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Orvis Saltwater Fly Fishing Festival 2024 - Competition Rules

Participation of any pastime near water requires care and attention to maintain safety. We ask that you make careful preparations for the event, consider the correct footwear and clothing, use correct sun protection, wear protective glasses (sunglasses are appropriate) and a hat.

Be aware of your surroundings and take note of the times and states of the tide. Hayling and Church Norton have some rip tides. Please read the Guidance Notes and Suggested Marks carefully before venturing down to the shoreline.

Please handle fish carefully, with respect, and, catch and release (C&R). A knotless mesh net should be used wherever practical.  Within this challenge, we are also trying to focus more on the quality of fish caught and not the quantity of a single species.


  • As far west as where Marine Parade meets Stubbington Lane (w3w ///conspired.nozzles.circles) and no further east than the pier in Bognor Regis (w3w ///trunk.lives.mull).
  • Anyone with a catch submitted to the competition and found to have caught outside of the designated area will be disqualified.


  • Prizes are based on the longest fish. (Note: Shore-caught species only)
  • In the event of a tie on the first place and/or runner-up for species specific categories, scoring will revert to total length of all fish registered by the angler. We therefore advise that all fish over the required size limit should be registered.
  • In the event of a tie that is not otherwise provided for in the rules, the appointed judges will assign placing at their sole discretion.
  • In the spirit of the event being a celebration, anglers can only place first in one category. In the event that an angler is set to win more than one first prize, the allocation of category will be determined by the longest fish caught by that angler. That angler’s catches will then be disregarded in all other categories.
  • Each fish is measured to the nearest 0.5cm.
  • The measurement taken is from the front of the mouth to the end of the tail.
  • The minimum size for bass and mullet is 25cm and for garfish 30cm. For all other species, the minimum is 20cm. Fish that do no meet the minimum size for their species cannot be registered.
  • Competitors will receive a scorecard which must be completed for each individual fish that is to be registered. Only fish recorded correctly can be registered.
  • The competitor shall record the fish by species, length, time of capture, and location of capture.
  • Each fish is to be measured against a standard measure and photographed with the festival ‘token’ in view.
  • Anglers must provide their own measuring tool.
  • The Orvis Saltwater Fly Fishing Festival official token must be in each photo to be a valid entry.


  • Fish caught by those taking part in the youth competition will not be eligible for registration in any other competitions.
  • Fishing shall be with any conventional fly rod of any length, either single or double-handed. Lure or beach casting rods are not allowed.
  • Fishing shall be with fly only. The fly can be any length that is castable, weighted or unweighted, and with any size hook.  Any fur, feather, or material can be used either natural or artificial.
  • A maximum of two flies may be used on any cast.  The two flies are required to be a minimum of 1 metre apart.
  • All flies shall be tied on single hooks. Doubles or trebles are NOT permitted.
  • We recommend the use of barbless flies, especially for anything larger than size 12.
  • No fly shall contain any metal spinning component, but weighted heads are permitted.
  • Orvis kit WILL NOT be available to borrow or hire over the competition. All competitors will need their own rod setup.
  • Competitors shall NOT fish within 30 metres of another competitor.
  • Fishing shall be from beach, rock, salt marsh, or coastline.
  • Fishing is NOT PERMITTED from any of the following: jetty, pontoon, harbour wall, marina, outlet pipe or any man-made structure protruding from the shoreline (no matter how short).
  • Fishing is NOT PERMITTED from any boat, kayak or canoe and boats may NOT be used to reach fishing marks.
  • It is NOT PERMITTED to use a boat to get to a mark, with the exception of any public ferry.
  • Restricted areas such as nature reserves and military areas will be presented on a clearly marked map at registration.
  • Any competitor who goes into a restricted area will be immediately excluded from the competition. There is a zero-tolerance policy.
  • Please avoid handling fish where possible.
  • Minimise the amount of time the fish is out of the water. Please support the fish with a net, fish gripper, or a finger in the mouth. With the other hand support the belly of the fish with a wet hand or use a fish glove.
  • It is at the discretion of the competitor how much time they spend travelling and how much in actual fishing.
  • Wading is permitted at the competitor’s discretion and responsibility. Wet wading is also permitted.  Buoyancy aids or life vests are suggested and encouraged but are not compulsory.
  • All competitors shall be responsible for their own insurance and indemnities.
  • Scorecards must be handed to the Orvis team at the stated times – late cards will NOT be accepted for ANY reason at all – please allow sufficient travel time.
  • In the case of any formal complaint, the judge’s decision will be final and binding.


    30th August-1st September

    Langstone Quays Resort

    Northney Rd, Portsmouth, Hayling Island PO11 0NQ

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