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