One Bug is Fake participated in GRTU’s Troutfest on the 22nd and 23rd of February 2014 in a different way than normal. Instead of merely attending the show, I was a vendor! The following post is a link heavy, poorly photographed, and gritty rundown of the event.
Most of you who read this blog in the past know that I am on the Smithfly Stream Team, which was a huge honor for me. Smithfly is a product that I absolutely love. Their first offered product, the “El Paquito” was a revolutionary device for me. The spirit behind the product hit home with my desire to customize my gear to fit exactly the situation I was going to be in that day without any extra bulk or wasted space. He has since extended his line of goods with a lot of critical acclaim, and I have remained a fan.
I worked a trade show with the company’s principal during my stint in Michigan. I had a lot of fun working the trade show and helping to promote the gear that I love, so I talked him into doing the same thing here in Texas at the Troutfest held by the largest chapter of Trout Unlimited. The Guadalupe River chapter of TU sponsors this event every year and I have enjoyed going to it and the subsequent F3T showing held on the banks of the Guadalupe River each time.
I decided to call up Shawn of sbixel.com and we decided to share a booth; him hocking his art and me pushing Smithfly packs and gear. I was also hoping to get the word out a bit of the return of the OBIFdotCom, as I haven’t done a lot about promoting my last posts.
I saw some familiar faces: Eric Fieldkamp stopped by and checked out the booth. I have been a huge fan of his blog, die Fische for a while now. If you haven’t checked it out recently, I highly recommend it. Austin Orr of Salt 396 hung out for a bit as well. It was good to see him as I hadn’t since I left for Michigan. I met fellow Stream Team member, The Fish Dentist and watched him tie some flies for the booth he was staffing. I also chewed some fat with Jud Cole and Kevin Hutchinson, caught up a bit with Banning Collins (the busiest man in fly fishing) and as always, hung out with the guys from Living Waters. I got to cast Gabe’s modded Eagle Claw over by the Diablo booth, and talked about the potential of FlyStock with Thomas and Shawn.
I also had the opportunity to meet some new people. I sat across from the spey-caster Bigfoot hunter, Frank Smethurst. Interesting guy. He was repping his venture Comb Enterprises. I also met the faces behind the clothing line for women, Maven Fly. They were really nice and clothes are different from anything that I’ve seen. Courtney really liked them, and I could see the appeal. Tagging along with Austin was Brandon from Sea Level Apparel. I didn’t actually meet him as he was geeking out over Shawn’s awesome art, but I’ve been following his development on Instagram and I really dig what he has going.
Jud Cole had his newest toy out on display and frankly, I am impressed. It’s a roto-moulded boat built by Hog Island Boats. I will write more about this later, as I am going to have to take a trip in that unique piece of floatworks.
Fly fishing royalty, Dave Whitlock had his prints on display. Being around a living legend like that was really cool. His art is awesome as well, and man does he have some cool stories.
Shawn has some amazing art. I was proud to be involved with the showcasing of his works and hearing all the good things people had to say about his work. There is a huge interest in his art, so I recommend snagging it while it is still WAY underpriced. In the fly-fishing world, Shawn is my best friend, so I am really proud to see him doing so well in this.
The funniest part of the whole bit was the apparent lack of computers by the show’s presenters. I kept pimping out my machine and word got around fast. To show the appreciation, RIGS Tenkara lines hooked me up with this sweet hat from “Rep Your Waters”. Check them out here, I like seeing good people succeed.
I honestly didn’t do as well as I would have liked, but I did get the word out on Smithfly. I had a great time, so I will be doing this again. People dig the compatibility, and the simplicity. It was really good to be around this many people that are as interested in this beautiful form of recreation.