Running from March 17–20, the Sportsmen's Exposition brings all the trappings of the sportsman's life under one giant convention-center roof. Experts in a myriad of outdoor sports, such as fishing and big-game hunting, provide tips for upcoming trips into the wild, and interactive exhibits allow expo-goers to test fly rods, climb a rock wall, and pit arrow-launching skills against fellow bowmen with a 3-D pop-up archery contest. A fully stocked indoor fish pond, meanwhile, lets kids master catch-and-release skills to test out on older siblings when they get home. The event has hundreds of exhibitors selling top-of-the-line outdoor gear and touting sporting destinations from around the globe. The convention center has ample parking and is easily accessible by TRAX. Children age 15 and under are admitted free with a paying adult, and active military members are admitted free with military ID.
Zach Emig and David Cooper have fished for more than 20 years, oftentimes 200 times a year and all over the country. They draw upon knowledge accumulated during these endeavors while presiding over equipment and guests at Simply Fishing. When they founded the business, Zach and David also realized that they didn’t just want to furnish anglers with rods, custom flies tied by a resident fly winder, and signed headshots of Poseidon to lure in local marine life; they wanted to share their acute knowledge of local fishing hot spots. Thus, they lead half- and full-day excursions on six lakes and rivers, including Provo River. They are excited to teach their techniques and “committed to helping you not have to lie” about catching 300-pound catfish made of diamonds.
Birdman Academy takes its name from the pseudonym of its founder, Kevin Koonce. The Birdman estimates that he has trained thousands of hang-gliding lessons, and during that time he’s taught nearly 8,000 first-timers. Currently, he nests at Point of the Mountain, a spot known for what the Academy calls, "legendary conditions." This means consistently smooth winds, which are ideal for training new hang-gliders, paragliders, and baby pterodactyls recently thawed from blocks of prehistoric ice.
Owned and operated by its guides, Runoff River Adventures has attracted some of the best river navigators in the business. Each guide has personally traversed more than 200 rivers, whose collective currents criss-cross countries across the world. The aquatic experts wield this experience as they guide kayaking and rafting expeditions down courses that can pass through roiling rapids or stick to calmer areas, such as goldfish bowls. Instructors also helm paddling and rafting courses, which focus on oar work and the art of the lake roll and river roll. Once they have mastered the basics, adventurers can confidently sally forth for self-guided tours in inflatable or non-inflatable kayaks, rafts, and innertubes that function as both flotation devices and very large headbands.
After years of training and diving around the world, owners Colby, Darren, and Tony decided to spread their love of scuba by opening North American Divers. They instruct classes such as Discover Scuba Diving, where be-finned students try breathing underwater for the first time. During Advanced Open Water classes, more experienced divers earn certification across five dives at locales such as Sand Hollow and the California Channel Islands. They also rent out gear such as regulators, oxygen tanks, and wetsuits. Additionally, the trio’s team of in-house certified technicians fixes nearly all makes and models of scuba and snorkeling equipment with a simple twitch of their nose.
Though it began as a snowmobiling tour group in the early 1980s, the family owners of High Country Adventure quickly expanded their territory to the water, the trails, and the forest canopy. Conducting most of their trips on a 6-mile stretch of the lower Provo River and a 12-mile canyon-clad expanse of the Weber River, High Country's guides encourage locals and visitors alike to explore the area's rugged terrain and take in the natural treasures made possible by its ecosystem. The company frequently puts this love of the environment into practice, urging catch-and-release during fishing excursions and often lending their gear to others for trips down the river to collect drifting garbage.
The group's more than 20 guides lead rafting trips down the Provo River's class I and II rapids or the Weber River's class II and III rapids, pointing out local flora and fauna as well as unique rock formations along the way. Combination trips set out on a mountain train ride before rafting commences or add ziplining to a day of rafting, sending guests out of water and sweeping through overhead tree canopies over the Provo River. Prospective guides with High Country Adventures commit to internalizing the local rivers and terrain on their own before they're trusted with leading groups, ensuring each one knows how to handle excursion variables and what the river gods' favorite appeasing snack is on Tuesdays.