BFFI (British Fly Fair International) 2018 Roundup


BFFI 2018

Whether you’re a business within the fly fishing and fly tying industry or you’re passionate about fly fishing in your spare time, you’ve most likely already heard about the BFFI fly fair. Well, we’ve just got back from this year’s British fly fair and we had such a great time at the event. Hosting the largest selection of fly tying materials at any UK show, the BFFI exhibition event had over 80 individual exhibitors. There was quality tackle, fishing holidays and a whole range of fly fishing organisations. Barbless Flies had a stall there too, did you have chance to catch us and have a chat about our barbless fishing flies?

The UK's Premier Fly Fishing Show

The BFFI fly show really is a great opportunity to talk to like-minded people, see what is in store for the year ahead for fly fishing and a chance to see and experience new and innovative products when it comes to fly fishing gear. It really was a great start to the new fly fishing season! Since we enjoyed this year’s BFFI show so much, we wanted to reach out to all the other exhibitors and see what they took away from the event as well.

Check out our roundup below and discover some of the leading businesses within the fly fishing and fly tying industry and what their thoughts were of this year’s BFFI (British Fly Fair International) event. We’d like to say a huge thank you to all of the BFFI exhibitors below that took the time to take part. (and to Steve and his team for their hard work in putting it all together). Enjoy reading this selection of answers, and please feel free to share it with your friends if you find it useful!

Were you at BFFI 2018 and not on the below list? Please feel free to contact us and let us know what your thoughts were of the event.

Image credits: Richard, Barbless Flies

Shaun Leonard - Wild Trout Trust

Did anything really stand out for you at this year's Fair?
"The major benefit to Wild Trout Trust of BFFI is that it's a great place to meet and chat to people, both existing members and those yet to join us. Many people involved in wild trout fishery management, certainly in England, come to the show. As always, BFFI is very well organised and our attendance runs smoothly, so many congrats to Steve and all other organisers. I only attended on the Saturday when the morning was very busy but the afternoon quiet. I gather from colleagues that Sunday was pretty good with again the same focus - lots of the right people there."
What's your focus for this year in fly fishing?
"Our focus is conservation and there's lots and lots we'll be doing around that."
Stuart Wardle - Durham Fly Fishing

Did you learn anything new?
"Always something new to learn, from new products and methods to fly tying tips and tricks. My favourite was a great tip from Robert Smith when tying in North Country Spider hackles."
Was there any new equipment or services you're particularly excited about?
"This was the second year introducing the Rexfly Casting System to BFFI as the UK distributor. Last year, Rex Huang (the inventor) attended BFFI to support DFF Co. and to demo’ the system. So this year it was pleasing to get a lot of interest and in particular being able to support the England Disabled Fly Fishing Team. I got my hands on some new tapered leaders from Barbless Flies to try and the Virtual Nymph UV Torch is absolutely brilliant, having given it a try at the Show."
Which was your favourite demonstration/talk?
"I made a special point to pop along and see Tom Travis’s talk “The Truth about Trout”…absolutely brilliant Tom who is a great Guide from the USA. I was lucky to have a beer and a chat with him on the Saturday evening which was great."
Did anything really stand out for you at this year's Fair?
"Lots of lovely people and interested visitors looking for Guided Fishing Days, Tuition and Trips. This year seemed to have an even better atmosphere than usual and as always a very well organised Show….well done Bridgette, Steve, Neil and the Team."
What's your focus for this year in fly fishing?
"Even more fishing despite a very busy diary. Fingers crossed I can still manage a trip to Colorado/Montana in the fall."
Liam Cooper - Old Youth

Did you learn anything new?
"We are avid fly fishers and fly tyers so didn't expect to learn a lot but we've ended up learning a hell of alot. Speaking to the 30+ tyers from all over the world was amazing. Making some new international friends and getting invited to go fishing in Iceland is always a bonus. There was also plenty to learn in terms of casting."
Which was your favourite demonstration/talk?
"Marvin Nolte's talk on using UV cure resins. I walked past 5 minutes into the talk and was captivated. The use of these new materials is amazing. The more forward thinking fly fishing can be, the better. We've come away with a bundle of UV Resin and lights along with a haul of other exciting materials."
Did anything really stand out for you at this year's Fair?
"The shear variety of stands, tyers, talks, casting displays and fishing clubs. The number of really passionate fly fishers under one roof. Just speaking to other strictly fly fishers of all ages from different places all over the world. All catching different fish using the same method. It's amazing. Nothing like any show we've visited before. The show really feels youthful as well there were a number of innovative young companies there which was great to see."
What's your focus for this year in fly fishing?
"We're looking to continue to grow our wooden sunglasses company keeping the ethos of reducing plastic waste to protect our oceans and waterways around the world. As I'm sure most of us are aware it's an increasing global concern and we can help reduce plastic production whilst offering all the protection of regular polarised fly fishing sunglasses. The high quality polarised lenses, natural feel and naturally buoyancy have really gone down well with the fly fishing community so we hope to continue to grow the wearer of Old Youth around the world."
Phil Varney - Veniard

Did you learn anything new?
"Yes, lots of new Fly tying tips and ideas."
Was there any new equipment or services you're particularly excited about?
"The Marc Petitjean Book and Travel case."
Which was your favourite demonstration/talk?
"Marc Petitjean."
Did anything really stand out for you at this year's Fair?
"The Fly Tying was superb."
What's your focus for this year in fly fishing?
"Increasing participation, particularly in fly tying."
Dominic Garnett - DG Fishing

