The Irish Fly Fair at The Killyhevlin Hotel 16th & 17th November 2024

25th May 2023


The first time I went to the Irish Fly Fair was in 2011, I wasn't working at the show, I was just there to visit, it was the first time in my life I had gone away 'alone'!! I'd never driven that far on my own before, I stupidly followed the satnav, so instead of going the direct route from Belfast to Galway, on good roads, I followed windy, dark roads, in the middle of Ireland, in the middle of the night, I was sure I was lost, there were no signs for Galway ... it was dark, my radio had stopped working and I was wondering why on earth I had set off in the first place!! I was booked into the hotel next door The Salthill, on the Friday night I really felt very alone!!

On the Saturday morning I had decided that I'd made a big mistake, I was just going to have a quick walk round the Irish Fly Fair and then go home! When I got over to The Galway Bay the very first person I met was Alice Conba, she was friendly and we immediately 'hit it off' Alice and I found we had a great deal in common, Alice was not only a fantastic fly dresser, but also great at crochet.

Alice and I developed a great friendship, for the first few years sending monthly emails, handmade Christmas gifts were exchanged. When Alices eyesight started to fail we then telephoned each other every month, keeping in touch until her death. Alice was a good friend and supporter of the Irish Fly Fair, she was a talented crafts woman. I remember well the year she demonstrated crochet flies, and when I got home from the weekend I had a go ... discovering its really not as easy as Alice made it look!!
RIP Alice Conba, we will always remember you.
Elaine Munn 2023


Alice began her fly dressing at the age of 15, watched by her father, Tom Conba, a well known fisherman. After many years of learning and studying….she is self taught….she became a professional fly dresser and set up her own fly dressing studio called Maxconba, employing ten people. During those years she supplied DAM of Germany with over 1000 flies each day and was main manufacturer for that company. She also supplied flies to Austria, Iceland, New Zealand, New York, California and England as well as her own country.

At the present time in her life she is semi retired and does fly dressing strictly for pleasure. She has demonstrated fly dressing at exhibitions in San Mateo, San Jose, San Francisco (Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club of which she is an honorary member), Santa Cruz, New Jersey, Germany, Norway, England and Fly Fair in Holland which holds many good memories for her. She dresses all types of flies ; mayflies, wet flies, dry flies, parachutes, bead heads, lake flies etc. She has many friends who fish with her flies and, as a result, her fly dressing is evolving all the time. She is happiest sitting at her vice.

At the IFF Galway Alice will be demonstrating how to make crochet flies and also how to make parachute flies the really easy way. Alice will also demonstrate how to double hackle the easy way.

Partridge, Cadence,  Fishpal, Veniard, Regal Vise, Ahrex Hooks & Semperfli Sponsors of The Irish Fly Fair 2023