Largest Fly Fishing Festival in the Country to be Held in Waynesboro

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email

WAYNESBORO, Va. --This weekend the largest fly fishing festival in the country will be held in Waynesboro.

This will mark 13 years since the start of the annual Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine Festival, and this year there will be a kick-off event on Friday in Harrisonbug.

The kick-off event will be a movie screening in Court Street Theater at 7:30 p.m. of the movie "Where the Yellowstone Goes."

Beau Beasley, who is working on his third book about fly fishing, is the Director of Programs for the festival.

The festival is expected to bring in more than 1,000 people to Constitution Park in Waynesboro.

Beasley has been fly fishing for 20 years.

"Fly fishing is not about strength, fly fishing is about dexterity and timing," said Beasley.

It's also a chance to help the environment.

"[It's about] educating the public about the outdoors, teaching them about fly fishing and then some of our profits actually go into restoration work in the South River," said Beasley.

The festival will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For $20 per person, you can fly fish, take classes about fishing and go to wine tastings.

With a paying adult, everyone under 16 years old gets in for free.

The beginner classes for fly fishing are booked on Saturday, but Beasley said there are still some open on Sunday.

Plus, Beasley said it's good business for Waynesboro.

"When an angler comes in from out of town to go fishing for the day he buys gear, he buys flies, he fills his car up with gas he eats at the restaurants," said Beasley.

In addition to all of the available activities, a goal of fly fishing is also to help people get away from the day to day rush of activities.

"It's about enjoying yourself, getting away from your cell phone, getting away from your blackberry, getting away from email and just getting on the river," said Beasley.

All proceeds from Friday's Court Square theater movie screening will go toward river conservation.

The festival will also include kayaking and art vendors, in addition to classes and fly fishing.

There are a number of sponsors, including a partnership with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

They will be adding trout to the river for the event.

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