. No accounting for taste I guess. Anyway, we had a great time, felt physically better for not eating the food and look forward to 2019!

    1. $20? Then I'd be young enough to be your GRANDSON. Geez, think about these things! Lynette only likes me best some of the time. Next time I'm not her favorite, I'll remind her that she's welcome to go stay with you, okay?

      After many false starts and "clusterbugs," I've tied a few simple flies on the Norvise. I gotta admit I like it! And the retracting bobbin holder? Brilliant! I'll bring it out next time so you can teach me some stuff!

  2. Looks like a great time. I always wonder how Norm Norlander decided to call his vise the Norvise.

    1. Want me to ask him? Since we visited his booth twice, we're now close person friends.

  3. Sweet write up and jealous you got to hang with Howard. Ha. Definitely want to try and make it out to the Denver show one of these years. I had the same thought that Eddie had about the name of the Norvise. I thought maybe he was from Norway or something, but it all makes sense now.

  4. Lets get together and fish again this fall... =)