The Guyra Trout Fest takes off

NOT even the rain could stop the action at the Guyra Trout Fest.

People from all over the region came to sample local fish, handmade crafts and have a go at fly fishing on Saturday.

There was even a bit of fire twirling.

Fire Rosa fire twirler Mari Grantun started with a broomstick more than 20 years ago.

“It was just nice to do of an evening when the kids had gone to bed,” Ms Grantun said.

“I didn’t buy a fire stick until after a year or two, I wanted to be really good – I just didn’t feel I wanted to light it straight away because I had to earn it.

“Where now I have people coming up to me at parties asking to have a go and it’s like – it’s dangerous!”

Ms Grantun said she wasn’t scared when she first started with fire.

“You practice so much that you really trust your ability,” she said. “I have hit myself before – I’ve had a black eye for a long time from when I’ve smacked myself.

“But as long as you wear the right clothing, you don’t do it outside in long grass in summer, what’s the worst that can happen?”

Fire twirling partner Tyrone Phillips said it was his mother who bought him his first twirling stick.

“I was about ten years old, it wasn’t one that you light on fire, but I eventually ended up getting into fire twirling with a group in Grafton,” he said.

“I wear a beanie because I don’t want to set my hair on fire, but other than that it’s really only ever going to singe it.”

Tamworth angler Alan Brodbeck taught crowds the flick of the wrist at the Guyra Trout Fest.

The best thing about fly fishing is the way it occupies the mind, Mr Brodbeck said.

“When you’re fly fishing, you can’t think of anything else,” he said.

“The first thing that happens when you think of something else is you wreck it – you put it in the tree or in the grass.

“So your mind is totally focused on fly fishing and it’s a way to clear your mind.”

A volunteer for Fishcare, Mr Brodbeck is one of a wider group of people that talk to anglers about fishing rules, responsible fishing and run workshops with schools and communities.

“I demonstrate fly casting and I also help out with the junior clinics that they have.

“That’s one of my specialties, I love to bring the young ones forward.

“Some of them come because mum and dad tell them I think, but there’s quite a few where you’d be amazed at the timing they seem to develop very quickly.”

Junior clinics were run at the Guyra Trout Fest on Saturday, but Mr Brodbeck also makes visits to Ebor four times a year with Fishcare.

These clinics teach casting, basic knot tying, rigging and good fishing practices and protecting fishing resources for the future.

Armidale Regional Council mayor Simon Murray said it was a fantastic event.

“There’s still a huge crowd even despite the weather,” Cr Murray said. “And it’s great to see so many local growers, producers and makers come out to showcase their goods to the region.

“I just think it’s fantastic.”

The Guyra Trout Fest finished on Monday, following a fishing competition on Saturday and Sunday.

This story Crowds trout and about at Guyra first appeared on Glen Innes Examiner.