Texas Fly Fishing & Brews Festival a success

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Congratulations to Beau Beasley for pulling off a successful 4th annual TFFBF in Mesquite, Texas, last month.  This was hopefully the first of many live events that lift fly fishing beyond past the pandemic. Do please remain vigilant in sticking to CDC guidelines and get vaccinated so we can get together more often!  This update from Beau:


Texas Fly & Brew Kicks Off Return to In-Person Fly Fishing Events

Mesquite, Texas, hosted the 4th annual Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival on February 27 and 28, 2021, which marked the country’s first return to in-person fly fishing events. “We knew hosting the Texas Fly & Brew would be a real challenge,” says Jessica McClellan of the Mesquite Visitors and Convention Bureau, “but family-friendly events are exactly what our city wants to welcome. We look forward to making this festival a part of our community.”

Facing pandemic anxiety and lockdowns, festival director Beau Beasley had to cancel last year’s event just eight days before the doors opened. “We were devastated to have to cancel the 2020 show at the last minute, and so were our sponsors and vendors. In 2021 we put in place a mask requirement, practiced social distancing, and widened the aisles and all the lecture areas. I was a paramedic for 30 years, so I’m committed to public safety.”

The Texas Fly & Brew drew nearly 1,000 eager attendees and more than 60 vendors, including lodges, guides, fly shops, rod manufacturers, outfitters, and clothing companies from across Texas and the country.  Professional guide Greg Welander, manufacturer’s representative for companies like Thomas & Thomas and Dagon Apparel, was impressed with the turnout. “My lecture on fly fishing the Texas Hill Country was standing room only,” says Welander, “and I can tell you that people were buying gear like crazy. I think people are ready to reconnect and experience the outdoors again. Getting to cast fly rods and ask in-depth questions about gear are a sign of how much people at this event really want to learn about the sport of fly fishing.”

What made the Texas Fly & Brew so successful in the face of such a potentially daunting safety challenge? “We had the solid support of our sponsors,” Beasley says without hesitation. “Year in and year out, TakeMeFishing.org has helped us reach new anglers; they’ve been especially important in helping us bring women into the quiet sport. We’re really proud of the fact that 30 percent of our attendees at this year’s festival were female anglers.”

With a little something for everyone, the festival featured local microbreweries and their beers, Texas-distilled bourbon tasting classes, seminars on fishing for everything that swims, gourmet redfish cooking demos, and numerous specialty classes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced anglers. “All of our instructors,” says Beasley, “are experts, passionate both about the sport and to share fly fishing with others.”

The Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival is patterned after the popular and venerable Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival, scheduled for January 14-15, 2022.

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