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Well that took up the first week and on the following Thursday we headed down to Tuscany with Alberto and another guest judge, Massimo Masi.  What a character Massimo is; we became instant friends.  He is a laugh a minute, so much so I call him “Circus Maximus”.

 

The Borgo Palace at Sansepolcro in the Arezzio province was again the home of the World Tuscany Open `Fly Tying Competition and our arrival was in time for the introduction of the jurors over a grand dinner as only the Italians can do, which was simply the best of wines, food and hospitality.

 

The list of Jurors for the 2010 WTO was very different from the 2007 event with just a few old faces attending.  Obviously this was due to the economical climate.  As you can imagine, it is a very expensive event to run. All I can add to this is that the quality of experience and fly tying knowledge of those selected was still of the highest standard and it was a pleasure working with them.

At the fly tying bench of the great Fabrizio Gajardoni  

Friday it was work day for all of the jurors; we were locked away with the sole occupation being judging those flies that had been entered for this 2010 WTO event.  All of the flies that had been entered into each category were mounted on metre long, glass-covered fly boards.  Each fly was numbered and that number was the only reference to the fly tyer, so in other words we did not know who tied what fly until the winners were announced.

Alessandro Casiglia (Italy) - 2nd Place - Photo: Hans van Klinken

Scoring for me was based on creativity, proportions/balance and the overall look of the fly, with the maximum score for any one fly being 90 points.  I was sitting next to Hans Van Klinken of Klinkhamer fame and we commented more than once on the quality of the skill shown.  This high level of skill and creativity meant that a good number of flies actually achieved the top score.  So be it, for it is one of the world’s great fly tying competitions.

The winning fly designed and tied by Bud Guidry USA - Photo: Hans van Klinken
Me and Hans Van Klinken a little overwhelmed
Pic: HvK
These jurors had the same problem
Pic: HvK
Marit Kronen of Norway; herself a brilliant fly tyer
Pic: HvK
Marica Cicoria and Enrico Puglisi scoring flies
Pic: HvK
Taking a break and a quiet chat with Enrico
Pic: HvK

Right from the time my wife Alaine and I arrived in Italy, Wednesday 3rd of November, the pace we had set for ourselves was maddening.  Our first night was in Milan and the next morning we flew up to Norway as a guest of Mustad hooks for four days, then back to Milan and a train ride over to Bologna with a day in Venice and another day in Rimini. Those high speed bullet trains are amazing, travelling at well over 200 kilometres an hour.

  

We had dinner with both Alberto Calzolari and Fabrizio Gajardoni and his lovely wife, Nadia.  Talk about being spoilt, it really confirms that old saying that Italians live to eat rather than eat to live!

This painting, 'La Resurrezione' - 1450-1463
                      Piero della Francesca
                 Museo Civico, Sansepolcro, Italy

was the theme for the design of the Classic Salmon Fly category

Left: Signing the entrants’ certificates  Pic: Hans van Klinken

Please Note: Apart from the Classic Salmon fly tied by Bud Guidry, the other actual flies in all the other categories are still unknown to me and in due course I am told they will be placed up on the WTO website.


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