MARLBORO – It was the dead of winter, but that didn’t stop thousands of fly fishing enthusiasts from coming to the Royal Plaza Trade Center in Marlboro for the Fly Fishing Show.
The show, a seven-stop tour, showcases the latest gear and innovations in fly fishing from tackle manufacturers and retailers.
For the the estimated 6,000 that will visit the show this weekend, fly fishing represents the ultimate getaway for outdoorsmen.
After purchasing land in Maine, Hull resident Bob Bowes said he “fell in love with” fly fishing.
The beauty of fly fishing, other than the colorful, hand-made lures, is the long, effortless stride of a fly fishing cast.
“Just watch,” he said as a fly fishing expert gave a demonstration at the event. “It’s beautiful.”
For others at the show, the remaining forested and healthy fisheries are precious.
Ken Walrath, a fly-tyer of more than 40 years, spoke about deforestation in New England and the harmful effects it has on fisheries. As trees and other plants are removed, more sunlight hits the streams and lakes, warming the water too much for fish to flourish.
Coupled with the summer-long drought, Walrath said, it made for a difficult fishing year.
But despite the big-city, East-Coast lifestyle of Massachusetts and urban sprawl, the state remains one of the best for fly fishing, he said.
“There are a lot of small streams that have a lot of fish,” he said.
Others at the show came from more rural parts of the country where the outdoorsman feels a bit more at home. Andy Brust of Grey Reef Anglers and Wingshooting was advertising his company’s Casper, Wyoming, guided fishing and hunting vacation package.
The trip is near a series of rivers dubbed “the Miracle Mile” for the plentiful fish.
The site is just a few hours away from Yellowstone National Park, and Brust called the experience a “laid-back, good time.”
Ben Furimsky, the show’s president and CEO, said the sport offers some of the most beautiful sights in outdoor sports.
“It gives you a reason to get outside and typically, the places that are good for fly fishing are beautiful places,” he said.