Fly-tying creates a buzz


ANGLING NOTES:“WHAT PLEASED me most about the Irish Fly Fair was the location of the main block of fly-tyers in the sunroom conservatory,” said Hugh Bonner of Mara Media, following the successful two-day event in Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill, last weekend.

“The lighting and working conditions were fantastic and the level of interest and quality of fly-tying was top drawer. The room was jammed with people all the time. On that front alone the show really delivered,” he said.

The show featured over 40 top fly-tyers from Ireland and across Europe who gave of their time (free) to demonstrate their skills and to pass on tips and ideas to prospective tyers.

I met Declan Tuffy, a world champion who won the 2010 Mustad Scandinavian Open in Norway in the fully dressed salmon category. This competition is considered to be the biggest in the world.

Originally from Ballina and now living in Galway, Tuffy is an instrument technician with Boston Scientific in Galway.

“Unlike most, I started tying salmon flies to fish and then as I improved to fund my fishing tackle and materials,” he said.

I was bowled over by his Kalax fly tester. The float pipe shows how the fly swims and its true colours in water. It can also be viewed from the top, side or even underneath. “Almost all salmon flies are made up from a combination of yellow, black and orange colours,” he said.

Outside, on the lawn, casting demonstrations attracted a large audience with some of the world’s best casters including Paddy McDonnell, Glenda Powell, Charles Jardine, Steve Munn and Hywel Morgan. Free casting tuition was provided to juniors by Betty Hayes.

The French firm Scatri proved a big hit with its two fishing simulators; one set up for trout and carp, the other for marlin and swordfish. Once programmed, it is possible to change the inertia of a boat, the state of water and vivacity of the fish.

Talks and presentations by eminent speakers took place throughout the weekend and over 40 exhibitors rounded off a most enjoyable inaugural fly fair.

“Numbers attending were exactly what I expected for the first show, around 2,500 over the two days,” Bonner said. He also confirmed the Angling Expo will go ahead again in February 2011 with the added attraction of 40 fly-tyers upstairs in the gallery.

The show was presented by Mara Media in conjunction with Irish Angler, Inland Fisheries Ireland and Anglers Welcome.

*In accordance with the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme Regulations 2010, completed logbooks and unused gill tags should have been returned by 19th October, 2010.

Anglers must obtain a certificate or other proof of postage and should retain such proof for 12 months. Failure to return a logbook may result in a fine or prosecution. For further information, log on to

*The Slaney River Trust is holding a seminar in the Millrace Hotel, Bunclody, Co Wexford on Saturday November 27th. Contact or 01-668 7014 if you want to attend.