Fishing – Newell hooked on Scotland
The largest dedicated festival of fly fishing and fly tying made such an impact that it will be held again next year.
Organiser David Newell had invited over 40 trade exhibitors and 40 outstanding fly tyers from Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland and all over Europe.
And the crowds rolled in to Scotland’s only independent fly fishing and fly tying event at Stirling despite the Six Nations Rugby, The Old Firm game and Morhter’s Day.
Newell believes the Stirling Court Hotel on the University of Stirling Campus, which is within easy reach of Glasgow, Perth, and Edinburgh, and has over 1,800 free parking spaces, proved a real winner.
A major attraction was the work of the fly tyers exhibiting just about every style and fly tying discipline under the sun.
Many were from Scotland including Peter McCallum (pictured) and Alan Liddle but there were others including Peter Scheffler from Sweden, Bjarne Lauraen from Denmark, Simon Johanesson from Poland and Remigijus Jonas from Lithuania
Top casters included Hywel Morgan, Jen Kugler Hansen, Jessica Callihan, Michael McMenamin, Paul Procter and Phil Bailey.
Newell said: “It’s a first-year show and you never know what is going to happen, but the people of Scotland showed up in their masses. It was absolutely fantastic.
“Stirling could not have been easier to get to and the attendance on the first morning (the Saturday) secured the future for me.
“I’ve been organising events – charity events and fund-raisers – all over the world for 20 years and, to get that level of support on the first day, you are on to something.”
He revealed that when he was looking to move the festival from Penrith we thought about Stirling as is the most central of the population hubs.
Another reason is that it is 45 minutes from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Perth and on the motorway system.
He added: “Penrith was two hours from everywhere and when I mentioned to people that I was thinking about moving they suggested London as that is where the money is.
“However, Scotland is where the fish are. Scotland is where the people are.
“It will be on the same weekend and Scotland are playing Ireland again but we don’t have Mother’s Day. And it will be in the same place.”