Sunday, January 22, 2012

Marlboro Fly Fishing Show 2012

The Fly Fishing Show appears for three days each January at the Royal Plaza in Marlborough, Massachusetts. It's not more than a 30 minute drive from my house, and I use the event as an excuse to take Friday off from work.  The doors open at 10 o'clock.  This gives me time to relax at home with a long cup of coffee or two while sitting around the fireplace in our family room, and to cook a big breakfast before heading out on the highway to Marlboro.  Ah, "so civilized a morning," as my wife would say.

I miss Charlie Collins and his rooster and hen hackles. I would think it's been at least five years since he had a booth in Marlborough. I loved the fact that he sold the neck and saddle together as one package.  And both for a price that would have been reasonable for the neck alone. Because I ended up with more hackles than I needed, I would split them down the middle with a razor blade and sell half the neck and saddle to Internet friends who did not have easy access to Charlie's hackles.  I bought my first (and only) cree rooster set from Charlie. It's pretty used up at this point.

Charlie lives in New York and the last time I checked he still sells feathers by phone or mail order (A google search provided the following: Collins Hackle Farm, 436 Kinner Hill Road, Pine City, NY 14871 Phone 607-734-1765.)  But as far as the Marlborough show, I've been told that he just didn't make enough money to justify the expense and time committment.  It seemed to me that he sold a lot of feathers at the show, but I have no idea what it costs to have table.  (Someone else told me he does go to the Somerset, NJ show, from time to time; but I don't see him on the 2012 listing of vendors at the upcoming Somerset show.) 

In recent years, what I like best is talking to old friends and meeting a few new ones.  I seem to spend most of my time around the fly tying tables.  This year, most of my talking time was with Bob Mead, Dave Brandt, Dave Benoit and Don Bastian.  I met for the first time tyer Sharon Wright from Maine.  Dave Whitlock was there with his wife, Emily, selling his gorgeous artwork, and I met both of them for the first time.  What an artist he is!  I loved his drawing called "Six Gentlemen", a photo of which I have included in my flyfishing show photo gallery.  It is six beautifully colored sunfish, one each of six varieties.

I posted 45 images from the show here:

Below are just a few pictures, of the people I mentioned in my post.

David Brandt

Bob Mead

Don Bastian

Sharon Wright

Emily Whitlock

My fishing friend Paul DiNolo talking with Dave Whitlock

David Benoit


Joe said...

My wife and I attended and I spent time with Don Bastian as he tied a Blue Devil on a 8x long hook. He shared his techniques and walked me through his tying process for the fly. A perfect gentlemen and great guy. The pictures were great

Don Bastian said...

Hi Joe:
Thank you very much for sharing the note about time that you and your wife spent at my table. I am pleased that you enjoyed my demonstration. I hope I was able to impart some techniques or perhaps provide inspiration for your personal tying. Thank you.