Record numbers attended the Melvin Sports Complex in Strabane at the weekend as some of the biggest names in world fishing took part in the 2018 North West Angling Fair.
Hundreds of people took advantage of the warmest temperatures of the year so far to take in a wide range of demonstrations, talks and exhibitors at the sports centre and along the nearby Mourne River.
Among the experts imparting their angling wisdom were World Fly Casting Champions Stevie Munn and Gordon Armstrong.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh, congratulated everyone involved in another successful event.
“The North West Angling Fair is widely considered one of the biggest and best events of its kind in Ireland and that reputation has been earned through the dedication of the organisers and volunteers who work tirelessly to bring it to the public,” he said.
“Council’s Festivals and Events Team secured a stellar line up of demonstrators, fly tyers and traders for the event again this year and the public responded by attending in their hordes over the two days. In the North West we are blessed with some of the best waterways in the country and the Fair plays a key role in not only heightening the profile of angling locally but in showcasing our region to a wider audience.”
The action at the Melvin began in the sunshine on Saturday morning with Double Handed Casting Demonstrations at the Pedestrian Bridge on the Mourne from a range of experts including Andrew Toft and Scott MacKenzie.
Crowds lined the Mourne River for the demonstrations over the two days where Conor Arnold, Glenda Powell and Tom Brown all proved popular with the spectators.
On the Melvin pitches the public had the opportunity to hone their single handed skills under the watchful eye of Mark Patterson and Steve Peterson as well as local expert Pauline McClenaghan.
Inside in the Finn Lecture Room of the Sports Complex a number of insightful lectures were delivered including a talk of Life in an Arctic Salmon Lodge by Jo Stephenson and an interactive cooking demonstration by William McElhinney.
Downstairs in the Melvin’s Main Hall was a hive of activity as international and local tyers took part in Fly Tyers row while a range of traders exhibited their angling accessories to the public.