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Triple world casting champion Armstrong delighted to be back at North West Angling Fair

04 April 2017

World renowned casting expert Gordon Armstrong has admitted he was “absolutely delighted” to get the call to be asked back to this weekend’s North West Angling Fair at the Melvin Sports Complex in Strabane.

The Head Ghillie at Ness Castle Lodges in the Scottish Highlands, Gordon is a three times World Speycasting Champion and a qualified casting instructor in both single and double hand casting and will be delivering a special fly casting demonstration on the River Mourne at the event which will be open this Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm.

He has a personal interest in encouraging the next generation of anglers to take up the sport and the opportunity to impart his knowledge to young people was one he was keen to avail of.

“I was absolutely delighted to be asked back as it’s a cracking event,” he admitted. “It’s a genuine privilege to be asked and the people in Strabane gave me a great welcome last year.

“There’s a big emphasis on getting kids involved at the Fair and it’s a good chance to pass the skills onto them.

“I’m personally involved in open days in Inverness where we try and bring kids in and create an interest and an increase participation numbers in the sport.

“The aim of the fly casting session is to give beginners a basic grounding in the art but there will also be some more advanced elements to it for experienced anglers.

“I’ll be able to give some tips on what equipment to use and how to get the best from that equipment.

“We will set up a test area where people can try casting for themselves using various tackles and try different rods and lines.”

Gordon forms part of a stellar lineup for the 2017 North West Angling Fair that includes well-known and much loved Scottish television actor and presenter Paul Young of ‘Hooked on Scotland’ fame.

Other world class casters who will be demonstrating under the Pedestrian Bridge at the River Mourne include Henrik Mortensen, Robert Gillespie, Scott MacKenzie and Andrew Toft and single handed casting demonstrations within the grounds of Melvin from Stevie Munn, Steve Peterson, Mark Patterson, Michael Rebholz, Maurice Cahill and Thomas Thaarup. 

Fly dressing specialists, Ali Hutchens, George Barron and Peter O’Reilly, will also be involved along with Luxembourg fly tying specialist Jang Quintus and Belgian expert Ben Weytjens.

Among the speakers will be Dr Ken Whelan who runs his own fisheries consultancy and has written extensively on angling topics and has also produced, scripted and presented many films and videos on various aspects of Irish fisheries and Jason O’Riordan who gives talks on fishing techniques at the leading angling shows through Ireland.

The opportunity to meet with and learn from other angling experts and local enthusiasts and bring that knowledge into his role as a guide at Ness Castle is another aspect of the Fair that Gordon is looking forward to.  

“It’s nice to meet people from the fishing community in another area,” he continued. “I’ll be passing on some of my fly casting experience but I can learn a lot at events like this too by chatting to people.

“My role at Ness Castle is an Estate Manager role where I oversee operations at the castle and also take groups out on the river to fish so I am always keen to pick up new skills that I can pass on.

“Last year was my first time in the North of Ireland, I’d fished in Lough Inagh in Connemara previously but it was great to come over and get a chance to fish the Finn and the Mourne.”

The full lineup for the North West Angling Fair is available at www.derrystrabane.com/anglingfair.