The 18th Annual Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival will be held January 13-14, 2018, at the Meadow Event Park. Along with great wine and food, the event will feature prominent speakers, film screening, interviews, and demonstrations from some of the best anglers in the industry.
Read more in the press release below.
2018 Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival
Fly anglers from across the country will celebrate the 18th Annual Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival on January 13-14, 2018. Held at Meadow Event Park just 15 miles north of Richmond on the site of the state fairgrounds, the Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival is the first event of its kind to combine fly fishing and wine tasting. Fly fishing manufacturers, lodges, guides, tourism agencies, wineries, and specialty food companies are among the more than 100 vendors who hail from all over the country. This year’s festival sponsors include the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, Temple Fork Outfitters, Green Top, Steam Bell Beer Works, Harman’s North Fork Cottages, Eastern Fly Fishing, Virginia Sportsman, Ruthless Outdoor Adventures, Flymen Fishing Company, American Angler, Gray’s Sporting Journal, Fly Tyer, Alaska Magazine, Mid Valley Press, and Blue Ridge Outdoors.
The 2018 festival will feature several of the industry’s most prominent anglers and authors. Noted speakers and fly tyers include Jason Randall, Simon Gawesworth, Ed Jaworowski, Wanda Taylor, Landon Mayer, Walt Cary, Chuck Kraft, Brad Buzzi, and Harold Eckert. Well known regional guides and speakers like Matt Miles, Steve Dally, Al Alborn, and Colby Trow will also be on hand.
The highlight of the weekend is Saturday evening’s Festival After-Party, sponsored by Virginia microbrewery Steam Bell Beer Works and Flymen Fishing Company. Tom Cooper, one of the owners of Steam Bell Beer Works, is a longtime fly angler who loves the festival concept. “Fly anglers are some of the most passionate folks you’ll ever meet,” says Cooper. “When you combine people who are passionate about the outdoors and introduce them to our product, it’s a real winning combination.” The Festival After-Party will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres and complimentary beer from Steam Bell Beer Works.
At this year’s Festival After-Party, Flymen Fishing Company will debut their short film “Back Bay,” which recounts the loss of this great Virginia fishery and its stunning comeback. Special interviews with Lefty Kreh, Walt Cary, and noted Virginia anglers tell this compelling story, which all Virginia fly anglers should know. Tickets to the Festival After-Party are $25 apiece and are expected to sell out well in advance of the festival. The Virginia Fly Angler of the Year will also be awarded before the end of the evening.
Don’t miss the festival’s kayak demo pond. Kayak expert, author, and Hobie pro-staffer Cory Routh of Ruthless Outdoor Adventures will offer tips and tactics for kayak enthusiasts. Jackson Kayak pro-staffer Herschel Finch will demonstrate proper kayak rigging and safety techniques.
A variety of brand new free and paid specialty classes will be offered this year. Micro-Brews 101, taught by Steam Bell Beer Works owner Tom Cooper, is sure to be a hit. Shannon Horton of Horton Vineyards will impart essential wine knowledge to attendees in the new Wine and Food Pairing 101 class. Both of these classes are included in the general admission fee and are open to all attendees. Also new this year is a Streamer Tactics class taught by author George Daniel and an Advanced Nymph Fishing Tactics class taught by well-known angler and author Jason Randall. All paid specially classes are first come, first served and include general admission to the festival for the day of the class.
Returning this year are Family Fly Fishing Classes (3FC) sponsored by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. Children 12 to 16 years old will learn the basics of fly fishing and fly casting with Paul Kearney of Trout Unlimited’s Tri-State Conservation Camp. All 3FC classes and materials will be provided at no cost to festival attendees.
Attention, Boy Scouts: You can earn your Fly Fishing Merit Badge at the festival through a program taught in cooperation with the Boy Scouts of America. This special class is free of charge to every uniformed Boy Scout. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today!
Previous festivals have been popular with families throughout the Mid-Atlantic, including some from as far away as Rhode Island and Georgia. “Our festival brings fly fishing to everyone,” says event director Beau Beasley. “When you tell folks that you can demystify fly fishing for the entire family and offer them a wine-tasting experience to boot–well, frankly, it’s a pretty easy sell.” Recently Beasley sat down for a podcast interview with Rob Snowhite of Fly Fishing Consultants. To hear the interview and learn more about the Virginia Fly & Wine Festival and the Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival, click here.
For more information about the 2018 Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival, visit www.vaflyfishingfestival.org.