Bringing Fly Fishing to the Capital – The London Fly Fishing Fair
The very first London Fly Fishing Fair is set to open in just a couple of weeks time on the 10th and 11th of March at the Business Design Centre in Islington, just a short hop away from King’s Cross and St Pancras mainline stations in the heart of the capital.
We caught up with the father and son organising team and mad-keen fly fishers, John and Fergus Kelley, and asked them a little more about what fly fishing meant to them and why London?
What does fly fishing mean to you?
“It’s very special to be able to say that our home is where fly fishing, as we know it, all started. Travel and adventure is a huge part of what makes fly fishing so alluring but it’s easy to forget how many amazing places there are to fly fish closer to home. One of the main reasons why fly fishing in the UK is so remarkable is because that’s where the art of the sport was born. Fly fishing also fishing brings about the possibility for travel with my family and closest friends, it teaches you about the importance of conservation (not to mention patience!) and, ultimately, provides some of the most memorable experiences that will stay with you forever.”
If you could fish anywhere, where would you go and why?
“I could never pick just once place but fly fishing has taken me some of the most incredible locations the world over. One memorable adventure, in particular, was on a recent trip to Bolivia where Fergus and I set our sights on chasing the exhilarating Golden Dorado. Their impressive power and aggression is almost unmatched in any other fish. Pursuing these beautiful creatures, particularly after rainfall, is something I will never forget – not to mention the effect on my arm muscles!”
What made you want to launch London’s first fly fishing fair? Why London?
“Everyone who meets us knows that Fergus and I are absolutely obsessed with all forms of fly fishing! Having travelled the world following our passion, we felt there was no real focus in London for this amazing sport. As an exhibition organiser, it was an easy step to start the London Fly Fishing Fair. What’s more, all roads lead to London so we hope to draw in visitors from all over the country.”
What can visitors expect to see and do at the fair/what are you most looking forward to at the fair?
“The major attractions will be the indoor casting pool, together with amazing displays from some of the world’s best fly fishers and personalities, including Charles Jardine, Hywel Morgan and Matt Hayes, as well as Marina Gibson and James Stokoe. There will be a fly tying area where guests can meet professional fly tyers from all over the world. Everyone can also enjoy talks, presentations and films on all disciplines of fly fishing. The screening of the Fly Fishing Film Tour F3T is a big highlight for us – visitors are invited to watch films of some of the first class fly fishing destinations from all over the globe!”
What do you hope The London Fly Fishing Fair will contribute to the fishing industry as a whole?
“We hope the fair will attract more people to the sport that haven’t been able to access it before. This is an easy and friendly environment where people can really get in touch with what the sport is all about and learn from the experts of the fly fishing world. We really want to inject some energy in to the sport to show it’s not just a traditional gentlemen’s pastime but something everyone can enjoy. The show will allow people to discover products and services that are not typically seen in all retailers. Finally, The London Fly Fishing Fair provides an opportunity for everyone who shares the love of the sport to come together in one central location.”
Tickets are £15 and valid for both days of the show.
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