Sunday, August 21, 2011

IFTD New Orleans

It’s been awhile since I visited the International Fly Tackle Dealer Show. For years I attended the show as a fly shop manager and it was my duty to see and purchase new product for the shop. Since I left my fly shop position I’ve remained in the industry doing many things including working as a member of the Ross advisory staff. This job with Ross has been very rewarding and great fun not only promoting the product but influencing designs of new reels, rods and accessories as well as testing them all over the world for all kinds of fish.

Recently Ross was purchased by Scientific Anglers (SA). With my Ross contract ending soon, SA generously flew me down to the IFTD Show in New Orleans this week so I could meet the SA personnel and discuss the opportunity of continuing onward not only with Ross but with Scientific Anglers. Just incase your not familiar with SA, they are one of the leading fly line makers as well as producers of leaders and tippet, accessories, insect repellent and the list goes on forever. In other words, Scientific Anglers makes a lot of cool stuff particularly for fly fishing and I’m very lucky they want me to work with them.

The show was great and I enjoyed meeting and hanging out with my old Ross friends and new Scientific Angler friends. I helped in the SA booth and very much enjoyed working the manufacturer’s side of the show. I met numerous fly shop folks (once my competitors) and basically talked fishing and tackle for the last three days. And best of all it looks like I will be officially continuing on to work with Scientific Anglers and Ross for many years to come.

The only bad thing this week is that I didn’t sneak out redfishing. As many know, Louisiana has some of the best redfishing found but with this being a last minute trip, I scheduled no time to fish. Tyler Befus however, a fellow advisor, got out on Friday and caught nine reds. This isn’t the time of year for the big guys but he nailed many respectable redfish including this dandy.

Along with the days at the show we were able to take in some fun nights on the town. A trip to New Orleans isn’t complete without a night on Bourbon Street and a night of great music in French Quarters. I managed a night of both and I guess that’s why I’m dozing off on my flight home as I write.

As for this week’s agenda, an incredible fishing opportunity fell in my lap. Friend Carter Andrews is booked for a five day horse pack trip into the backcountry of Yellowstone to Heart Lake. The trip includes all meals, nice tent camp and the horses are even carrying in the pontoon boats. Although fully paid, Carter can’t go and generously gave me his spot for next to nothing. I have way too much work to do to take this last minute fishing trip, however, I also wasn’t born yesterday and have decided my work will have to wait. The next blog posts will be from one of the biggest and most grizzly infested backcountry lakes in the lower 48!

Heart Lake is famous for abnormally huge Yellowstone Cutthroats as well as monster lake trout. I’ll be packing in my Ross artillery of 4 through 9-weight rods and reels and a variety of SA lines - especially sinkers so I can get down to those deep residing lakers.

The trip starts Wednesday and as you can expect, I won’t have access to the world. So as usual, I’ll post my day by day accounts of the fishing starting on Sunday night when I should arrive home.


  1. The reds have been complicated, surely the next time!
    I would like to go to the IFTD,but this far!
    Grettings Jeff.

  2. Yea New Orleans is a ways from most fly shops but the ones in the South East enjoyed having it near them for a change. I must say I enjoyed going there. And a full nights sleep last night now that I am home!