The 3-day sold out event returned for its second year, from 3rd – 5th September in Chichester Harbour and Hayling Island. With some incredible fish landed, including big personal-best bass and sought-after first-time mullet on the fly, anglers enjoyed stunning weather and buzzing socials at the Orvis Saltwater Fly Fishing Festival.
Huge congratulations to Steve Richards for not only winning the Longest Bass (56cm), but also the Most Number Of Species and Longest Other Species awards; Neville Broad for taking runner-up in Most Number Of Species and Longest Other Species categories; David Nemeth for taking second place in the Longest Bass (54cm); Mike Young for his second place Longest Mullet with a 46cm Thick Lip; and Nick Toone and Thomas Williams joint-winning the Mullet category with a Golden Grey and Thick Lip respectively, both 48cm long.
The festival welcomed all ages and abilities and although there was a competition element, the main aim was to bring together likeminded anglers to forge new friendships, develop new skills and learn more Saltwater Fly Fishing, which is becoming increasingly popular on the UK coastlines due to its accessibility.
Based from The Langstone Quays Hotel on Hayling Island, anglers took part in bass and mullet workshops from the experts, including Charles Jardine, Colin Macleod, Vito Rubino, Paul Jennings, Michael Rescorle and Philip Spratt, as well as fly tying charity raffles which raised £530 shared equally between charities, The MAN Group and The Mayfly Project. The event was proudly sponsored by BUFF, YETI, Highland Overland and Fulling Mill.
Adrian Woolford, Managing Director at Orvis UK, said: “The Orvis Saltwater Fly Fishing Festival offered the perfect opportunity for anglers to share their passion for fly fishing and the outdoors. It was was exhilarating to see the numbers of anglers attending and the number of fish caught throughout the weekend, however for Orvis, the festival’s main aim was to bring people together as a community to break the bonds of loneliness and isolation that we have all endured over the last 18 months, with time spent in the outdoors with new friends, doing what we all love.”
Steve Richards, 2021 Longest Bass Winner, “Having attended last year’s event I was excited to be back for a second year. The festival achieved its main aim of a magical spirit amongst anglers and the opportunity for newcomers to learn more about this discipline of fly fishing, which is so accessible to everyone, giving everyone the chance to have a go. Catching these prize-winning fish was an absolute thrill, however meeting up with new and old friends was what really made it for me.”