The 2017 Tackle Safari Fly Tying Competition Winners

The Tackle Safari 2017 Fly Tying Comp has come to an end and we’re super excited to announce this years winners. The comp this year received entries from Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and the United States. It always amazes me to see the quality and effort put in by the entrants and this year was no different.

A special thanks go out to our sponsors – Xplorer Fly Fishing, SciFlies, YETI and Spotters. We’re grateful for the contributions these brands have made towards the prizes this year and are super excited to be shipping these fly fishing treats out to all the winners.

And to our judges (both whom are talented fly tyers themselves) who have the hard task of sorting through all the fly tying entries, reading the Facebook comments, additional material and any other information that goes along with each entry to make the hard decisions. It’s a tough job! So to the fantastic Mr James Fox (saltwater judge) and to Ross ‘Virty’ Virt (freshwater judge), on behalf of all the participants and Tackle Safari, a huge thanks! We will be sending something special your way very soon 😉

To view all the fly tying entries submitted this year, check them out here.

If you did participate this year, we will be sending every one of you a little something in your email box just for taking part and to say thanks for the huge effort. Keep an eye out for this very soon! To all the winners, we will be reaching out individually via email in the coming days to arrange delivery of your prizes. Please be patient as we cooridinate the packing and distribution with our brand partners.

I think it’s safe to say that fly fishing and the spirit of fly tying is the main winner here. The passion is clearly obvious! For now and for 2017, we present to you the winners and runner-up entries as adjudicated by our judges…


Freshwater Entries:


Andy Bolch with his fly titled ‘Dahlberg’. Ross had this to say about his entry, “… an amazing tightly tied Dahlberg with awesome colours and the pattern so even overall it was very difficult to look past, a true work of art.” Well done Andy!


Ian Houston with ‘Frankencod’. “A huge streamer fly and a certainly well thought-out tie. I’ve seen the fly in the water (posted on the Tackle Safari Facebook page) and the hang-time is insane! This fly would hover in the strike zone and it would entice a very aggressive reaction.”

In addition to these prizes, Ross thought a third prize was worthy and he judged Ben Le Vagueresse’s Fly – Murray River Cray – a worthy third place. Kaos Cod Fly’s will be sending over something Ben as will Tackle Safari! Well done for your entry into the comp. In Virty’s own words, “… I can imagine this Murray Cray Fly being worked, bouncing off structures just like the real thing!”.


Saltwater Entries:


Aaron Donaldson for his entry ‘Kingfish Squid’. In James’s own words, ” … a lot of work, effort and thought has gone into the end result of this great fly, which I believe has many practical uses in both estuaries, rivers and out on the deep blue waters. Well done Aaron! ”


Chad Plooy with ‘Bleeding Slimey’. This was a tough, very tight choice between Chad’s fly and Luke Scicluna’s squid flies which were superb. James nudged over ‘Bleeding Slimey’ given it’s a practical, extremely well tied pattern, one that takes a lot of thought and much effort with the uses wide spread on all kinds of water. Luke, we’re sending you a prize too given this was such a close call, it would be wrong not to get something over to you! Great effort to the both of you, real talent!!


Creative Entries:

BEST CREATIVE FLY (use of materials)

David Karpul with ‘Phoenix Mayfly’.
Awesome effort and skill David. We were blown away with the use of upcycling in your material use and the result was outstanding! (Am guessing there will be a small separate blog entry about the process you used here to create this fly based on the images you provided and information, hope thats OK!?)


Ivan Turnbull with ‘Champagne Cork Cicada’. Simple, effective and looked a treat Ivan. Great creative entry and use of simple materials. Well done!


Junior Entries:


Ryan Bolch (like father like son!?) with his fly called ‘Creature Frog’.


Roxie Dawson with ‘Sydney Drag Fly’.


Maverick Dawson with his creative entry that looked incredibly painful, titled ‘Self-Mounted’.

Dahlberg Fly

Dahlberg by Andy Bolch

Tacke Safari Fly Tying Comp - Frankencod

Frankencod by Ian Houston

Tackle Safari Fly Tying Comp - Murray Cray

Murray River Cray by Ben Le Vagueresse

Kingfish Squid Fly

Kingfish Squid by Aaron Donaldson

Tacke Safari Fly Tying Comp - Bleeding Slimey

Bleeding Slimey by Chad Plooy

Squidanator Gar Fly

Baby Calamari by Luke Scicluna

Phoenix Mayfly

Phoenix Mayfly by David Karpul

Champagne Cork Cicada

Champagne Cork Cicada by Ivan Turnbull

Creature Frog

Creature Frog by Ryan Bolch

Sydney Drag Fly

Sydney Drag Fly by Roxie Dawson