By Crystel Saraie
The Orvis UK Saltwater Fly Fishing Festival, also known as The Salt, is returning to the Cornish coast this September 12-15th, for the 4th time since 2015.
With Saltwater Fly Fishing being one of the fastest growing forms of fly fishing in the UK, the festival is a perfect celebration of the up-and-coming sport as more and more people take it up as a means for mindfulness and meditation, to escape busy modern lives. The outdoors setting and connection with nature provides a wonderful method of relaxation as well as a great fitness opportunity.
Unlike most river and freshwater fly fishing in the UK, which are often controlled by angling clubs and private owners, saltwater requires no fishing license and is free to access, despite fly fishing’s reputation of being exclusive. Now made very much accessible, all you need is a rod, a reel, a few flies and a net.
The UK Saltwater Fly Fishing Festival was founded by husband and wife, Tim and Amelia Whitaker, as an initiative to spread the word that the UK has some incredible, yet under-appreciated, fly fishing opportunities, despite the sport’s usual association with far-flung, tropical destinations.
The event will host both experienced and inexperienced fly fishers from all over Britain, Europe and the rest of the world, welcoming them with St Mawes’ seas, which are stuffed with a wide variety of fish, including mackerel, bass and mullet. They will be able to fish from the rocks, from the beach, in the river estuary and even from boats. “The Salt is a wonderful opportunity for both amateur and professional fly fishers to come and fish on this fabulous bit of coastline,” said Amelia.
The event will feature masterclasses, demonstrations and workshops with some of the UK’s top saltwater fly anglers, as well as pro and amateur competitions over the weekend, with prizes from Orvis. Other opportunities include fly fishing film screenings, cooking demonstrations from Bradley Smokers, question and answer sessions, and a Festival Party taking place on Saturday 14th. The local spirits company Curio will also be hosting a pop-up gin bar on the harbour and will be creating a brand-new cocktail for the event, as well as providing refreshments at the opening party on Thursday 12th.
Brian Campbell-Kersey, Head of Marketing at Orvis UK said: “We’re really excited to support the UK Saltwater Fly Fishing Festival 2019. We’re always looking for ways to encourage new people into the sport, and saltwater fly fishing in the UK, although growing, is a massively undervalued resource. In keeping with our 50/50 On The Water campaign, we hope to see lots of women and other under-represented groups taking part. We’ll also be highlighting the importance of conserving wild fish stocks and the role that fly fishing and fly anglers can play in protecting our amazing rivers and seas.”
The stunning setting of St. Mawes, a small Cornish fishing village on the Roseland peninsular with a beautiful coastline, several great hotels, pubs and B&Bs, makes for a perfect festival venue, as well as a great late summer weekend away in the outdoors, sailing, kayaking, hiking and exploring St Mawes Castle.