The Second Annual Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival will be held March 10-11, 2018, at Plano Event Center in Plano, Texas. The festival offers are seminars taught by local, regional, and nationally known guides, authors, fly tyers, and speakers, as well as a focus on microbrewery beer.
Read more in the press release below.
Second Annual Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival Returns to Plano
On March 10-11, 2018, the Second Annual Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival (TFFF) will return to the Plano Event Center in Plano, a mere 20 miles north of Dallas and easily accessed off Route 75. Last year more than 80 vendors filled the Plano Center’s main exhibition hall, and attendees enjoyed numerous classes and demos in the Center’s multiple state-of-the-art classrooms. “We’ll be returning to the Plano Center as the location for this unique event,” says festival director Beau Beasley, “because of its easy access to a large population center. The facility allows us a great deal of flexibility. Our event is all about bringing new people into the sport, so having plenty of room for hands-on instruction is vital.”
Unique to the Texas festival is a focus on microbrewery beer. With their paid admission, festival attendees 21 years and over receive tasting tickets to sample a variety of locally handcrafted brews. Breweries selected to participate in this year’s event include Four Corners Brewing Co., Oskar Blues, Real Ale Brewing Co., Sweetwater Brewery, and Tupps. All of the participating breweries will have personnel on hand to explain what sets microbrewed beer apart, why and how certain ingredients yield different flavors, and how to brew and taste different types of beer. The festival’s microbrew component has become so popular that a waiting list now exists for breweries that wish to participate.
“We weren’t sure what to expect, since nothing like this had ever been attempted before in Texas,” says Greg Leftwich, co-owner of Dallas-based Four Corners Brewing Co., of last year’s festival. “We thought the idea of combining fly fishing and Texas beer was a good one, but even we were surprised at how well the idea went over. At one point people were purchasing our product so fast, we had a hard time getting it cold enough before it sold. We were thrilled with the reception, and we are eager to return this year.”
David Leake, owner of Tailwaters Fly Fishing Co. and an early supporter of the Texas festival, was confident that the fly/brew fusion would find traction among Texans–but even Leake admits to doubt: “Nothing is a sure thing in business, but sometimes you just have to put yourself out there and try something new to attract new customers and advance your brand. We were pleased with the outcome and are happy to be a strong supporter again this year.”
Whether they are interested in the local fishing scene or an exotic locale, anglers will find plenty of destinations to choose from at the festival. In addition to Tailwaters Fly Fishing, attendees will meet reps from Emu Outfitters, Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures, and Expedition Outfitters, all of whom took part in the inaugural event last year and are returning.
Free to attendees are seminars taught by local, regional, and nationally known guides, authors, fly tyers, and speakers, including Jason Randall, Pat Dorsey, Wanda Taylor, Ed Jaworowski, Nick Conklin, Kevin Stubbs, Nate Stevane, Kacee Bones, Mike Tayloe, Alvin Dedeaux, and many more. Vendors hail from such far-flung locales as Patagonia, Russia, Canada, and Alaska, and trout-specific destinations like Colorado, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and North Carolina. Some of this year’s vendors include such well-known brands as TFO, Sage, Hardy, Patagonia, Orvis, Dagon Apparel Company, Hobie, NuCanoe, and Mariner Sails. There is also an on-the-water demo pond where attendees can try out kayaks. Nonprofit organizations such as Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited, CCA-Texas, Arkansas Game & Fish Foundation, Project Healing Waters, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Reel Recovery, Keoka Outdoors, and Bonefish & Tarpon Trust will also participate.
“Our mission is to grow brand new anglers–especially women and children, folks who might not otherwise get involved,” says Beasley. “All of the vendors are inside the exhibit hall, and the grounds outside the Plano Event Center are ideally suited for our wide range of casting and other specialty classes.” Thanks to support from the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing Campaign, the festival has teamed up with the staff of Tailwaters Fly Fishing Co. to provide free walkup fly casting instruction to anyone attending the event. The festival also offers Boy Scouts the opportunity to earn their Fly Fishing Merit Badge at no cost. “We are so committed to getting more children involved in the sport that we charge no admission fee for children 17 and under accompanied by a paying adult.” Attendees will also have the option of entering a free drawing for five days of fishing in Britch Columbia with Expedition Outfitters.
On Friday, March 9, the festival kicks off with a “Bass Bugs & Brews Night” featuring group fly tying sessions from 5:30-7:30 PM at Tupps Brewery in nearby McKinney. Special guest Dave Klausmeyer, editor in chief of Fly Tyer magazine, will welcome tyers and other attendees. After the fly tying, participants will view the latest IF4 film, and the first 150 participants will receive a complimentary copy of Fly Tyer. A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit Project Healing Waters, a national organization that helps veterans through fly fishing and fly tying.
Major sponsors of the Second Annual Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival include Dallas-based fly rod manufacturer Temple Fork Outfitters (TFO), the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF), and Tailwaters Fly Fishing; other sponsors such as Gordy & Sons Outfitters and a host of national magazines will also be on hand.
The Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival is patterned after the popular Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival, which enjoyed record-breaking attendance of more than 2,000 in January. For more information, visit www.txflyfishingfestival.org or call 703-402-8338.