Captains Steve, Don, and I just returned from a most enjoyable and productive trade show, the Chicago Outdoor Expo in Woodstock, Illinois.  Organized and operated by the Woodstock Rotary Club as a charity fund raiser, the event is in its third year with 2011 by far the largest and most ambitious effort yet.  As an all sports show, the Expo featured dog trials, booths with ATVs, some hunting related services, campground owners, and even some cute Brittany puppies for sale (three sold).  Since this was our first year at the show with our booth, we frankly didn’t know what to expect.  Then, too, both Steve and I presented a program, entitled, “Michigan Fly Fishing:  National Quality Close to Home” in the seminar portion of the show.

Let the record state that we were pleasantly surprised.  Show organizer and leader Jasen Randall and his team did a superb job of increasing the visibility of fly fishing at the show via casting and fly tying demonstrations, outfitters, seminars, and fly fishing destination travel programs.  The public responded with excellent attendance, interest, and in some cases, unbridled enthusiasm for fly fishing and our services.  We made some new friends, learned much from others, and enjoyed ourselves a ton.  In sum, the show was a success for RiverQuest and the Muskegon River Lodge, and more important, for the Rotary Club and its large numbers of Rotarians who made it all possible. Proceeds from the show will go to Rotary International’s disaster relief efforts around the world.   As a former active Rotarian and now Honorary Rotarian, I was proud of the Woodstock Rotary Club’s vision and selflessness.  Congratulations to all and thanks much, Jasen and Rotary Club team!

Pictured is our booth at the show.

Captain Tom Kuieck