There was a crush of people when America's Outdoor Show opened yesterday afternoon, then it tailed off to the usual dribble of opening day.
The show runs through Sunday at the Stephens Center in Rosemont.
What was impressive is the tremendous rebound in exhibitors, I estimated it at three times last year's. There are very few snake-oil booths. The layout is good.
If you're looking for cut-rate tackle, this is probably not the show for you. Frankly, that kind of suits me.
Manufacturers, other than Plano, were largely missing. But there are nuggets of new stuff, that will probably end up being my column for Sunday.
I did not spend much time in Plano, but I will do that Saturday. And I didn't get through Dan Basore's historical fishing display. That will be Saturday, too.
There was more of a boat presence than last year.
The seminar schedule is outstanding, the likes of which we haven't seen around Chicago outdoors in many years. On Wednesday, seminar attendance was sparse. I recognized or knew every one of the attendees at the media Q&A we did late.
My overall take is that I am looking forward to Saturday and being there. And it's been a long time since I felt that way about a general-interest outdoor show around here.
I will be based at the Heartland Outdoors booth Saturday, but will be checking out some of the presentations. There are a couple seminars that truly intrigue me.