By Ryan Maas

 

The 2024 Hawkeye Fly Fishing Association (HFFA) Annual Meeting & Show was a remarkable success, drawing fly fishing enthusiasts from across Iowa and beyond to the Hyatt Regency in Coralville from February 16-18. Even Mother Nature lent a hand with blue skies and clear roads.

The three-day event featured an outstanding lineup of expert presenters covering a wide range of cold- and warmwater fly fishing topics, along with fly tying demonstration and instruction. Highlights included Matt Supinski’s sessions on trout selectivity, spring creeks, and understanding the mind of a brown trout; Gunnar Brammer’s insights on streamer tactics and tying materials; Caleb Corona’s talks on what fish eat and low water smallmouth fishing; and Connor Aasen’s exploration of carp fishing strategies and native Iowa fish species. Destination trip planning (Randy Richter), musky (Stephan Marais), Boundary Waters (Kevin Hanson), and the Iowa DNR’s community fishing program and Eastern Iowa update (Tyler Stubbs and Dan Kirby) rounded out the slate of informative presentations.

Attendees also enjoyed ample opportunities for skill building through open fly tying stations, demonstrations by invited guest tiers like Mike Hulsey, Scott Nordby, and Josiah Cornelder, and casting instruction. Additional tiers that shared their talent and enthusiasm with attendees were Lance Zook, Davis Horton, Lisa Davis, Kate Lodge, Jason Hochstetler, Jeff Moore, and Caleb Corona.

The vendor room buzzed with a great selection of fly shops, guides, non-profit organizations, and industry exhibitors. We especially want to recognize the work of Mike Birmingham and Lousie Biderman with the SHL Limnology Section (Coralville) that’s necessary to set up and run the aquatic organism exhibit every year, as well as the enrichment activities and fish prints coordinated by IDNR Staff in the vendor room: Rose Danaher, Holly Schulte, and Jasmyn Edwards.

Fun social events included the Friday Family Night, with pizza for everyone, the HFFA business lunch, and Saturday’s evening banquet featuring a fundraising auction and thought-provoking keynote by Lora Friest on sharing Iowa’s natural resources and quality experiences with others. Thanks to auctioneer David Aeschliman for his energetic support in raising funds for HFFA’s mission.

None of this would have been possible without the tireless work of the HFFA’s dedicated volunteers, including:

Ron Stahlberg                          Ryan Maas                         Doug Edel                            Andy Spencer

Ronda Long                             Steve Austin                        Sally Rigler                          Phil Schubbe

Liz Maas                                   Sylvia Lewis                         Lance Zook                         John Gillenwater

Kate Lodge                               Ray Thys                               Dave Jones                         Dan Mascal

Amanda Carey                         Matt Danielson                   Willa Campbell                   Brian Cohen

Cheryl Channon                      John Channon                     Rob Kundert                        Martin Acerbo

Keith Wunder                          Austin Hulsey

Along with support from Julie Ohde (web admin), Kirk Rosenow, Hannah Rigler, the fishing dept. team and management at Fin & Feather, Carol and Mike Jacobs, Bill Silverman, Don Otto, the crew at Hyatt Regency Coralville, Rowyn Maas, Jacqueline Bringgs Martin, and many others.

Our sincere appreciation goes out to the event’s generous donors and sponsors including:

Rod & Rivet                              Fin & Feather                       Jared Koenigsfeld                 Stuart & Marian Maas

Maxxon Outfitters                  Jeff Moore                              Lance Zook                            Mike Hulsey

Caleb Corona                           Ryan Maas                              Ron Stahlberg                       Matthew Supinski

Anonymous Angler (underwrote the speaker’s fee for Creekfinding author)

The many individual tyers and presenters who contributed their time and talents.

Mark your calendars for next year as the HFFA looks to continue offering newcomers and longtime members the best in-person fly fishing festival experience in Iowa and beyond, bringing the fly fishing community together once again to share knowledge, network, and support the organization’s conservation, education and recreation efforts in Iowa.

With appreciation,

Ryan Maas and Ron Stahlberg

2024 HFFA Show Co-Chairs

Find additional narrative and photos located in the April 2024 Flyline found in Newsletters under News in the Header above.

 

 

 

 

 

2024 HFFA Show Registration Table Was Busy
2024 HFFA Show Registration Table Was Busy

Who We Are

Hawkeye Fly Fishing Association (HFFA) holds events and provides resources for people interested in fly fishing, fly tying and fish habitat conservation. We are an Iowa-based affiliate of Fly Fishers International.

Support HFFA

Would you like to support the mission of Hawkeye Fly Fishing Association? Please consider becoming a member or making a donation.

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