Fly expo coming this weekend

Roger Blew, one of the expo board members, examines a fly display by Steve Fernandez as part of the silent auction during last year’s East Idaho Fly Tying Expo at the Shilo Inn Convention Center. Post Register file photo

Friday marks the beginning of the 24th annual East Idaho Fly Tying and Fly Fishing Exposition, which each year brings some of the world’s best fly tiers to Idaho Falls.

The event, which is free to attend, runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Shilo Convention Center, with additional events later both evenings.

This year 130 tiers are expected, including seven winners of the Buz Buszek Memorial Fly Tying Award, the top honor in the profession.

“The fly tiers are what everyone comes to see. If you want to see world class fly tiers, this is the place,” said Jeff Armstrong, one of the organizers.

The expo started in 1994, when members of the Snake River Cutthroats, Trout Unlimited and the FFF Fishing Club decided to create a venue for local fly tiers to show off their talent. Now it includes many other features, including informational sessions on techniques, casting, entomology and, of course, fly tying.

“These guys are all top-notch, world-class fly tiers,” Armstrong said. “They cover every subject.”

While general admission is free, certain events, such as tying and casting workshops, require registration and a fee.

There are separate training sessions to provide a more comfortable environment for women, Armstrong said. The expo also provides a wide variety of classes, seminars and training sessions for kids interested in picking up the sport, all provided free of charge.

The event also includes raffles, silent auctions and other chances to buy or win fishing gear from reels to boats.

As a part of the event a fly fishing film festival will be held at the Colonial Theater from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Banquet tickets can be purchased at Jimmy’s All Seasons Angler, 275 A St.

The event will finish with a Saturday night banquet, which is expected to last from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Over the years, the expo has raised some $324,000 for conservation projects, according to event literature.

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Reporter Bryan Clark can be reached at 542-6751.