As if we didn’t all know that 2017 was shaping up to be an amazing year (let’s hope my supreme optimism isn’t disproved), we got given a whole new event to meet, mingle, buy, tie and cast.

The London Fly Fishing Fair brings together the best of what the fly fishing world has to offer, all in the heart of London. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, or somewhere in between, this is the ideal place to get involved in the sport. With a variety of fishing and lifestyle brands on board and with interactive demonstrations taking place throughout the day, this is a great place not only for the dedicated fly fisher but also for the whole family to enjoy.”

Going by their mission statement, it’s fair to say they delivered. The indoor casting tank was as revelation, allowing clearer more personal demonstrations from the wealth of experts they had brought in. At about 100ft, it was a delight to see effortless double hauled lines float down on the “far bank” leaving the backing knot showing from the reel.

Fly casting demonstration at the first London Fly Fishing Fair

Veniard brought in fly tyers from across the globe to show off their prowess at a vise whilst giving great hints and tips for visitors to take home and improve their own tyings. There really was something for every one; Salmon flies on singles, doubles, light and heavy tubes, Catskill dry flies, European nymphs, big flies for toothy critters and my personal favorite, fully dressed classic Atlantic salmon flies tied in hand.

Classic fully dressed Atlantic salmon flies tied in hand by Kat Rollin

The polish that this event had was particularly evident the moment you stepped through the doors and saw the Film Tour screen. A huge display with (for a change) plenty of seats, screened some of the most cinematic and absorbing fly fishing films you will ever see. Exotic and remote lands, aerial footage of long casts over boiling torrents, and landscapes to die for. The films were interspersed with presentations and talks from exhibitors and celebrities of the angling world.

If you are a travelling game fisher, dipping your line in huge Russian rivers and the mouths of huge taimen then you would have been very happy at the show. Fishing lodges from across the globe were promoting their services with dramatic photography of their landscapes and quarry. If you are reading this blog however, I will, if you don’t mind, make the assumption that a more reasonable, ad-hoc, UK based fishing excursion is more your cup of tea.

Pete Tyjas from Devon School of Fly Fishing stalled out to entice visitors in the wild ways of the Westcountry with Walthamstow Fly Fishers representing angling in the capital. Westcountry angler and Fly for Coarse expert Dom Garnett was signing books alongside the excellent Fallon’s Angler magazine.

The usual array of fly tying goodies, rods, reels and even kayaks were for sale from the likes of Funky Fly Tying and Orvis and the sublime array of books from Coch y Bonddu.

Coch y Bonddu amazing selection of fly fishing books

The show was just large enough that I have definitely forgotten someone or something but not so huge that I didn’t get round to see everyone.

Well done to the team for putting it all on and I hope that it goes on for years to come.