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A recap of this year’s Orvis Mayfly Festival

This year’s Orvis Mayfly Festival focused on conservation and observing our river’s fly life.

For the first time, we were pleased to partner with Buglife to deliver the #OrvisHatchWatch programme. Buglife is the only organisation in Europe dedicated to the conservation of all invertebrates. So, everything from millipedes to mayflies, spiders to snails. Buglife covers all those species and in the UK, there are somewhere in the region of about 40,000 species of invertebrates.

Mayfly sat on a fishing reel  A river with fields in the background at sunset A mayfly resting on a wooden beam

We invited customers to watch the mayfly hatch closely by visiting your local rivers, watching the hatch, and capturing the moment the mayflies emerge. Using the #OrvisHatchWatch and submitting the entries on our Orvis HatchWatch page, has given us a fantastic idea of when and where the hatch took place across the country. The data was plotted onto the hatch map of the UK, shown below, and will continue to be updated as the season moves on.

The Mayfly Festival began on 29th April. We were seeing colder spells of weather and it wasn’t for a couple of weeks before the Mayfly began to emerge. Warmer and sunnier scenes have seen our sightings double in the last week, and we expect to see more as the weeks roll on.

Orvis HatchWatch Map plotting mayfly hatches across the UK and Ireland

By submitting the data, you’ve helped us with the bigger picture. Once complete, the data will be sent off to the Buglife team to support its upcoming 10-year review of river fly and mayfly numbers. Thank you to everyone who has gotten involved.

Please keep sending us your sightings and help us provide as much data to Buglife as possible. All we need to know is what you saw, when and where!

Mayflies swarming in the air above a river
Michael Rescorle's Mayfly hatch sighting at the River Itchen, May 24th 2023

In the Stockbridge store, we ran regular kick sample Facebook Lives, taking samples from the carrier stream outside the store. Using our Store Manager Olly Newberry’s extensive knowledge, we analysed the findings and began to predict the hatch.

You can also watch a recap of mayfly fishing tactics with Olly and Steve as they talk about their Top Mayfly Patterns.

Whilst the Stockbridge Store was buzzing with anglers enjoying the trout season and the beginning of the Mayfly madness, we invited The Mayfly Project UK team down to introduce everyone to their cause and raise important funds for the charity.

Joined by the project mentors, Susan Skrupa – Director of The Mayfly Project UK – gave talks about the charities aims and also ran an auction with superb prizes, provided by many of the mentors and friends of Orvis. Through the auction, a donation of our in-store fly sales for the day and selling TMPUK merchandise, we are absolutely delighted to have helped raise over £2000 for The Mayfly Project UK.


Susan also shared more about the charity in her guest post on Orvis Explore - On the Wing... with The Mayfly Project UK.

Thank you so much to everyone who got involved with this year’s festival – whether that was sharing pictures, watching online or visiting us in store, it is our loyal customers who help us make these events a success.

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