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  • Writer's pictureSatoshi Yamamoto

Western Idaho Fly Fishing Expo 2023

I hope everyone has had a good start of the NEW YEAR. I had good holidays with my family. Then I was planning to visit Western Idaho Fly Fishing Expo in Boise, ID as I signed up for a presentation (details below). The expo, like any other events, has been called off or slow due to COVID. However, this time, the expo is back as it had been before COVID and as it should be!!

Friday 1/6, I hit the road very early in the morning. I thought I would be in Boise around noon. Livingston was average cold but not snowy. However, 20 minutes west to Bozeman, the infamous Bozeman Pass and all along the city of Bozeman were snow packed. I was behind the snow plow operation (both lanes). With or without them, that was how fast I could go anyway. I was a bit afraid of driving around Ennis and along Madison River. There's another infamous hill just before Ennis. Actually just outside of Bozeman wasn't bad at all. With regular cautions, Ennis Hill wasn't bad either. I cruised along the Madison and turned onto Raynolds Pass toward Idaho. Now the road became crunchy or slushy. This went on all along Henry's Fork and the mid-way to Idaho Falls. I got on to I-15 southbound in Idaho Falls. This was an easy drive. My navigation suggested me take a local cutoff for the I-84 westbound. I don't think this was a mistake as it looked like Pocatello area seemed getting more snow than the rest of surrounding Idaho cities. I reached the interstate again - technically I-86. This I-86 was a terrible stretch till I merged to I-84 westbound. I made it through.......... Once I got on I-84, the rest was a smooth trip to Boise. I quickly checked in with the hotel for Friday night and headed to the venue.

I think the interesting schedule was that the Friday show was open for public from noon to 9pm. This gave more than enough hours for vendors to set up their booths. Also it was assuring for the audience who need to work a regular hours, say till 5pm, that they can still swing by after work.

My presentation was scheduled at 7pm. So, till then and afterwards, I visited with lots of vendors. Been a demonstration fly tyer and a presenter for the past several years, I have known "regulars" and I'd like to call them my friends. Then it's always fun and enjoyable to visit with new people. Some vendors that I would know on the social media. Brands/companies I know or even use their gears and visit with their reps. It's always fun and oftentimes learning new things - gear and industry.

It's my cue!

What I wanted to present was the infamous yet historical Yellowstone River Flood of June 2022. Through last year, I was asked about the flood from my fishing clients: how it happened and its effects on people, fishing, so forth.

Although my focus tends to be fishing and guiding (and it was for the fly-fishing expo), I wanted to explain the flood incident was beyond fishing but the entire community was affected. I had very engaged discussions with audience. Appreciate you coming and listening!!

I strolled to the dinner with my show friends!! Great times!!

I got back to my hotel room. Chatted with my wifey on the phone and collapsed on the bed at midnight. On Saturday 1/7, I woke up a bit after 6am, enjoyed breakfast and quiet morning (you know what I mean if you are a parent). Then headed to the second day of expo.

To my family at home, I had to establish my alibi that I was at the expo and super BUSY at work!!!

I listened into a good presentation by an Idaho Fish & Game biologist.

After this, I decided to head home. Weather and road conditions all through were much friendlier for driving than the day before. It was an easy sail till Idaho Falls. As it got dark and cooler, US20 along the Henry's Fork was foggy. Besides, this kind of stretch always worry me of sudden animal appearances and crossing. Also by then, I was in a state of mind that I just wanted to get it over with. I drove in a slow and steady pace. I made home in one piece with a predicted 8-hour drive.

So the 2023 show season started in the best possible way!!

I'm set to attend:

East Idaho Fly Tying Expo in Idaho Falls March 24 & 25 as a demonstration fly tyer.

Wasatch Intermountain Fly Fishing Expo in Sandy, UT (near SLC) April 14 & 15 as a vendor (for my guide service) and a presenter.

See you on the road!!

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