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Thousands attend 27th Idaho Falls Fly Fishing Expo

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI)- Thousands of people visited the Mountain America Event Center on March 24 and March 25 to see the latest innovations in the fly fishing industry.

Anyone who enjoys fishing knows that the best way to be successful is by having the best bait. But any fly fisher will tell you that it becomes a lot more complicated than that.

Some also came to share what they had to offer in the industry. One such person was Mike Wilson the owner of the Drift Lodge and Fly Shop in Island Park. "The visitation has been great. Maybe the bad weather's helping, everyone's out and needs something to do and we're glad they're coming in and talking fishing since they can't be out fishing."

Wilson adds that the expo has all types of fly fishing experiences and many are asking questions about fishing. "Beginners or wanting to learn the waters where they can go to learn the water waters of eastern Idaho and you know, what equipment they can get into and price, great price ranges, what's cost-effective, what's good? This has been a very diverse crowd because you mentioned experienced fishermen. But we've also got I'm just looking around, we've got tons of guides in here there to the very experience, very top of the line for professionals in our market."

Wilson says it was a good experience for him and his shop while visiting the expo as a vendor.

Kelly Galloup is a world-renowned Fly Tier, with his own YouTube channel where he shows how to tie different flies. Something he was impressed by was the diversity of the different fly tiers present at the expo. He says fly fishers get interested in tying their flys for a variety of reasons.

"Most people get into it because friends of theirs do it. And some people get into it as a craft. That's been huge in the last ten years. I've had a fly shop since 1979 and the biggest growth I've ever truly seen in our industry is fly tying. And it started with YouTube, and COVID launched it," Galloup said.

He adds that the availability of getting into fly-tying helps as well. "You can get into it pretty cheap nowadays, but you still. It's like anything you do, you keep. If you're a golfer, you don't have one set of clubs, you get you just keep adding to it. So, it grows and it's just it's a great pastime."

Galloup says seeing age diversity in the group of tiers is exciting. "It is incredible. And I mean, it really blew my mind because when I was that age, I wasn't that good. We just didn't have the instruction that we have now. The YouTube thing just so makes it there are so many great tires on YouTube that you can look up any fly anything and you get to see every single step of it. And so when you see all that, as opposed to 30 years ago looking in a book and hope and every picture is there, how exposed, you know, And so now it's just like it's so easy to see everything."

Seeing the interactions between the different tiers present at the expo is also what makes Galloup excited to be at the expo. "It's invaluable. I mean, how how do you put a price on that? Because you can go and ask and everybody here is willing to share. There's not one person sitting here going out on answering questions. They're all talking to each other. It's great. I mean, it's just very few things like this," Galloup said.

For people visiting the expo, there was much to do some were even able to get first-hand tips on how to improve their fly-casting technique. " he talked about it being similar to golf. And like, I kind of do think about, when you're learning to golf, it's like the 16 things to think about impact. And then once it sinks in, you can just kind of do it. And he was talking about he was trying to help me keep from putting spaghetti on the surface of the water And he's just saying, I just need to release higher and now I just have to go practice it because it's, it's pretty good to get advice from him," said Judy Heusner.

She adds that it was hard to pass up going to the expo Saturday.

Paul Drury was also at the expo and says the casting demos were more than helpful. "Really good tips to improve my cast and just not enough time. I just need more practice. But now I've got tips to practice with." He added that it was helpful learning new tips and tricks. "We fish up here a lot, but it's always learning new waters and new techniques and new tricks. So you can't stop learning."

Jace Taylor attended to the expo and was excited to get some tips from the fly tiers and learn how to improve his cart. "I think it might take a seat where some of these guys get behind the vise. I think that'll be pretty cool."

His friend Ryan Finlinson says he was impressed by the innovations with the different boats showcased at the expo. "I thought it was actually really cool with like all the campers they put on the trailers and all that, you know, the brand new eddies and all the new hides and all the different boats and stuff."

More people attended the event than originally expected, according to organizers.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho Falls

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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.


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