AFFTA Trade Show Report: Johnny Nymph and the Vented Backs

Just back from a couple of days in Denver at the AFFTA trade show where we handed out advance copies of the new FFJ issue, threw shakas with advertisers and drank with the titans of a small industry. Although there was appearently a whole political shake-up prior between potential trade groups/shows, we tend to be like Suisse in matters like this: smile and take hard currency. That said, the show did seem to have more energy and life than perhaps anticipated, and although many major players were conspicously absent (Simms, Patagonia, St. Croix) others went whole-hog with their booths (Far Bank: Sage, Reddington, Rio) and there seemed an overall positive vibe. Response to the issue was solid, with most stuck on the cover with mouth agape for a bit.

Heavy action was going down at the casting ponds. Although there was a fair amount of talk among the anarchists about goldfish and/or RC hydroplanes released into the tank, nothing quite this exciting materialized. Not sure why many among the crowd insist upon the urban tarponwear for all occassions at all times. Note to self: Salmon colored button-downs (tucked in, of course) paired with peach-tone wading shants, Topsiders and long-billed SPF 78 hat is not a good look for anyone. Fortunately we were able to punch through the crowd mobbing Johnny Nymph and the Vented Backs, at the end of the day and make it to the Sage party for peanut butter-stuffed jalapenos and acres of cheese. A retirement gig for outgoing former Sage pres and founder Bruce Kirschner (of K2 skis fame), gratis Sambuca shots and commemorative glasses were passed around to tony lodge owners and derelict journalists alike. Former AEG bums Chris Owens and Jay Johnson were spotted among the beautiful people, huddled over a small pugnent torch at a back table.

If the tarponwear crowd can cut loose like this in the Mile High City of shit-kickers and Rocky Mt. Oysters, imagine next year when the whole thing moves to New Orleans for hurricanes (drinks, that is), redfish, po’ boys and professional-grade “ballet artists”. Who Dat gonna be ‘der? FFJ fo’ sho.


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