Fly fishing show highlights a rising sport

Fly fishing isn’t Part of the show, it IS the show!” That is what the show’s promotional materials proclaim and that makes the Jan. 5-7 event at the Denver Mart, 58th Avenue and I-25, such a special outdoors happening. The Fly Fishing Show has become a popular annual fishing attraction for Front Range fly anglers. And the show’s interest is growing.

Maybe you have not tried casting a fly line in Colorado? Or perhaps you enjoy other fishing pursuits and assume fly fishing is an interest for the select few. Between 2000 and 2014 fishing license sales increased from 630,000 and 765,000, with most of that increase coming from new fly fishing anglers. Nationwide fishing license sales have increased by 11 percent and fishing tackle sales are up 16 percent.

Fly fishing is the fastest growing fresh water angling interest. It is estimated there are 50 million fly fishing anglers in all 50 states. Interestingly this appears to exceed the numbers who play golf (21 million) and tennis (13 million).

Trout Unlimited, Inc. has played a big role with US Fish & Wild Service and the various states wildlife and fishery agencies in preserving and restoring river and stream waters. Colorado Parks & Wildlife have has been leaders in this growing angling interest in the Mile High State. This agency has provided access to 2,000 lakes and reservoirs and 9,000 miles of river and stream fly fishing waters; 37 of the 42 state parks offer fly fishing opportunities.

The Rocky Mountain Region accounts for 33 percent of national fly fishing gear and tackle sales while in Colorado alone almost $2 million is added to the state’s economy from the fly fishing industry.

The January Denver Fly Fishing Show features a grand door prize to a premier fly fishing destination in northwestern New Mexico on the richly populated San Juan River. The winner can take a friend for three nights with two days of guided fishing. Grand prize trip value is $1,980.

Show times will be 10am-6pm on Friday, 9am to 5:30pm Saturday and 9am to 4:30pm on Sunday. In addition to vendors who offer high quality gear and experienced advice and suggestions for new or seasoned fly anglers, 19 skill classes will be offered by fly experts covering casting, fly tying, technique elements including nymph fishing, still waters, youth fly fishing, fly tying, streamer strategies and how, where and when to find trout.

Parking is free. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at 814-443-3638 or

Ron Hellbusch can be reached at

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