Thousands expected at 2023 North West Angling Fair

OVER 3,000 people are expected to visit the Melvin Sports Complex in Strabane this weekend for the eagerly anticipated North West Angling Fair.

The annual event on the banks of the Mourne River, hosted by Derry City and Strabane District Council in partnership with the Loughs Agency, will feature a host of the UK and Ireland’s top fly dressers, casters and angling specialists.

The public will be able to access a wide range of fishing tackle producers, fly tying brands and fishing outfitters in the Melvin’s Main Hall and sample professional casting demonstrations and expert fly fishing tuition.


The two day event on Saturday April 1st and Sunday April 2nd aims to cater for all levels of angler and there are also specific elements to attract more young people and women to the sport.

“The Angling Fair is the highlight of the year for anglers and fishing enthusiasts from across the region,” said Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Sandra Duffy.

“There is a huge public appetite for live events currently and I fully expect another bumper crowd following last year’s record attendance of over 3,500 people.

“Council and the Loughs Agency have assembled an internationally renowned lineup of fly dressers, casters and instructors so I’d encourage people to access the programme now and plan your experience.”

The Angling Fair takes place from 11am to 5pm on Saturday April 1st and 10am to 4pm on Sunday April 2nd.

Casting demonstrations on the Mourne will be hosted by Tom Brown, Hywel Morgan, Scott MacKenzie, Mark Patterson, Conor Arnold, Ian Gamble and Pauline McClenaghan.

Local specialists Ian Gamble and Pauline McClenaghan will host a Casting Clinic on both days suitable for beginners, improvers, single handed and double rods, pre booking is required and full details are on the website.


A wide range of fly tyers will demonstrate their art and techniques and there will be a particular emphasis on young fly tyers who will showcase their own skills and talents as well as hoping to inspire the next generation of anglers.

The trade stands in the Melvin’s Main Hall will feature a number of new exhibitors and retailers as well as some familiar favourites where people can source new equipment and experiences from the North West’s top providers.

Due to the large crowds expected accessible parking only will be available at the Melvin Sports Complex however nearby car parks will be open at Lower Main Street, Upper Main Street, the Canal Basin and Butcher Street.

You can access the full programme online at

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