FFF Conclave Tests a New Venue

July 31, 2009 By: Marshall Cutchin

The fast-growing corridor between Fort Collins and Denver, Colorado attracts plenty of attention these days, and it’s not surprising that the Federation of Fly Fishers wanted to test the waters for potential new participation here. (As a matter of fact, MidCurrent just relocated to the Fort Collins area to be closer to fly fishing’s geographic “hub.”) The last Conclave I attended was at the public high school in Livingston, Montana, though, and the contrast between an old railroad town and I-25 in Loveland couldn’t be more dramatic. Wednesday afternoon Angling Trade‘s Tim Romano and I found ourselves test-casting fly rods in plushly carpeted 100-yard hallways and being offered beer by carefully groomed caterers. Fortunately we had just spent the morning testing Moffitt Angling’s hookless-fly system on the Big Thompson (more on that later) and still enjoyed the memory of soft grass and classic water.
It seems the FFF is not in such a big hurry to move to Loveland after all, said Reporter-Herald writer Steven Weinmeister yesterday. ‘We’re not going to have an office here for a long time,’ said Phil Greenlee, chairman of the board for the federation, which is based in Livingston, Mont.” But Loveland is doing a great job of attracting new business even in a down economy, and anyone who tells you that the fishing is better elsewhere may be trying to steer you away from their favorite water.
The highlight of the Conclave this year seems to be the number and variety of fly tiers on hand. (Next year, please put the kids’ fly tying workshop at the front of the auditorium rather than in the back corner.) Lots of big name tiers showing their stuff, lots of innovative materials and patient teachers. We’re going back to day to look at some clever new glass bead flies that demanded more than 10 minutes of our time.
“Despite the few quirks encountered in the early days of the conclave, Chairman of the FFF Board Phil Greenlee said the organization was optimistic about the results of the conclave and glad to be hosting the event in Loveland. ‘We’re really delighted to be in Loveland,’ he said. ‘It’s the best facility we’ve been in.'” Carl McCutchen of the Loveland Connection.