I have to admit, I was pretty stunned by the fly angler turnout at the International Sportsmen’s Exposition in Denver this past weekend. And I have it on good authority that the Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, New Jersey, was hopping over the past few days as well.

Word from the floor was that some big ticket items like rods and reels weren’t selling like hotcakes, but the flies, and lines, and even waders, were. You know what was probably in highest demand? Information. The seminars and presentations were packed at ISE, more than I had ever seen. Which made sense… after all, information is free.

I know some of you hit the shows (thanks for taking time to introduce yourselves). Did you get the same feeling? I’m not saying that shops aren’t feeling the pinch, and this happy weekend blip is a sign of an imprending fly boom. But I know people are still amped on flyfishing, and they’re going to be on the water this summer, big time.

In fact, I have on record from some of my hard-core angler fiends that in rough economic times, the last three things they plan to sacrifice, if forced to, are beer, nicotine, and flyfishing, in that order. What say you?