CALL ME OLD FASHIONED
Hunting and fishing have been a part of my life for longer than I care to admit, they are a lifestyle for me. As a kid growing up I remember the many trips and the many memories and lessons that each one brought and as an adult I cherish the times I've spent pouring my heart and soul into an experience unlike any other. I can tell you that it isn't some passing fad or phase, it isn't just a trip up to the mountains, and it isn't just some hobby on which we spend our hard earned money.
Anyone who calls themselves a sportsman can tell you that it's about the lifestyle it creates, the warmth of family and friends, the closeness that self-reliance can bring, the thrill of anticipation. I can still remember the excitement of an upcoming trip, all the many mornings blended into one anxious and elated feeling. All the planning and preparation, the anticipation of the journey to come, spending the night before making last minute adjustments to your equipment.
All of it bubbling up with your morning coffee, the smell forever keeping that warm memory of the morning of your trip. Everyone who has made a lifestyle of these two sports, has at least one morning forever etched into memory, with the details of the breakfast you shared with family or friends, to the songs that played on the way there, to the view on that final arrival to the field or stream. The only thing close to these great memories for me was the excitement of the annual sportsman shows.
They were a strange and almost mythical experience where all the people who made my experiences what they were, from the hook manufacturers to the line design guys, from outfitters to gun manufacturers and to the professionals who taught me that training a dog was something I could do myself and the fly casters who help me cure all my fly casting faults. And they were gathered in one room to talk about, what else, but the sport and its essence and what it really meant to be out there doing what you love. Add to that gathering your friends and family to spend time checking out new gear, meeting ﬁshing and hunting celebrities, taking classes with true professionals in the sport and learning from them how to become a better hunter and/or ﬁsherman was a very special memory for me. Trade shows became a tradition and I cherish the people and places and memories that these traditions have brought me, they have enriched my life.
Lately though the sportsman shows have taken a different approach to their events, they seem to have forgotten that the average sportsman wants to learn from the best in the industry. The sportsman wants a place where they can plan all their trips and ensure their gear is up to par, and learn a new tip or two, somewhere they can mix friends and family with those business acquaintances, somewhere they can bond with new family or get in touch with the old, somewhere they can truly embrace the lifestyle.
I recently attended one of the biggest shows in america and stopped by a very prominent gun manufacturer and saw only three shotguns in the midst of every weapon known to man and to hurt man.It seems like the shows now are more geared to tactical and not the essence of our sports or our lifestyles. I remember learning how to clean a shotgun at a show when I was fifteen, because I wanted to impress my father and uncle; I remember a seminar on fly-tying, and the first time I learned how to cast a fly rod was at a show. Memories that mean more than just shooting a gun or bringing home dinner, they are part of an experience that is dying out, and one I mean to keep alive.
The Fly Fishing & Wingshooting Expo will be promoting the true essence of our sports bringing back the excitement of the true sportsman show with vendors directly related to our sports, lessons and seminars from the industries top professionals so you actually leave our expo with something to take with you and improve your sport. We will be offering both paid semi private and free classes to all who attend the Expo plus demonstrations that will excite you and enhance your skills.