Behind the scenes

The London Fly Fishing Fair

By Pete Tyjas on 25th January 2019


We caught up with Fergus Kelly from the London Fly Fishing Fair to find out what goes into a putting on a fishing show.

Tell us about the London Fly Fishing Fair? 

The London Fly Fishing Fair is a show that caters to all aspects of the sport for people who enjoy fly fishing. This is a show that gets the fishing community together to share with each other the hobby we love. Whether you are a beginner or expert there are many opportunities to learn more. We have many talks/seminars, casting demonstrations, equipment and trips to see and buy.

How did it come about? 

We wanted to get more people excited about the sport and  really want to encourage young people in the sport to enjoy and love it like we do!

You’re 3 years in now, have there been things that you’ve changed? 

The tried and tested format of the fly fishing remains the same however, there will be some shooting mixed into the show as well. 

What can visitors look forward to this year? 

 We have some new demonstrators this year which we are very looking forward to with more to be announced soon. We also have some really exciting new feature length films too.

Putting on a show of this size must be some undertaking. Do you start planning the next one as soon as the previous one has finished? 

After all this time planning the show I need to get on the water again. However, we have many shows throughout the year so it’s a constant effort on all of them.

What have been the highs of the show for you? 

After all the effort it is great to hear nice things from exhibitors and visitors. Some fishing is also nice as well!

The venue is really light and airy did you look at many locations before deciding on the Design Centre in Islington? 

We do many shows at this venue. It is ideal area as other venues in London do not offer the same accessibility and location. There is for me no better location in London.

Was it easy to attract exhibitors from around the world to attend? 

Its never easy to start with but I feel people have realized how special the show is and we get a huge spread of exhibitors from around the world. The platform of the London Fly Fishing Fair is such a great place for overseas exhibitors.

Do you need a holiday once the show is over?

Yes. I usually like to get fishing immediately after!

Do you have a background in fly fishing?

I was a guide for a number of years in Argentina fishing for golden dorado. I have also fished very extensively around the world for multiple different species. 

What sort of fishing is it that you prefer to do? 

I love fishing for golden dorado stripping streamers hard and fast for them.

Nymph or dry?

Dry. But I always prefer stripping streamers I like to see a more predatory aggressive take.

You have one day, where would it be? 

Los Esteros del Ibera, Argentina. It’s like a second home.

More about the London Fly Fishing Fair HERE