Meandering Angler: Wading in Pleasanton Fly Fishing Show

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By the time you read this column, I will probably be among my favorite things at the Pleasanton Fly Fishing Show, Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton.

The show runs from today (Friday) through Sunday, and is about an hour and 15-minute drive from Sonoma.

If you go, you’ll probably find me wandering around in the main pavilion where the majority of the exhibitors set up their booths. There is a casting pond set up in the middle of all the exhibits for experts to demonstrate casting techniques, and for everybody else to test out the latest fly rods and reels offered by manufacturers and their representatives.

My favorite booths are the ones attended by the owners of fly-fishing resorts and fishing guides. There are folks that offer guided fly-fishing trips for destinations as close as Putah Creek, that runs east out of Lake Berryessa, as well as fishing for striped bass in the Sacramento River delta.

There are also operators from lodges in Alaska, Montana, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina, Chile, Cuba and other exotic places. They all show videos and have lots of colorful handouts to share. They also love to talk about the wonderful fishing and amenities they offer.

The show has a full schedule of classes on everything from basic casting to techniques for fishing lakes or using Spey rods. There is a women’s only casting class and fly-tying classes.

Seminars and movie theaters offered by fly-fishing pros with videos are also presented in separate buildings virtually continuously during the show. And offer a chance to sit down, relax and be carried away to a place you hope to be some sunny day.

Hogan Brown, one of the guides I’ve fished with on the Sacramento River will be there at the Cast Hope Booth. Cast Hope is a nonprofit positively impacting youth and their mentors through free fly-fishing experiences.

There were also be authors of fly-fishing books and the publisher of California Fly Fishing magazine to talk to.

The only better way to pass the time is to actually go fishing, which I hope to do once the weather improves a little.

In the meantime, for a least a little while, I will be meandering around the Alameda Fair Grounds in Pleasanton.

Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and 9 to 4:30 on Sunday. Tickets are $15, children 6-12 $5.

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