A thing is happening in our fly fishing community, a good thing.
Like a wave of energy flyfishers came from every corner of the country, a gathering of the likeminded, a brother and hopefully greater sisterhood, sharing, a sense of belonging, a family – a celebration of the spirit of fly fishing, a common thread embodying all that makes up all of our sport and our passion for it in whichever way it floats your boat. The catalyst, Gordon van der Spuy and his brainchild, the South African Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Expo. The silos that existed in the respective regions around the country are breaking down as we become a more cohesive and united community.
It may not be perfect yet, it is in its infancy, lessons are being learnt and will be improved. Personally, I returned home re-energised and sensing the spirit of generosity that permeated through the interactions of many enthusiastic, warm and friendly people. The exhibitors made a clear statement that we are ready to compete equally on the world stage, craftsmen, artists, fly tyers, outfitters, authors and more. But, and here is the rub, we need to find the path for greater exposure into the wider international fly fishing community, to market the rich diversity on offer in South Africa.
Maestros – Stephen Boshoff (Cape), Moreno Borriero (Italy), Jay Smit (KZN)
Craftsman Shaun Futter – Photo Stephen Boshoff
Dr, Hans van Zyl tying one of his beetles – Photo Jay Smit
Marc Petitjean, Gordon van der Spuy and Moreno Borriero the international flavour.
For my small part I exhibited my book Call of the Stream, art and a mock-up of the new book, South African Fishing Flies – An Anthology of Milestone Patterns. I met many, made new friends and connected with others I have known for years. I was interviewed twice, once by Gordon for local purposes and another by visiting Prof James Thull of Montana State University – https://www.lib.montana.edu/trout/oral-histories/ I reaffirmed my aversion for being on that side of the camera. There are times when I prefer to be in the kitchen at parties.
I conducted a workshop on small stream fly fishing and afterwards as always, realised that there were aspects I’d not covered, things like the importance of bubble lines as feeding lanes, methods for lifting the line off the surface to avoid splash and it sounding like the pop of a champagne cork, downstream fishing, reading rises and some aspects of presentation.. But, time was short, maybe next year I will get another chance.
Thank you, Gordon, and your team of helpers, you have started a movement, a bringing together of our fly fishing family. ……………. A good thing is happening
All images and copy in this post are copyright Peter Brigg Photography © 2017. All rights reserved