The first ever Orvis Saltwater Fly Fishing Festival took place from Friday 4th September to Sunday 6th September 2020 in Chichester, with 60 angler’s taking part in the opening festival. 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 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.
Our 2020 winners included:
- Orvis Cup for the Most Sporting Angler: Dan Hunwick
- 1st Prize for the Longest Bass: Archie Godman-Dorington – 49cm Bass a 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 awarded from Orvis included a Helios 3 rod, Clearwater Rod and the new Recon Rod model across competition categories including ‘Longest Bass’, ‘Longest Mullet’, ‘Longest Other Species’, ‘Most Number of Species’, ‘Junior Angler’ 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 ‘Grey Mullet’, awarded to Dan Hunwick.
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 angler’s 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 are 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 made to feel safe with the polices put in place in the store. We are looking forward to building on this next year and hope to see many more new faces.”
Orvis UK will be announcing the dates for next year’s festival in the weeks to come.