Well, it was that time of year again. Another drive out of Devon and back to my home town of Newcastle to the British fly fair. For anyone who is interested in fly fishing and particular fly tying this is the show to go and visit. I always like it because there's also the added bonus of visiting family and friends whilst I am in the area. After a laborious journey up the M5 and onto the M6, Friday afternoon travel is always the same. I don't know why I do it, but I always seem to get caught up in it. Perhaps leaving too late never helps. Six hours later, I arrived in Newcastle, fresh, relaxed and ready for it! Or was it tired, stressed and ready for a kip! It was good of my brother to put me up at short notice, and arranged for a few of the guys to crash over instead of driving back home.
The following morning after to speaking to a few of the AAPGAI lads who were making their way down from Cumbria, I arrived at Trentham and first things first, hunted down the burger van for a fresh brew of overpriced coffee and a soggy bacon bap. Twelve pound lighter (not in weight), it wasn't long before I met up with Tony, Lee and Jim, and a few rods were set up. Even though it is primarily a fly tying show, AAPGAI always has a good presence and it was good to meet up with some old and new faces. Not only is it good to catch up with the guys and have a laugh, but with every meet and casting session, there is always a progression in ideas and new tackle to try. One new product that was impressing a lot of people was the new 'I' line. A short-headed line, that seemed ideal for all casting and fishing purposes. If you havn't yet come across one, it's well worth a try.
Like usual, the AAPGAI demo's were first class. They varied from roll casting with a twist, to specialist river techniques. It was nice to see a few familiar faces in the crowd, both from Stoke and also a few that I have got to know from here in Devon and Cornwall.
Gary Coxon and Lee Cummings- AAPGAI demo.
Back inside, some of the world's leading fly tyers were pulling off their magic. Paul Little was once again on form, and was tying some of the nicest flies that you will ever come across. You could hear the same old sentence from around the hall, "well mine are fishing flies, that I tie". Usually meaning, mmmm, wish mine were that neat! It was good to see Mr T at the show. Not Mr T from the A-Team, but Toby from Funky Products. A good friend from down in Somerset, and who's fly tying materials I have been using with good results for my pike fly fishing and saltwater fly fishing for the past few years. Damn, does this mean the secret is now out! He has a top range of materials for all types of flies and fishing.
Toby Merigan, showing his new 'Funky-Products' range.
Over the two days, the show was a success. Everyone seemed to be enjoying all of the demo's and tying displays. There were plenty of full bags knocking around at the show, so the stands inside must have been doing well. I came back home laden with new materials, and ideas. So I can see a few more 'Chewed Up' pike flies coming out of the vice. Talking of pike, it has been a week since last having a crack at a few, so I think it's time to get out and get a bend in the rod! For those who are interested, 'Adventure fly fishing UK', will be running a few Pike on the Fly taster days, for those looking to get into the sport or wanting to progress. Please get in touch regarding dates and bookings.
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