Annual Fly Fair Attracts Over 350 People to Roadford



Fly fishermen flocked from all over the region to attend the annual South West Fly Fair, held at Roadford Lake on Saturday 28 February, hosted by South West Lakes Trust. This event, now in its third year, has become a regular fixture in the West Country’s angling calendar as anglers prepare for the start of a new fishing season. Each year the event has built on the success of the previous Fly Fair and this year was no exception.

The show was opened at 10.00am by one of the country’s most respected fly-fishing gurus, and Patron of the show, Charles Jardine and went on to feature fly-tying demonstrations from both local and nationally renowned experts, with a chance to ‘have a go’, as well the opportunity to pick up useful tips and valuable advice.

Other activities throughout the day included casting demonstrations with Charles giving an entertaining and impressive display with the trout rod and Gary Champion making casting with the double-handed salmon rod look effortless. Fly casting lessons and clinics also took place for both newcomers to the sport and experienced anglers feeling a little rusty after the closed season as well as casting competitions and the opportunity to try float-tubing with the British Float Tube Association or try ‘sit-on’ kayak fishing courtesy of A.S.Watersports.

The chef from the local angling hotel, the Arundell Arms, gave a demonstration on ways to prepare and fillet your trout once you have caught it, before demonstrating some delicious recipes, with samples to taste.

Other attractions included renowned local artist, writer and angler, Robin Armstrong demonstrating his drawing skills, a variety of angling conservation organisations including The Westcountry Rivers Trust, The Wild Trout Trust, and The Salmon and Trout Association and two local custom rod makers, Alan Riddell and Luke Bannister who has built up an international following for his beautiful hand-crafted split cane rods.

One of South West Lakes Trust’s trout suppliers, Milemead Fisheries, was on hand to talk to anglers and show a sample of the fish they could expect to catch in 2015. Those looking for new fishing opportunities in 2015 were able to speak to representatives from various fishing clubs throughout the region and ‘Get Hooked’ magazine was also on hand to advise.

There were also a large selection of angling trade stands including an impressive display of flies and fly tying materials from the show’s main sponsor, Turrall Flies, with the opportunity to handle, try and buy this year’s latest equipment, as well as an astounding selection of fur, feathers and specialist fly-tying equipment from suppliers based all over the country.

With over 350 visitors to the event it proved to be as popular as ever and the organisers are already looking at a bigger and better show in 2016.

The 2015 trout fishing season on the South West Lakes Trust inland waters starts on 14 March for Rainbow Waters and on 15 March for Brown Trout Fisheries. Full details and this year’s prices are available on the Trust’s website –