Last weekend saw me pay my first visit to Ireland in some time, to long in fact. Its a country that I love and for some reason simply haven’t made the trip. Maybe its trips else where or simply put, not wanting to use Ryan air and their rip off charges. This trip however, found me not just having a excellent time but researching for a trip next year.
The seeds for the trip were set at the end of the BFFI last February when I was asked by Stevie to email him about tying at the Irish Fly Fair in Galway. I did so and got things sorted although I learnt over the weekend that maybe staying in nearby b&b would be a better idea. Not only because its half the price but also there is a kettle in the room. The Galway Bay Hotel was the venue and also where I spent a couple of nights. Really nice place and excellent service but expensive.
The show itself was fantastic with a lot interaction between the people coming in and the tyers themselves. The tyers also exchanged ideas for stuff they were working on. Discussions with between myself, other tyers and people just looking resulted in offers of help with a trip to lough Sheelin and Corrib next year and also a few suggestions for flies including adding a touch of pink to the spent gnat that I kept having to tie to keep the box restocked.
The show was well set out with lots of goodies to buy, you get better choice at shows and are able to check capes and other natural materials for quality which you cann’t do with mail order and some fly stores (see a previous post). The tyers had a high standard of flies on display, including the Sponge Bob fly I saw a couple of years ago. These displays are good place for ideas and a boost for tying new stuff.
The area I was tying was the conservatory (glorified green house) over looking Galway Bay, magic! The natural light was fantasic for tying but I doubt I’ll be tying tying in my greenhouse because it will be to cold and damp but the idea was planted.
Hopefully they’ll have me back.
I can now say, with great pleasure, that after a to long I will be returning to Ireland that I enjoyed for so long a few years ago. I am starting by going to and tying at the Irishflyfair. The dates are 12th and 13th November 2016. I will be sharing a tying station which means that I will able to have a look around the show and make contacts for tying and future fishing trips. I hope show some flies that didn’t appear at the BFFI and plan to have a better display (wine corks just don’t do things justice). Hopefully I will make enough contacts to enable me to return next year to fish Loughs Sheelin and Corrib.
The website is Irishflyfair.com
Last weekend saw me at the British Fly Fair International at the Shropshire show ground and I wasn’t just looking. A few months ago I was invited to sit on tyers row and it gave me something to look forward to but I was a bit nervous to start. Very quickly I felt at ease and found that it was a lot of fun and soon got into the swing of this. I learnt a lot having never tied at one of these events before, first thing is that I need to improve my display, corks with flies stuck in are out and I need to find something else. Possibly a nice piece of tree branch that is polished. The flies I had on show were a had alot of interest, I may have to get more done to add variety as well as few more for sale. I also picked up a few ideas from others, the hi float fibre in particular got a lot of interest, including Marc Petitjean who showed me a neat little needle fly when he invited me over to his vice.
Being a new comer to the tyers row scene I was made to feel welcome, particularly by the guys in the hotel whom I met Friday night gathered around their vices in the bar. It wasn’t very hard to find other tyers staying in the same location.
I also picked up some hooks from the partridge stand to try (I was sat opposite and was very tempted), including some really big hooks for the stripers and long shank saltwater hooks to hopefully replace the mustard which lot seem to be a pain to get in this country. The opportunity to get a decent blue dun cape also presented itself and a variant at that. Jon Strand , a new Norwegian friend also showed me some rabbit feet that are product of food production which have a very similar make up to snow site rabbit, so I bought some.
I did get a chance to have a look around what the other tyers were up to. I noticed that there was a lot of different styles this year with hand held tying, huge pike flies, tiny little midges and a few realistics. A large tarantula caught my eye, something to aspire to. A couple of friends turned up and it was nice to them. Keith Passant was there with Casting for Recovery which I support and most get a few flies to.
After the show, while I was waiting for the bus back to the hotel to get the car I spoke to someone about the Irish fly show and he suggested that if I was interested to email him, done!
Will I be back? To right (and if they have me back).