Mazo Trout and Trail Fest

Good Morning!!!
     Last week I was given the wonderful opportunity to setup a booth at the Mazo Trout and Trail Fest.  I first heard about the event through the Orvis store here in Madison.  The store was hosting a fly fishing triathlon, an event I was eager to compete in.  I may not be overly competitive in life, but I was curious to see how I stacked up against some of the best local fly fisherman.
     Admittedly, the final decision to attend was kind of last minute.  I had a guided trip on Friday morning, and was leaving for Ontario at 2:30am on Sunday morning.  I still needed to rig rods, pack my clothes, and figure out how I was gonna get across the border without a passport. was a local event and I wanted to be in attendance.  I fired off a few messages online and was put into contact with Ben one of the brainchilds behind the event.  He was quick to let me know that the festival was in it's first year and that he didn't want to mislead me.  When I asked what he meant he said, "I'm hoping for 200 people."  That's all I needed to hear to start loading the truck.  I've always been of the belief that exposure need not be to millions, but to the genuine interest of one.
Not a bad setup with only a few hours notice.
     Arriving in Mazomanie I found the location and was greeted by many familiar faces.  All the regulars on the local scene were present.  The boys from MadFlyCasters, Black Earth Angling Co, Trout Unlimited, and of course Orvis of Madison.  I found my spot and did my best to setup a quality booth to show off my guide service.  Once the event was underway I found myself talking more about the wonderful angling opportunities we have here in the Midwest, and less about my personal business.

Kids casting classes on the lawn.
     Wandering around the grounds I was pleasantly surprised by the people in attendance.  Everybody was so welcoming and friendly.  They had food available for purchase (for a local cause), kids fly casting instruction, and a tenkara demonstration presented by Badger Tenkara.  The kayaks generated a lot of interest and I was asked about available dates and if I would be interested in some doing some speaking engagements for a local fishing club.  It was a great time and I was felt lucky to be able to contribute.
Ben competing in the Fly Fishing Triathlon presented by Orvis of Madison.
      The Orvis Fly Fishing Triathlon was awesome!  The contest was happening right in front of my spot.  I watched a guy let loose a 90+ foot cast and saw some of the most accurate casting I've ever seen, seriously impressive stuff.  If you're wondering how I did?  Well, I fired off a 59 foot cast and finished right in the middle of the pack.  I always say I'm just an average angler, and I proved it in the triathlon.
     For a first year event this was a great time.  I really enjoyed the opportunity and would like to thank the Mazo Trout and Trail Fest for allowing me to attend.  Plans are already underway for next years event and you should make plans to be in attendance.
     Tight Lines.

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