British Fly Fair International 2008 - 01/11/08
With our favoured Dee and Severn still high from all the recent rain, no chance of wetting a line so it was the annual pilgrimage to the British Fly Fair International 2008 held at Trentham Gardens near Stoke on Trent. We had visited the show on previous occasions and had a cracking day and we were both looking forward to this year, so it was shopping lists at the ready and wallets ready for action.
The doors opened early, a large number of anglers waiting to get inside on a fresh Autumnal morning. The show for me was a great opportunity to meet fellow anglers from C.A.D.A.C, also to watch the worlds best fly tyers in action, to see how its really done.
Its was a slow walk round a number of stalls Greys & Hardy, Snowbee, Lakeland and uk fly Dressing to name but a few, it was truely a fly fishers mecca. Plenty of time to pick up fly tying material later and anything else thats required. So it was into the fly tying marquee, twenty five plus of the worlds best ready to show us all their skills at the vice. First stop was Phil Holding a specialist in North Country Spider patterns my fishing buddy wanted to know the best spiders to use on the Dove, and the best materials to use for a Water Hen Bloa. Phil set about his demonstration whilst giving invaluble advise about spider patterns in general. A cracking demo & great information, it was Phils first BFFI and we were his first 'punters' and was pleased we had stopped by. I'm sure Phil had plenty more anglers marveling at his skills throughout the day.
As we continued along the tying benches I had spotted my favoured Czech Nymphs, Johan Kilnberg from Sweden was the expert in this field. The nymphs he tied were something special, not only that he took us through the complete history of the Czech Nymph technique from the early days to present, but also what techniques he uses taken from the Czechs themselves. Johan has spent allot of time with the author of 'Czech Nymph and other related fly fishing methods' Karel Krivanec, a book which I later in the day purchased. A masterclass in tying and once again a wealth of knowledge which money simply cant buy. Thanks Johan for taking out the time, a good hour or so flashed by but well worth it.
There was so much to see and having time to fit it all in was going to be a struggle, a quick brew and it was outside to watch the guys fromn APGAI showing off their casting skills. It was great to see a number of youngsters getting into the sport and trying the fly rod for the first time.
The afternoon wander resulted in a number of items being purchased, mainly for the tying bench. It was time to see the guys from UK Fly Dressing, also members of C.A.D.A.C. Paul Ainsworth whom I had met on a number of occassions on the Dee was willing to show me how to attempt a Polish Woven Nymph. It was my first crack at it, Paul was an expert at this and he produces some fantastic woven nymphs. Two or three attempts and I had a good idea of the technique to use, its not easy I definatly need more practice. Many thanks Paul for taking time to show me the art of tying the woven nymph.
As we continued around the show it was great to see all anglers getting involved in the sport we all adore. A few more pounds spent in the afternoon topped off a great day. Well worth a visit next year if you have never been.
A big thank you to all exhibitors & the three mentioned above who took time out to pass on the skills and knowledge. A brilliant day had by all even though a few quid lighter !!
PHOTOS OF THE DAY - BFFI 2008 link opposite
Posted by Phil