April 2020

I think the biggest shock for me this year 2020 was the death of fly dresser and friend Paul Lawrence, as I browse though the many files of photographs from previous years, Paul Lawrence jumps out of every one. We have lost a friend and a great supporter of fly fishing. Paul was a regular fly dresser at The Irish Fly Fair and the BFFI and he will be greatly missed among the fly-fishing community. He was a gentleman, he had a great love of music and fly fishing and fly dressing.

Paul and his wife Nicki stayed at my house only last year and spent a few days out and about round Belfast and the north coast. Paul had one day off from sightseeing as his plan was to catch an Irish fish, he was delighted with his day at the six mile and he caught 26 Irish fish!

Paul was a super fly tyer and whilst he was staying at my house he gave me a fly tying lesson … I enjoy tying Wally Wings and thought that I had mastered the skill quite well … Until I had a lesson from Paul! I was amazed at the time and patience he took to choose just the right feather, to place it exactly right on the hook and to carefully tie it in. Paul was truly a great fly dresser, I don’t think he actually knew how great. He was very patient with me as I fumbled about trying my best to follow him tie the tiny flies … (we were tying on size 14 hooks) … too small for me, but to Paul these were big hooks … The morning before he went fishing on the six mile he went out to my fly tying room and produced a whole clutch of very tiny flies.

Its hard to believe that this time last year in Galway, Paul was in his element, tying his flies, sharing his passion, enjoying the sing-song in the residents lounge on the Saturday night. Paul had one of the best smiles of anyone I knew. Paul will be really missed by everyone in the fly fishing community.

May Paul rest in peace and if there is somewhere your spirit goes when you die, I hope Paul is sitting at his regal vise, tying his tiny flies and smiling at the antics of us trying to run the Irish Fly Fair without actually meeting together.

Elaine Munn 2020

Paul Lawrence Remembered Trinity College

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