In our most recent blog post we talked about how important the history of fly fishing is. This week we’re going out the other side, to discuss a new venture that’s aimed at dispelling the fusty image from which the sport suffers.
The London Fly Fishing Fair, to be held at the Business Design Centre on 10th and 11th March, is the brainchild of fly-fishing father-and-son team John and Fergus Kelley. Both fishing fanatics, their stated aim is to bring the sport to Londoners who might not have encountered fly fishing before. Unlike most fly fishing shows, attendees won’t need their wellies and Barbours, but can pop in on Friday night after work or stroll in on Saturday.
Fergus, who has fished all over the world, is keen to bring the sport into the city that he calls home. “London is my home and bringing [fly fishing] to the many Londoners who have not seen or been able to get involved in it really inspires me. For me, what is most important is to share this incredible sport with more people in the UK and show how readily available it is for everyone to enjoy.”
FishingTV has met Fergus on a number of occasions and has been stuck each time by the infectious enthusiasm that exudes from him. It’s all about showing people that fishing isn’t all old dudes in tweeds and flat caps,” he said to me recently. “There’s this idea, particularly in the UK, that fly fishing is a bit of an elitist sport, that it is expensive and stuck in the mud. That image is starting to be broken down, especially in the USA, so we’re keen to help a new generation into fly fishing by showcasing easy access fly fishing venues and equipment that won’t break the bank.”
The London Fly Fishing Fair will feature demonstrations and tutorials, and will look to show the variety that exists within the world of fly fishing. “Saltwater fly fishing is really starting to take off,” Fergus went on. “And things like pike and musky, even carp. And when you’ve seen something like a dorado take a fly, suddenly fishing doesn’t look so ‘boring.’ "
“That’s why it we’re so pleased to have Fishing TV coming along – you’re all about showing those adventurous, exciting locations and species, and can really appeal to a younger, digitally savvy consumer, as well as the more traditional side of things.”
Oh, yeah, forgot to mention that. In addition to visiting the tackle manufacturers, watching demonstrations, meeting celebrity anglers (like James Stokoe of the BBC show Earth’s Wildest Waters: The Big Fish, Fishing TV presenter Matt Hayes, and Orvis ambassador Marina Gibson) and fishing travel companies, visitors to the LFFF will be able to visit the Fishing TV Lodge.
We’ll be there, in our pop-up fishing lodge, offering refreshments, plus demonstrations of our various SmartTV, phone and tablet apps, as well as presenting a 60 minute showcase of some of our amazing fly fishing content. We also believe in helping to spread the sport of fly fishing far and wide, so we’re going to be showing the very best that we have. We may also give away a few freebies, so come and say “hi” on the 10th and 11th of March at the Business Design Centre in Islington.