Who doesn't love free stuff?!
by: Chad LaChance 3/6/2014
Back in 2005, Fishful Thinker LLC was a three year old outfitter business with two goals; turn fishing into a full time job for yours truly, and to give me a channel through which I could teach other people (and lot’s of ‘em) to enjoy the angling lifestyle just like I have my entire life. It was going along just fine. One afternoon the phone rings and it’s professional angler and TV and radio host Terry Wickstrom. Seems he and the Larimer County Natural Resources department had come up with a rough plan to educate NoCO anglers about our local waters and the fishing opportunities within. Terry was calling on me as the only licensed guide on Larimer County administered lakes to help develop a curriculum for the event and come give a presentation along with several other CO guides and experts. Ten years later, that event has evolved into the 10th annual Larimer County Fishing Expo…and I’m proud to say we’ve been involved since Day One.
Flash forward to 2014 and this years event is March 8-9 at The Ranch in Loveland (right next to the Budweiser Events Center at Crossroads and I-25). While the event hasn’t grown a lot in terms of physical size, it’s information and community support has grown, as has the audience. The audience has grown because the information available has grown. This year’s expo will feature presentations by Nathan Zelinsky, Dan Swanson, CPW fishery biologists, and even me. Yes, after all these years, they still let me speak there!
My favorite part of the education is the biologists’ presentation on Sunday morning. We anglers think we know what the fish populations look like in our local waters, but after many years of sampling lakes with CPW, I can assure you we do not. We know part of the data – namely the population that falls for our angling tricks – but the vast majority of the fish in the systems never see a human hand…unless it’s a biologist’s. Want to know what potential the lakes you fish have? How about updates on flooded ponds and rivers? Attend the CPW presentation.
Nate will talk his bread and butter walleyes; having been featured in In-Fisherman, I’m sure Nate will have something enlightening to say. Dan will talk electronics usage, and given his obsession with sonar/gps/structure scan, I guarantee you it will be informational…and I’ll be paying close attention as I always do when Danno talks Lowrance. A Hobie pro-staffer will be talking kayak fishing; after all, kayak fishing seems all the rage.
I’ll be giving two presentations; one about fishing rapidly changing water levels (a very common occurrence all along the Front Range) and another about the prey/lure connection, and how to choose lures based on that.
As a long-time guide, I deduced that the majority of anglers I guided lacked an essential skill set for artificial lure presentation; namely casting accuracy and line control. Hence we developed a casting target range, turned it into a contest, and voila…the Fishful Thinker Accuracy Challenge was born. Sure, almost anyone can get a lure out there…but can you do it with real accuracy? Stop by the expo and prove it! Targets range from 15 to 65 feet and you can win prizes for your effort…not to mention bragging rights. Prizes include gift cards from Henry’s Pub, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Bullhide 4x4, and Pedersen Toyota. Historically, most folks are humbled.
Speaking of Pedersen Toyota, that Fort Collins family owned dealership has supported this expo, the Full Moon Open, and other fishing events for a very long time; stop by their booth, tell them you appreciate their support (these events couldn’t take place without local business support) and fill out an entry for a random drawing to fish with me. You could end up in our 2014 Ranger boat, which will be on hand at the expo. Ranger Boats provided a $100 gift card towards Ranger Gear…that’ll be a random draw too, and they have some cool apparel and boating accessories.
How much does it cost to attend, you ask? Nothing. Admission is free, parking is free, casting contest is free. This may not be the biggest expo in CO, but it’s certainly the most Colorado education focused, and the best value. Hope to meet some of you there!
Did I mention it’s free?
Blog content © Chad LaChance
opencage, CO 3/6/2014 11:12:43 AM
Ha, look's like you beat me to it Chad. :-)
Coyute, CO 3/6/2014 12:56:34 PM
fishingadam69, CO 3/7/2014 4:41:54 AM
see you Saturday and thanks for everything you do for us anglers in noco
rattbones, CO 3/7/2014 5:28:38 AM
See you there Chad
Catman1979, CO 3/7/2014 8:56:31 AM
Pretty cool event!
anglerwannabe, CO 3/9/2014 4:22:45 PM
Just got back from the event and WOW. True, there are some vendors there, but really not that many. What was so impressive was the info. The state biologists for Larimer had a wealth of information. Enough so you can't digest it all.
Chad, I enjoy watching your show but listening to you today, Holy Cow! After listening to you, my head still hurts. You presented so much useful information I had to go talk to your buddy Ronny so he could reinforce and teach me a couple of those things.
Brian for Dynamic lures was great and more than willing to talk about the changes with his lures and how they are evolving.
Replicas Inc had amazing replica fish trophies. To be honest, I had never even considered a replica until I actually saw them today.
My apologies for sounding like a human advertisement. It was a thoroughly enjoyable venture. Everyone there was very nice and you could see their enthusiasm about what they do.
Coming form the Springs it is pretty much a 2 hr drive one way to get there. It was worth every second of the drive. Thank all of you for putting on this event and I already look forward to next year.
Ajax5240, CO 3/9/2014 9:03:46 PM
Good seeing you at the expo, hope the casting wing heals up in time for spring small mouth!! If not, give me a call... I'll cast and reel for ya... Haha