Virtually everyone has a good time at fly fishing and outdoor shows. What isn’t to love about an exposition hall filled to the rafters with the people, places, and things that make fly fishing what it is?
However, some people like to take the difficult path. You might have a natural proclivity for pessimism. You could desire to purposefully sully your experience. To be fair, maintaining the image of “crotchety” or “stuck up” has it’s place within the fly fishing culture. With that in mind, I’ve compiled seven surefire ways to limit your enjoyment of a fly fishing show.
I do want to issue a disclaimer: These aren’t foolproof. The positive energy of sheer angling osmosis might overpower your best grumpy efforts. Yet sticking to any or all of these guidelines will inevitably lead to the negativity, internet complaining, and general sourness many seem to strive for.
Check out my list. Then, think about how one of more of these seven ways to have a bad day at a fly fishing show appeals to you:
Don’t buy your tickets online. Who doesn’t like spending time in lines? Who doesn’t like saving a few dollars? Being a high roller is kind of part of the fly fishing ethos. So that $3 ATM surcharge for cash-only events is a badge of honor, too.
Don’t look at the schedule ahead of time. There is nothing like showing up fifteen minutes after that seminar on nymphing or Labrador brook trout has started. If only you would have known; if only you would have gotten online and looked at the posted schedule. Sure, you are really interested in nymphing and Labrador brook trout. But how were you supposed to know?
Don’t take the time to sit in on classes or seminars. The last thing you’d want to do is hear what the experts have to say. After all, what could people who are professional anglers offer? You have YouTube and the guy who always fishes the hole below you and does really well. How could presentations on tactics, locations, and fly tying get any better than that?
Don’t spend any money. I mean, those vendors want your hard-earned dollar. You’re smarter than that. You can check out their product at the show, head home, scour the internet, and find a deal from a third party for a few pennies less than you would have if you would have just purchased it right away. Smart.
Don’t ask any questions. This is a biggie. Asking anything makes you look like you aren’t an expert, a proficient fisherman, a person who has it all together. As anglers, we’re supposed to be well-versed in every imaginable scenario and situation. You’d better keep that image, lest anyone think you want to catch more fish than you already do.
Don’t think about the coming season as you walk the aisles. Think about the crowds, think about the flat-brims and tattoos, think about the temperature being a little too warm or cool, think about how things are slightly different than last year. Whatever you do, don’t give serious thought to the one piece of gear or guided trip or lodge stay that would help make this coming season better for you.
Don’t be considerate while casting. Casting the newest rods is a lot of fun. The only thing more fun is showing all the envious onlookers how you can unload 80+ feet of line (with some pretty impressive tailing loops and sonic-boom like snapping). If anyone questions you, especially the volunteer staff, make sure they notice your annoyance.
In all seriousness, I’ve seen and heard people complain after neglecting precisely what I’ve mentioned above. Given I don’t know the details of every story. However, a little planning and a little time getting in the right mindset can go a long way. It helps with the whole general sourness thing, too.