Somerset, New Jersey, January 25, 2014
The temperature was dropping fast and snow was beginning to cover the windshield of Jin’s vehicle. It looked like it was going to be another nasty day, but I didn’t really care because we were going to spend a good deal of the day indoors at The Fly Fishing Show.

In a sign that the economy must be recovering, it seemed that it was a bit more crowded this year and there were more vendors hawking a variety of fly fishing stuff--from rods and reels to flies and waterproof sacks or packs.

One of the items I really liked was the new synthetic grip on the St. Croix line of saltwater fly rods. The grip, made of a special polymer, felt great to the touch and, according to the sales rep, it sheds water and it’s pretty easy to clean off fish slime. The new grips are available on a line of rods from 7 to 10 weight.

Besides the big name rod, reel and line manufacturers there was a pretty good selection of new faces looking to break into the business. I looked at a five-piece fiberglass spey rod, a new line of mid-price point fly reels and some beautiful custom bamboo fly rods that came with wood cases that were works of art.

I picked through boxes of hackle, fur, hooks and foam. I fingered fox, coyote and squirrel tails. I looked at name-brand fly boxes, lines and packs and generic brands from overseas. I listened to sales talks from outfitters and lodges pushing trips to exotic locations. Lots of stuff. If you didn’t take a break now and then you would get a pounding headache.