The last Fly Fair? ...we hope not! - Global FlyFisher

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The last Fly Fair? ...we hope not!


<<< Go to part 2   ^^^ Go to start

The show
  
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The crowd - The tyer\'s tent was well visited during the Fly Fair 2000. Interested spectators could easily spend hours watching a large number of different World class tyers.
The crowd
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Darwin Atkin and Kim Guilinger - Darwin Atkin (left) keeping a close eye on Kim Guilinger - AKA Damselfly.
Darwin Atkin and Kim Guilinger
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Linda Foote - Linda Foote spent the Fly Fair tying tiny flies - sizes in the upper 20\'s and 30\'s.
Linda Foote
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Pol Demeyer - Belgian Pol Demeyer prefers fishing the warm, tropic waters and ties flies to suit the task - beautiful and durable Crazy Charlies.
Pol Demeyer
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Gaither Sherril - AKA Bucth - Gaither Sherril - by most known as Butch - for once in a serious mood.
Gaither Sherril - AKA Bucth
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Charlie Chute - The size alone is enough to impress you when you look at Charlie Chute\'s full dressed salmon flies.
Charlie Chute
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Preben Torp Jacobsen and Tommy Ohlinson - Danish Preben Torp Jacobsen in conversation with another Dane, Tommy Ohlinson.
Preben Torp Jacobsen and Tommy Ohlinson
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Michael Hayes, Jeff \
Michael Hayes, Jeff "Bear" Andrews and Hans Weilenmann
 
Saturday came and the show could commence. We arrived early to set up, and as usual the first hour or two could be used to say hello to old and new friends. The crowd began flowing in and Irish Peter O'Rielly opened the show. He put in words a lot of the feelings we have for the show and the Dutch hosts and fly tyers. A large choir of pirates continued the festive with some amazing and jolly chants, and the crowd was now tightly packed in both the large tents that house the whole arrangement.
The tyers were cranking away - some followed the motto of the Fair "Back to the (bloody) basics", while others did what they always do. Tying on the show myself I had precious little time to get up and look around, but during a couple of breaks I did manage to take a round or two and see some of the exquisite tying on display. I will mention no one in particular but just let you have the pictures on these pages to engulf in. The list of participants and guests was long and impressive and as Dutch fly tyer Hans Weilenmann put it during the banquet the evening before the show: "If a 747 were to crash on this hotel right now, it would have a major impact on the fly fishing industry."

The Fly Fair auction
The tents were also shelter for the Fly Fair Auction, which took place Saturday evening after the show and after people took dinner different places in Zwolle or Hattem.
The auction is a tradition almost as long as the show itself. It basically aims to raise money and entertain and does both equally well. During the auction a lot of items are sold - both some that are very valuable and some, which could merely pass as pranks. Fly tying materials, framed flies, flies cast in clear plastic, emblems and a ton of old and odd stuff such as special Fly Fair hair tonic (sic!) was auctioned off.
Ad Swier was the auctioneer in the absence of Willem Hofman, who has taken this responsibility all the other years. Unfortunately Willem was taken ill, and could not attend. Ad Swier did a fine job, and the auction was as always a unique show and a hilarious experience.

Some of the sights
In spite of the tying obligations I managed to get a good view of some of the happenings in the tents. Watched more than a few tyers do their thing, and I was humbled and awed by most of them. There are so many good tyers out there. I will not name them individually, because I didn't get to see everybody and I would never be able to be fair to those that I did see.
But I was confirmed once again in that being at a show such as this is a learning experience. Just watching and listening during these two days will teach you a dozen new and different ways of doing things. You will also see things you new done with lighter hands and more steadiness than you imagined possible. I divulged in salmon flies, dries, nymphs, pike flies, sea trout flies, flies for bonefish and tarpon and flies for other existing - and a few hardly-existing - species.
An interesting sight was the activities in the center of the tyers tent, where newcomers were taught by experienced Dutch tyers. Next to them a gentleman, whose name I did not register, was demonstrating the process of producing furled leaders on a board much like the one I use. I did not look for long, but noticed that he used an old fashioned hand driven drill - an energy consuming but probably healthy method.
I also took a stroll along the booths of the commercial vendors and was confirmed here too. A dangerous path to troth. There is soooo much gear that I just need to have. Paul Morgan's book shop Coch-y-bonddu is one of my bad habits, and I could not resist his booth this time either, but just had to bring back a couple of books.

The flies
As always on these occasions there is a generous exchange of flies between the tyers - on top of all the flies that are given away to the spectators during the show. Anybody showing enough interest will usually earn a fly from the tyer. Some of the tyers, who tie expensive or very complex flies do
  
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Mayfly - Smallest fly I brought home: Olav Koster\\\'s mayfly is probably a 26 or smaller (Olav told me it\\\'s 32!). It sports the most fantastic extended, braided body.
Mayfly
 
of course not do this. A few of the pros sell flies, but most of the tyers are happy amateurs and would never charge money for a fly. On many occasions during a tying session kids wearing caps filled with flies will step up to the table and look at you with big, wet Bambian eyes. The signal is obvious and a fly has to change owner. Marvin Nolte - who ties full dressed salmon flies professionally - taught me a neat little trick. In stead of giving away your most precious creations to a fate unknown, bring a box of simple, colorful flies and let the kids choose a fly themselves.
As usual I brought home a bunch of flies myself - Bambian eyes strike again. On this page you see a very small selection of them.

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