Our annual trip up to Roadford to stall out for the South West Fly fair has been and gone and yet again it was a cracker. This was the fifth year of the show and it was stronger than ever. Thanks, must surely go, to the hard work of the show team, South West Lakes Trust, Westcountry Rivers Trust and Roadford Fly Dressers Guild who make it happen each year and especially Turrall, the Fair’s sponsor.
Patron of the show, Charles Jardine kicked off proceedings in the morning and continued with dramatic casting demos and fly tying talks throughout the day, watched by an extremely enthusiastic audience. The cream of the Westcountry game angling community were also there in force demonstrating casting and fly tying, selling their wares and generally catching up before the season opens.
Despite the opportunity for visitors to nab some great deals from the likes of Snowbee, Turrall and Chevron Hackles it wasn’t all about relieving them of their hard earned cash. The free fly casting clinics proved a huge success with experienced anglers warming up for the new season and novices learning the essentials of casting. Milemead Fisheries and Torre Trout Farms Ltd were showing off some of the stock fish that can be caught on the SWLT stillwaters. An incredible selection of talented fly tyers were on hand to offer advice or just amaze with their tying.
On our stand, we had a selection of invasive species on display, education anglers on what to look for, the harm they cause and pushing the Check, Clean, Dry, campaign to make sure we don’t increase the spread when moving from river to river. A number of anglers showed great interest in our River Buffs project; a citizen science initiative, we supply basic water quality monitoring equipment to anglers and anyone who regularly visits a river. From this data we are able to identify possible pollution incidents and investigate where necessary. Water quality is essential to the health of the entire ecosystem from the fauna of flies and fish to flora in and out of the water course. To demonstrate, we were also joined by Tony Bostock from the Severn Rivers Trust with a great tray of river flies and bullheads showing just what lies beneath a beautiful river like the nearby Thrushel.
Our eyes are now fixed on the start of seasons around the Westcountry with many rivers open for Salmon, with just a few more weeks till the brown trouting can begin.
Tight lines for 2017