Did you learn anything new?
"Yes, I tied my first ever articulated pike fly, with a little help from Paul Monaghan on tyers' row. I make a lot of my own predator flies, but never tried this before. I'm already looking forward to giving it a swim."
Was there any new equipment or services you're particularly excited about?
"It was good to see Cortland with a dedicated presence at the show- looking forward to trying one or two of their new fly lines. I always love looking at David Miller's art too."
Which was your favourite demonstration/talk?
"Basically the entire tyers' row! Sadly I had my own stand and so could only escape for short spells, so I only got the chance to watch a handful of them in action. The pike flies get better every year. I'm also going to copy some of Paul Lawrence's patterns, including a flying ant that will be perfect for my local roach and rudd later in the year."
Did anything really stand out for you at this year's Fair?
"Slowly but surely we are getting more young anglers and female fly fishers on board; it was noticeable at the show and excellent to see. At the first BFFI I attended, some years ago, I remember overhearing two chaps in the queue for the gents lamenting that "this is turning into a bloody Saga day out!" I think that's changed and I feel more hopeful about the future. The sport feels a bit less exclusive too, with the broadening of target species and venues, which must also help."
What's your focus for this year in fly fishing?
"I want to keep trying to get younger anglers interested, and encourage more of the coarse brigade to embrace the art of fly fishing. Working a bit less and fishing a bit more would be great too! "
Peter Waterhouse - Scottie Products

Was there any new equipment or services you're particularly excited about?
"I am biased - but I received a great deal of positive feedback for the Scottie MKll and was pleased to see tyers using them in Hall 3."
Did anything really stand out for you at this year's Fair?
"I was amazed at just how vibrant the fly fishing fraternity was. We keep hearing that fly fishing is in decline, but the numbers of people attending this year was amazing and the range of products really underpinned how important the BFFI is. As a manufacturer I have to be very discerning how I spend my promotional budget and my personal effort - attending shows is a lot of hard work, and I am not good at it, but this is a must-attend event."

"The international dimension stood out as well this year both from the Scandinavian demonstrators in the third hall to Marc Petitjean demonstrating his skill and products. This international dimension meant you could see Hans van Klinken on the Chevron Hackles tying clinic, I watched him with a young tyer and I am sure he will have instilled in that young person an enthusiasm for tying all his life."
What's your focus for this year in fly fishing?
"I guess it is just to do more. My “home” fisheries are the Anglian Waters reservoirs - I am just 10 minutes from Grafham, this is both a bonus and a bane!
1 - I often say "I will nip down this evening” and fail to get out, but never mind there is always tomorrow. So I will try not to put off fishing until tomorrow.
2 - I have a ticket on the Guash which is a little further away - but I still skimp on my time. I will not just do those little jobs before I go fishing to the river!
3 - Because I have a season ticket I often don’t go to other fisheries enough."
Philip Bailey - FFM UK

Did you learn anything new?
"The BFFI always offers an opportunity to catch up on the latest equipment and fly tying tools."
Was there any new equipment or services you're particularly excited about?
"Not really, it seems to be the same old stuff with slight variation. Take a vest for example - all the same with different colours and brands."
Which was your favourite demonstration/talk?
"Italian casting."
What's your focus for this year in fly fishing?
"Dry fly fishing on Yorkshire spate rivers."
Jack Perks - Jack Perks Photography

Was there any new equipment or services you're particularly excited about?
"I'd quite like to have a go at tenkara fishing."
Did anything really stand out for you at this year's Fair?
"It's great to see the show expanding and seeing so many friends and new faces. The riverfly partnership stand is always a favourite with the inverts on show."
What's your focus for this year in fly fishing?
"I don't get much of a chance to get out and fish but would like to get my first pike on a fly and despite living in Nottingham, a bass on the fly would be great."
Dave Beddows - FlyTek

Did you learn anything new?
"I learned that famous Swiss Fly Tying legends apparently have an even dryer sense of humour than I do!"
Was there any new equipment or services you're particularly excited about?
"I’m an engineer by trade so watching someone like Simon Everett properly sharpen people scissors was brilliant."
Which was your favourite demonstration/talk?
"Sadly I saw none as I was too busy but as Marc Petitjean was on our stand all weekend it was him, he never fails to knock me sideways with how easy he makes difficult thing look!"
Did anything really stand out for you at this year's Fair?
"Right, this was a little controversial at the time but in all seriousness the number of young people Aimee got round her tying stand on Saturday was amazing and really encouraging for the future."
What's your focus for this year in fly fishing?
"Getting new people out fishing and tying flies really. I don’t actually care what people fish I just want people to fish – if they move on to fly tying that’s great but as my son proved to me last year you can have a great time fishing even if it’s just with your hands in a little pond, it doesn’t matter if you are 7 or 50 it’s just a great thing to do on a sunny day."
Richard Fieldhouse - Barbless Flies

Did you learn anything new?
"I loved the talk on Italian Casting, it is something I will try for myself. Also, there are lots of innovation in the fly tying arena. We will be incorporating lots of these into the ranges of flies we produce this coming year."
Was there any new equipment or services you're particularly excited about?
"I didn’t really get the chance to look around the show completely, being busy on our stand. But the one thing which did catch my eye was the art by David Miller, I will definitely be investing in a piece!"
Which was your favourite demonstration/talk?
"Italian Casting."
Did anything really stand out for you at this year's Fair?
"What really stood out for me was the international feeling to the fair. We have been exhibiting for the last few years, but the 2018 BFFI really did give you a feeling that Fly Fishing is a worldwide industry and there are lots of destinations just waiting to be explored."
What's your focus for this year in fly fishing?
"We cannot wait for the trout season to start in March. We are gearing up with lots of new flies for people to try (from all around the world). We are especially looking forward to some of our new ceramic streamers arriving."

1 comment


  • Old Youth

    Thanks for featuring us guys. We’ve had another great year at the BFFI and we’re
    already looking forward to next year.


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