The trip would have been worth it for IF4 alone but a stay overnight made a visit to the fly show a no brainer. Sam and I got there early as we had to be home by mid-afternoon. We wandered around a bit speaking with the fly tyers, buying some critical supplies and oggling the shiny objects of our desire.
I made several passes through Dave Whitlock's booth. I hadn't met Dave before but like you I'm familiar with his work through the articles in numerous magazines. His illustrations of bugs, fish, and habitat that are among the most recognizable in our sport.
Early in the day, Dave was nice enough to spend some time talking as he worked. We spoke about the business of art - illustration vs fine art , the business of writing - writing for the paycheck vs the soul, and about being new to the game vs an old hand. It was very enjoyable and he was generous with his time.
Later Sam and I couldn't help but add a couple of prints to our collection and Emily and Dave were kind enough to donate a few prints for our upcoming TU banquet.
One of the things that I didn't count on was how much I enjoyed speaking with the vendors. Sure I was enamored with their wares, but there are a lot of fascinating folks in our sport and it was a good time just hanging out and chatting (and buying a few things, too). I suppose it's not much different from anything else in life, it's generally the people you meet that make the trip worth taking.
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