Skip to main content

ICAST Draws Flies

Two big fishing trade shows have merged into one

ICAST Draws Flies
ICAST Draws Flies

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — A new attraction has been added to ICAST this year, and the reviews are unanimously "two thumbs up."

"I think this should have come a long time ago," internationally-known fly fisherman Carter Andrews said.

The new act in the 56th annual ICAST trade show is fly fishing, specifically the American Fly Fishing Trade Association show. This first-time arrangement has been termed a "co-location." The two fishing trade organizations worked together on location, date and registration.


Click image for Day 1 From the Floor photos



AFFTA maintains a separate "new product showcase," and fly fishing booths are located together in one section of the Las Vegas Convention Center floor, rather than sprinkled in amongst everyone else. But what was previously two trade shows at different dates and locations has now been blended seamlessly into one.


"It has been great for both of us," said Mary Jane Williamson, communications director for the American Sportfishing Association, which hosts ICAST. "The energy level has been pretty high. A lot of folks have told us this is awesome."

Andrews is a fly fisherman with a worldwide reputation. He has a new fishing show titled "The Obession" that will premiere in January on Outdoor Channel. Andrews has won the Jackson Hole One Fly competition three times, and he is even better known for his saltwater fly fishing accomplishments.

But Andrews is more than that. He is a self-described "complete angler," just as comfortable trolling saltwater with massive baitcasting reels for blue marlin as he is with spinning tackle in freshwater for smallmouth bass.

Karl Schmuecker (left), general manager of Wapsi Fly in Mountain Home, Ark., visits with Tight Lines Ltd. representative Peter Toynbee of Napier, New Zealand
Karl Schmuecker (left), general manager of Wapsi Fly in Mountain Home, Ark., visits with Tight Lines Ltd. representative Peter Toynbee of Napier, New Zealand. (Steve Wright photo)


Seeing the complete fishing picture of new products under one roof at ICAST makes all the sense in the world to Andrews.

"I've been going to the International Fly Tackle Dealer show and ICAST every year," Andrews said. "I love them both.

"I think it's really nice for the fly guys to see the other side of the world, and at the same time introduce those anglers to the fly side of things. It makes perfect sense to me that we all join together.


"The bottom line is: we all fish. That is what we do. So why separate them?"

Most importantly, fly fishing tackle wholesalers are happy to be at ICAST for the first time. Karl Schmuecker has been the general manager of Wapsi Fly in Mountain Home, Ark., since 1995. Some part of almost every fly tied in the U.S. (and most of the world) first came through Wapsi in one form or anthers, whether it's marabou, bucktail or Australian possum fur.

It was Karl's father, Tom, who discovered this niche in the fly fishing world and took it to unprecedented heights. But Tom, Karl and Wapsi Fly, in general, had become increasingly frustrated with the AFFTA show.

"We are darned glad they did this," Karl Schmuecker said. "They had to do something. We wouldn't have gone to another AFFTA show. I've already seen one of our Australian dealers who I hadn't seen in three or four years. He comes to ICAST every year."

Peter Toynbee of Tight Lines Ltd. in New Zealand came by to visit the Wapsi booth shortly after Schmuecker made those comments. He was another in a long list of those happy with the new arrangement.

"It's a good idea to combine the shows," said Toynbee, who lives in Napier, New Zealand, and represents one of the top sporting goods distributers in that country as well as Australia. "I was coming to the AFFTA show every second or third year."

It's easy to spot the floor location of the fly fishing products dealers. All you have to do is look for the giant casting pond. Casting a fly line requires as much space for a backcast as it does for the final presentation. No one was in danger of getting snapped with a (hook-less) fly line on either side of this layout.

"We've had a casting pond before, but nothing of this magnitude," said Williamson.

That might serve as a metaphor for the 2013 version of ICAST. It has hosted fishing shows before, but nothing of this magnitude – a show that finally encompasses all aspects of the fishing world.

ICAST 2013 Home Page

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Humminbird CoastMaster - A Closer Look

Humminbird CoastMaster - A Closer Look

Patterned after Humminbird's LakeMaster charts for freshwater anglers, CoastMaster charts bring the same features for salt anglers. CoastMaster delivers unrivaled nearshore and offshore fishing performance.

Tactacam Fish-I Action Camera

Tactacam Fish-I Action Camera

Tactacam founder Ben Stern highlights the features of the Fish-I action camera with In-Fisherman associate publisher Todd Ceisner as part of the ICAST New Fishing Gear Guide.

How to Quickly Re-Spool a Fishing Reel

How to Quickly Re-Spool a Fishing Reel

Stripping a reel and adding fresh line is a breeze if you know the drill—literally.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

While catfish are still catfish, the difference between day and night tactics and strategies can be profound, even when fishing the same lake or river.How to Catch Catfish Day and Night Fishing How-To

How to Catch Catfish Day and Night

Terry Madewell

While catfish are still catfish, the difference between day and night tactics and strategies...

Sight Savvy: Different styles of bow sights each have their strengths—and weaknesses.How to Pick the Right Bow Sight for You Bows

How to Pick the Right Bow Sight for You

Tony Hansen - August 25, 2020

Sight Savvy: Different styles of bow sights each have their strengths—and weaknesses.

If you haven't looked at the smaller urban lakes in your area, you are missing out on some great bass pond fishing.Bass Pond Fishing: Catch Lunkers at Small Lakes Near You Bass

Bass Pond Fishing: Catch Lunkers at Small Lakes Near You

Dan Anderson

If you haven't looked at the smaller urban lakes in your area, you are missing out on some...

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? You'll need a cartridge that lives up to the expectations demanded at ranges up to and beyond 500, 600 or even 1,000 yards. Try these different loads until you find the one that thumps steel at long ranges consistently.10 Best Long-Range Rifle Cartridges Ever Made Ammo

10 Best Long-Range Rifle Cartridges Ever Made

David Hart - January 14, 2015

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? You'll need a cartridge that lives up to...

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

Pan-friend slabs may not sound like a holiday meal, but as a celebration of Mom's life it was my most memorable Christmas dinner ever.Crappie for Christmas: The Fondest of Childhood Memories Stories

Crappie for Christmas: The Fondest of Childhood Memories

Keith Sutton - December 19, 2018

Pan-friend slabs may not sound like a holiday meal, but as a celebration of Mom's life it was...

When an angler has thinking time—like now—interesting thoughts come to mind.Sheltered in Place: I Miss My Boat-Ramp Friends Stories

Sheltered in Place: I Miss My Boat-Ramp Friends

Tory Mansfield - April 10, 2020

When an angler has thinking time—like now—interesting thoughts come to mind.

Cabela's agrees to be bought by Bass Pro Shops in a deal valued at $5.5 billion that will combine the top two hunting and fishing retailers in the United StatesBass Pro Shops 'Reels In' Cabela's with $5.5 Billion Deal Stories

Bass Pro Shops 'Reels In' Cabela's with $5.5 Billion Deal

Abhijith Ganapavaram and Sruthi Shankar

Cabela's agrees to be bought by Bass Pro Shops in a deal valued at $5.5 billion that will...

Editor's Note: Our popular Camera Corner features reader photos and stories from successfulPamela's Story: A Memorable Fly Fishing Encounter Stories

Pamela's Story: A Memorable Fly Fishing Encounter

April 28, 2017

Editor's Note: Our popular Camera Corner features reader photos and stories from successful

See More Stories

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now