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'Great To Be Back': Fly Fishing Expo Returns To St. Paul Following COVID Hiatus

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – For the first time in three years, fly fishing fanatics had a chance to celebrate their craft during the Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo at Hamline University.

"It's so great to be back," said show manager Carl Haensel. "People have been waiting for this, they've been clamoring for this. They want to get back and get together and talk fishing, talk conservation."

Fly Fishing Expo
(credit: CBS)

The show, which featured a casting area, sales, panels and demonstrations, brought in a crowd of hundreds Sunday afternoon.

"It's finding something that you love," said fly fisherman Mike Corrigan. "If there's fish with fins, I will target them."

Haensel says while the coronavirus pandemic has sidelined the event for the last two years, it hasn't done much to slow the growth of the sport.

"This is a sport where you don't have to have a big boat, you don't have to have to drive 100 miles, you don't necessarily have to go up north," he said.

Because of that, Haensel says he's seen more newcomers to the sport in the last two years than in time periods prior.

This weekend's expo marked the unofficial start to the season, he said.

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