TroutFest will swim into Guyra this October, despite drought, Lynne Chapman says

It seemed that the drought might have put the kibosh on the fourth TroutFest - but Guyra's fishy festival hasn't been left high and dry.

The event will be back in early October - to the delight of the thousand-odd anglers young and old who attended last year's whopper.

"We are going to continue with TroutFest despite the drought," organiser Lynne Chapman said. "We weren't so sure we were going to go ahead - but everyone thinks it's a great idea. Hopefully, it will be bigger and better than last year."

The festival will be held from Friday, 4 to Sunday, 6 October. There will be fishing clinics, markets, art and crafts, live music, and a few surprises.

"People need some distractions and fun to bring them out," Mrs Chapman said, "so they can smile, laugh, and do something different to their everyday, mundane tasks at this time of year. This will bring some light into everybody's life!"

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Last year, possibly as many as 2000 people, many from interstate, came to the festival. Mrs Chapman wants to build on that success, with activities all along Bradley Street, in hotels, restaurants, and cafes.

"People can enjoy light entertainment, eat good food from Guyra outlets, and do something different," she said.

Unfortunately, two highlights have been cancelled due to the drought. The fishing competition and open gardens display won't be held.

"It's a fact of life, I'm afraid," Mrs Chapman said.

For the first time, however, adults will be able to improve their technique at a fishing clinic on Friday afternoon, after the ever-popular children's clinic.

"We think it will be an added attraction," Mrs Chapman said. "Lots of people have asked us for adult classes, as well as the children's."

The classes are, she said, a good way to get expert tuition in fly-casting and all things trout, while a fishing raffle will provide great gear for the beginning angler. Both clinics will be held at a Mother of Ducks Lagoon dam - and, Mrs Chapman said, there's plenty of water in it at the moment. More fish-related fun will follow on the weekend.

"Even though people can't go fishing physically at the moment - unless it rains, of course, and maybe our TroutFest will bring the rain! - we'll have some other things for them to hone their skills, ready for when the Big Wet comes!"

Those more at home with a paintbrush or camera than a rod and tackle can enter an art competition and expo. This year's theme: water.

The Craft and Quilt Show's rich colours and patterns delighted visitors last year. This time, it will run for a week, from Monday, September 30, to Monday, October 7. "The standard and quality of this display has to be seen to be believed," Mrs Chapman said.

The Guyra Bowling Club will host a market day on Saturday, October 5. Last year, the club was thronged with stallholders selling arts and crafts (including handmade clocks like curio cases, carved books, and jewellery) and produce (including, of course, trout). Mrs Chapman promises indoor and outdoor vendors, live entertainment, kids' art workshops - and maybe a magician.

"We'll have a lot of other outdoor activities that we hope will satisfy all interests - something for everyone," Mrs Chapman said.

On Sunday, there will be a car boot sale in the Bowling Club car park - and a show-and-shine with hot rods. (Automobiles, not angling.)

There will also be a surprise exhibition that day. What? Mrs Chapman wouldn't tell.

"It wouldn't be a surprise, would it?" she said, laughing. "You'll have to watch our Facebook page!"

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/guyratroutfest/. For entries to the Art Show, or to have a stall at the market day or car boot sale, email guyratroutfest@gmail.com.