Dana Quillen, Executive Director of the Virginia Fly Fishing Festival, recently announced the expansion of the annual riverside fly fishing festival to include additional casting classes, larger grounds, and a showing of the film Where The Yellowstone Goes. According to Quillen, “Because of the increasing size of our festival and ongoing bridge construction in the area of Constitution Park, we’ve relocated the festival to a nearby soccer field opposite of the original festival grounds. This expansion allows for a larger main vendor tent, easier access to local wineries, and additional admission gates.”
Quillen went on to note that special health and wellness classes will be offered by national casting instructor Wanda Taylor and Mid-Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide columnist Tracey Stroup. Despite their name, the Fit Fly Gal classes are coed and help anglers deal with nagging injuries and concentrate on adaptive angling and casting skills. This year also marks the first time the festival will offer beginner fly tying classes with Bob Clouser.
The Virginia Fly Fishing Festival is the largest outdoor fly fishing festival of its kind in the country and is expected to draw nearly 2,000 fly anglers over the course of two days. The event is unique: Sponsor contributions and attendee ticket sales support the festival, with half of all profits going toward conservation work on the South River. The remainder is used to promote the following year’s festival. Event coordinators hope to appeal to new anglers and strive to provide as much hands-on instruction as possible. Veteran anglers find lots to love about the festival, too. And even folks who’ve never wet a line before can enjoy complimentary wine tasting on the premises from some of the best local wineries. Festival attendees come from all over Virginia and from as far away as New York, Georgia, and Florida. Major sponsors of the festival include Orvis, Dominion, Subaru, and Temple Fork Outfitters.
In honor of the 13th Annual Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine Festival, Where The Yellowstone Goes, a feature-length documentary film from award-winning filmmaker Hunter Weeks, will be shown at the Court Square Theater in Harrisonburg on Friday, April 19, at 7:30 pm. Proceeds from this showing will help fund the Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine Festival Foundation and its conservation efforts along the South River.
Filmed in August and September 2011 and sponsored by Trout Headwaters, Inc., Where the Yellowstone Goes follows a small crew on a 30-day drift boat fly-fishing journey along the Yellowstone River from Gardiner, Montana, to the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers at Fort Buford, North Dakota. This trip spans nearly 600 miles. For more information about the film, or to view the trailer, go to www.WhereTheYellowstoneGoes.com.
In addition to the film, a special raffle will be held to raise funds for the Virginia Rivers Defense Fund. Raffle items include a Temple Fork Outfitters combo BVK rod and reel outfit autographed by Lefty Kreh, a one-day casting clinic with casting instructor Dusty Wissmath, and other fantastic prizes. The funds raised by the raffle will be used to offset the legal costs incurred by the defendant in the recent Jackson River lawsuit in which the angler was successfully sued for fishing in water that the Commonwealth of Virginia had advertised as public. Tickets for this special raffle will be sold prior to the film showing.
Tickets to the screening are $10 and can be purchased at Mossy Creek Fly Fishing in Harrisonburg or at the door on the night of the show. For additional information about the Virginia Fly Fishing Festival, held April 20 and 21 on the banks of the South River in Waynesboro, please visit www.vaflyfishingfestival.org.