Success For The Inaugural Orvis Saltwater Fly Fishing Festival 2020


Written by: Isobella Ash

Our first ever Orvis Saltwater Fly Fishing Festival took place from Friday 4th September to Sunday 6th September 2020 in Chichester, with 60 anglers taking part in the opening festival.  This safe and social event for anglers was a huge success and a lot of fun!

The fishing marks across Chichester, Hayling, and Thorny Island provided perfect weather and excellent fishing for more than 60 rods. With bass, mullet, garfish, mackerel, and even a dover sole landed on the fly. The winning species ranged from a 53cm thick-lipped mullet to a 66cm Garfish. 

Masterclasses At The Festival

Masterclasses were held on the beaches for beginners and veteran anglers alike with a group of four expert festival guides, covering a range of different saltwater fly fishing tactics. Colin Macleod’s Mullet Masterclasses took place both in-store and on the beaches and were well attended by those looking to catch their first mullet on the fly. Neville Broad and Philip Spratt met beginners on the beaches to assist with advice on fishing marks, casting, and tactics. Michael Rescorle held some small-guided sessions with non-competitors who pre-booked to introduce new people to the joys of saltwater fly fishing and build the fly fishing community.

Saltwater Fly Fishing Festival 2020 Winners

Our 2020 winners included: 

  • Orvis Cup for the Most Sporting Angler: Dan Hunwick 
  • 1st Prize for the Longest Bass: Archie Godman-Dorington – 49cm Bass caught on a Chartreuse/White Clouser 
  • Runner-up: Andy Miller – 44cm Bass caught on an Orange Clouser 
  • 1st Prize for the Longest Mullet: Jethro Binns – 53cm Thick-lipped Mullet caught on a Mullet Bach
  • Runner-up: Rodney Wevill – 44cm Golden Grey Mullet caught on a self-tied Shrimp Varient that he calls the ‘Rec Tagged Blue Camel Shrimp’ 
  • 1st Prize for the Longest Other Species: Steve Richards – 66cm Garfish caught on a DNA Deceiver 
  • Runner-up: Rick Lilley – 37cm Mackerel on a Chartreuse/White Clouser 
  • 1st Prize for Varied Species: Rick Lilley – Mackerel (37cm on a Chartreuse/White Clouser), Bass (38 cm on a Chartreuse/White Clouser) & Dover Sole (7cm on a Tagged Romy Sand Shrimp) 
  • Runner-up: Martin Small – Golden Grey Mullet (43cm) caught on a Holographic Micro Sandeel and Bass (42cm) on a White and Green Clouser Minnow 

Prizes included our iconic Helios 3 rod, Clearwater Rod, the new Recon Rod, and a fully loaded Hydros Reel across competition categories including ‘Longest Bass’, ‘Longest Mullet’, ‘Longest Other Species’, ‘Most Number of Species’, as well as prizes for Runner’s Up across the first four categories. The Orvis Cup for the Most Sporting Angler was a special prize in the shape of a David Miller Painting titled ‘Grey Mullet’, awarded to Dan Hunwick for supporting his fellow angler’s.

Final Thoughts And Plans For Next Year

Brian Campbell-Kearsey, Head of Marketing at Orvis UK, said: “We are delighted to have hosted what turned out to be a magical weekend for 60 anglers who attended our inaugural Orvis Saltwater Fly Fishing Festival. The event seeks to celebrate the fantastic saltwater fly fishing we have on offer across the UK’s coastlines, which is so accessible to amateur and professional anglers alike.  He continued, “After what has been a difficult year for everyone, our team is happy to have successfully hosted a safe and social event for anglers who attended to practice, learn more and make new friends in the fly fishing community. We ensured the festival was COVID compliant and all were made to feel safe with the policies put in place in the store. We are looking forward to building on this next year and hope to see many more new faces.” 

We will be announcing the dates for next year’s saltwater fly fishing festival in the weeks to come. For more information, please email Emma Sandham on events@zambuni.com.  

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