Published Sep 1. 1998 - 18 years ago

FFF Conclave 1998

"World's best coming to Idaho Falls" ... "1998 International Fly Fishing Show ... More than 100 seminars set" screamed the headlines of local Idaho newspapers. TV Channels 3 and 8 with day-today coverages of the event.

Global Fly Fisher, Bas Verschoor's Report from FFF Conclave '98
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1998 FFF Conclave
& International Fly Fishing Show

"World's best coming to Idaho Falls" ... "1998 International Fly Fishing Show ... More than 100 seminars set" screamed the headlines of local Idaho newspapers. TV Channels 3 and 8 with day-today coverages of the event.

For 6 days in August, Idaho Falls was the center of the fly fishing universe. Tiers, casters and anglers from all over the world came together in that friendly Western town to celebrate fly fishing as a part of the Federation of Fly Fishers International Fly Fishing Show and Conclave, the most comprehensive and most international event dedicated solely to the sport we all love so much. Along with 60 workshops, 36 programs, 70-plus commercial exhibitors and 130 flytiers from all 4 corners of the globe, from Anchorage, AK to Irkoetsk, Siberia, the Federation was offering three unique events. The Atlantic Salmon Fly Symposium, the Bamboo Rod Symposium and the Conservation Workshop.

Hands-on demonstrations, slide shows, debates and technical seminars ... everything a fly fisher would want to see was on display. "The best of the best is going to be here," said Gary Grant, co-chair of the show. "The Arnold Palmers of the fly fishing world had all come to Idaho Falls". The range of topics and quality of speakers was phenomenal. A short list of topics covered during the six-day show included:

  • How to build bamboo rods
  • How to cast with a flyrod
  • Basic entomology
  • Spey casting
  • Tying classic Atlantic salmon flies
  • Building saltwater leaders
  • Learning to double haul
  • Streamside cooking
  • Tying extended body flies
  • How to row a drift boat
  • Nymphing tactics
  • And those were just a few. One of the better shows the Federation has ever put on.

'98 Buszek Award winner, Jeff 'Bear' Andrews, receiving 'congrats.

Equally as impressive was the list of personalities on hand to run classes and seminars. A who's who of the fly fishing world: Mike Lawson, Bob Jacklin, Gary Borger, Joe Humphries, Charles Jardine and Gary Lafontaine were some of the noted anglers sharing their secrets. In addition, the very best of the fly tying world were showing their skills and talents.

Each year, FFF gives out the Buz Buszek Award to a fly tier that has made contributions to the art.

Past winners at this year's show included Wayne Luallen, Marvin Nolte, Judy Lehmberg, Ned Long, Stan Walters, Chuck Echer, Royce Dam, Billy Munn, Darwin Atkin, Dick Nelson and Andre Puyans.

Wayne Luallan holding court on 'How to wash and clean fly tying materials'.
Judy Lehmberg - '97 Buszek Award - carefully winding floss body.
Chuck Echer - another recipient of the Award - wearing a 'shortcut' now.
Dick Nelson - past Buszek winner - posing here with the 'author'.

One of the most interesting items for sale at the Fundraising Auction, (which totalled some 23,000 dollars), was another one of Darwin Atkin's International Fly Plates, designed by Steve Jensen. The featured fly was a Jock Scott salmon fly tied by Judy Lehmberg, '97 Buszek Award recipient. Along with the featured fly were creations by Royce Dam, Kent Bulfinch, Stan Walters, Wayne Luallen, Andre Puyans, Giuseppe Re, Yann Bouglouan, Bas Verschoor, Reg Denny, Vic Bergman and Garth Coghill, with original artwork by David Ruimveld of Vicksburg, MI. The plate fetched $ 1,850.

Again... one of the best shows ever put on in the history of the Federation.

What more is there to say about my fabulous sojourn in the Rockies? Filled with:

Fly tying galore

Charles Jardine - artist in his own right
Vladimir Markov - all the way from Irkoetsk, Siberia
Jan van Straaten - Dutch tier of reknown, now living in Norwood, MA

The 'one and only' Reverend Robert Spaight
Don "Miceman' Ordes having fun
Henrik 'Hookmaker' Strandgaard from Denmark know who, acting dumb as usual...
Glenn Peckel, member of the "Joisey Mob', tying at the Salmon Fly Symposium
FFF Secretary Gary Grant, working on one of his intricate creations

...some good fish in the hand...
...or in the net
...that darn big one that always gets away!

Many dear friends

Some good food

...I even found myself another dumb, 'busty' blonde to play with!

Another incredible FFF Conclave and Show had come to and end all too quickly.

Bas A. Verschoor

(credit to: Rob Thornberry - IH&F and to Gary Grant - FFF Secretary)

A Schweitzer/Joergensen Publication
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