On January 11-12, 2020, the Annual Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary, drawing anglers from throughout Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic, Ohio, Georgia, South Carolina, and even Vermont. Held at the 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 in the country to combine fly fishing and wine tasting. Fly fishing manufacturers, lodges, guides, tourism agencies, wineries, and specialty food companies are among the more than 110 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, American Angler, Harman’s North Fork Cottages, Fly Tyer, Blue Ridge Outdoors, and Norvise.
The 2020 festival will feature several of the industry’s most prominent anglers and authors. Noted speakers and fly tyers include Blane Chocklett, Tom Rosenbauer, Jessica Callihan, Jason Randall, Ed Jaworowski, Mac Brown, Kiki Galvin, Walt Cary, Tim O’Neill, Peter Stitcher, Matt Reilly, Colby Trow any many more.
“We eagerly welcome beginners into the sport,” says Festival Director Beau Beasley. At the same time, he adds, “We offer specialty classes that experienced anglers won’t find anywhere else.” New this year for foodies, he says, “We’re adding a ‘Made in Virginia’ specialty food section. We also plan to offer cooking classes.”
–Advanced Fly Casting and Understanding Advanced Techniques: Master Certified Casting Instructor Mac Brown
–Whiskey, Bourbon, & Bass Bugs:
Lauren Riggleman of Silverback Distillery
–Mayflies & Microbrews: Entomologist Peter Stitcher
–Other classes include Fly Tying for Children, and Getting Your Kids into Fly Fishing by Jess Westbrook founder of The Mayfly Project.
Admission to the festival includes free wine tastings for adults.