If you’re an avid fly fisherman looking for new ideas, a beginner looking for guidance, or simply an observer who is interested in the sport, the Virginia Fly Fishing Festival exists especially for you. The festival, which is held in the spring in the town of Waynesboro on the banks of the South River, draws fly fishermen from all across the United States. They come to improve their angling skills and to attend the lectures on how, where, and when to fish in Virginia, the United States, and other areas around the world.
It is the largest event of this type in the country; a great event that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Those experienced family members can test their angling skills catching rainbow and brown trout, and possibly a smallmouth bass. Those family members that need training and guidance can take a casting class from experts to put them on the right path to angling expertise. Naturally, all fishing in this event is strictly catch-and-release.
The purpose of the festival is to educate serious anglers about rules, techniques, and equipment improvements that advance their sport and to introduce newcomers to the quiet joys of fly fishing. The festival has become a resource for expert advice, instruction, and gear purchases. Experts will abound at the festival and offer plenty of opportunity to ask questions and to learn how to take your angling skills to the next level. One of the best sources of information are fellow attendees who are only too willing to discuss the ins and outs of fly fishing; to share their experiences; and to advise you. Anglers will find that there are few events in the country where they can learn and practice their skills on the banks of a real trout stream.
Fishing is not the only activity offered. The event features several opportunities for great dining: sampling the delicious wines from Virginia’s many fine wineries; and listening to different genres of live music. For those who choose to spend a few days at the festival, excellent inns and hotels abound in the Waynesboro area, many who actively support the festival. Or you can choose to stay in your very own private mountain cabin. Admission to the festival is only $15 for adults, with children under 16 admitted at no cost with a paying adult. The fee covers admission to all lectures and, for adults, wine tastings. Of course, fishing licenses are required if you wish to put a line into the water. Onsite sales of licenses may be available. Make sure you have a picture ID and cash or credit card for onsite purchases. Alternatively, licenses can be purchased online before the festival at the website www.dgif.state.va.us/licenses.