Somerset Fly Fishing Show 2012

Articles, Book Reviews & Excerpts, featured — By on February 2, 2012 2:18 pm

January 27, 28, and 29 2012 marked the 20th anniversary of the Fly Fishing Show in Somerset New Jersey. This show has an international pool of the top fly tiers, fly fisherman, and fly fishing companies. Walking the floor is almost an overload of all things FLY. I tried to make sense of it all and what I saw on the floor (it was so busy I never made it to a seminar or event… I guess there is next year).

There are more shows in the coming weeks visit for a full list of locations and events.

The cool thing about wandering tiers-row at the show is the great flies/tiers that you stumble upon for the first time. This was my first time meeting mike Williams, and man was I impressed. From his amazing duckling, to the large poppers, and his bodies streamers… he really has some great stuff. Be on the look-out for Mike or shoot him an email at [email protected]

Bruce Corwin had some really neat realistic flies. The large spider was ready to crawl and had an amazing level of detail. While the dragonfly was paired with a painting that was something more like an art gallery than a fly display. Check him out at

Allen Fly Fishing recently launched a full line of new rods. From versatile switches to some nice single handers, they have you covered. I spent some time on the casting pond with a 5wt switch and a 9’ 8wt, and I was really impressed. I heard they had some of their new hooks, but anxious customers wiped them out QUICK. Check out

Lee Schechter (who you may remember from the Fall 07 issues of Hatches) had some really cool crossover bass/salmon flies. You can contact Lee at [email protected]

Pat Cohen had a super busy table. The guy is a deer hair spinning maniac! His flies were selling fast, and I lucked out by getting a photo before they were all bought up by jaw-dropped admirers. See all of Pat’s creations at

Abel was showcasing their beautiful product line of stunning finishes. From reels to nippers, these things look amazing. I really liked their new click-pawl switch reel. They have a new reel without the porting, giving it a cool old-school look.

Don Bastian was loaded with amazing assortment of flies. Dries, wets, and streamers… Don had it. Check out Don’s blog or he can be reached at [email protected]

Allen Landheer of had a really nice assortment of feather wing streamers. He also scored a killer Blue Eared Pheasant skin that was the perfect display for his classic ties. His Purple King steelhead fly will (hopefully) be on Hatches in the near future.

Beulah made the cross-country trip from Oregon. Their line of platinum switch, spey, and single handers were getting a lot of wiggles in the booth and purchases at the shops. But the 13/15wt was raising some eyebrows. Capable of any fly/line combo you can dream, casting this thing is not for the light hearted… but damn is it fun.

Steve Silverio from Regal was showing off some amazing flies as always. His large streamer patterns are some of my favorite. With a style all their own, the cheeks, belly, and wing are always spot on.

Joe Calcavecchia of had a really well designed streamer. A spun deer head with long flowing saddle hackles, the olive version should be a fish-magnet.

Rite Bobbin had a strong showing. Lyle Graff was showing off their flagship “Half-hitch Mag” bobbin.

Mike Heck is a Central PA spring creek expert. His latest book “Spring Creek Strategies” is a must have. Mike had a really interesting crawfish pattern. For more about Mike and the waters he fishes, visit

Mark from Partridge made the trip to the states. Partridge continues to roll out their new consumer-friendly packaging. A neat new hook is the “classic spider”, designed for soft hackle wet flies.

Mike Schmidt of Anglers Choice flies has an impressive menu of big streamers. He was tying some really neat yellow/orange streamers that have landed big brown trout all over the US. Check out Mike at

Al Ritt from Peak Vise and had some innovative patterns. His fighting crawfish and a sculpin, both looked to be productive flies.

Anthony Giaquinto of R&R Custom flies went the traditional route, poppers. He had a table full of hand painted beauties, and he even took the time to paint one up while I was there. Check out Anthony’s flies at

John Collins was showing off some killer custom paint jobs on his sculpin helmets. Painted to match his materials, the helmets really give a realistic quality to his flies. See more of John’s work at

TFO had a strong showing, and with Lefty Kreh in the booth, it was hard to squeeze your way in. They recently launched a new 2handed rod, the Pandion. I spent some time talking with its designer Nick Curcione, who told me that this rod really excels in overhead 2handed casting along with Skagit style spey casts. This rod should be a jetty machine on the east coast.

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  1. Bruce Corwin says:

    Hey Kevin.

    Thanks for the shout out and great pix. It was nice meeting you at the show. From a tier’s prospective, I felt this was one of the best in years. It was well attended and had something for everyone.

    Thanks again,

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  2. Kevin Hospodar says:

    Great to meet you as well. Great flies! I can honestly say that of all the people I talked with, everybody was extremely positive.

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  3. Darren says:

    thanks for the run-down of the show. Wish I was able to be there.

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  4. Tom Herr says:

    Great write up Kevin. I agree – very upbeat show, sorry I missed ya.

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  5. Matt Smythe says:

    Great wrap-up, Kevin!

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  6. Pat Cohen says:

    Excellent write up Kevin…It was good to see you there…Thanks for the shout out….

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  7. Anthony says:

    thank-you so much for the pics and the write up,it was really good seeing there at the show, thank-you again.

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  8. Sara Low says:

    Great write-up of the show. There was a lot of energy and good fishing discussion at Somerset this year – always true, but this year seemed to top the previous ones. Next year check out the non-profit booths where so much good will is invested in causes such as the environment (Theodore Gordon Flyfishers, where I volunteer), Project Healing Waters (for wounded veterans), Casting for Recovery (helping breast cancer patients) and more. These booths are the first and last stops for everyone entering and leaving the show. All important causes supported by anglers.

    See you next year.

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