New Class! Just for Women: The Independent Fly Angler (Limit 12)

Karlie RolandBrand new to fly fishing? Somewhat experienced on the water but still hesitant to go it all alone? Karlie Roland hears you – and she’s here to help.

In this women-only specialty class you will learn to maximize your independent angling potential! Learn how to adjust your own rig and tie specialty knots like the perfection loop, blood, double surgeon’s, and clinch. Roland covers leaders, tippets, nylon versus fluorocarbon, and how to make adjustments in each for maximum on-the-water efficiency.  Students will learn what gear they need when they’re fishing alone. They’ll understand how to read a hatch chart and match the hatch. Her class is targeted first and foremost to new anglers, but Karlie Roland’s experience on the Henry’s Fork–among the West’s most technical trout rivers–has honed her fishing skills to a razor’s edge; so even advanced anglers will learn something new.  This women-only class is suitable for both fresh and saltwater anglers.

Refunds must be requested in writing 30 days in advance of the festival. All other refund requests will be honored in the form of credit for the following year.

This class does not include admission to the festival but does include all teaching materials, a take-home knot guide, nippers, and a complimentary one-year new membership subscription to Trout Unlimited.   

Class held 11:00 AM-12:30 PM Saturday & Sunday : Check availability by clicking here.

New Class! Fly Fishing the Republic of Texas (Limit 12)

Chris Johnson-Big BassThe historic Republic of Texas spanned from the current Texas border, northward into New Mexico, Colorado, and even Wyoming.  This unique presentation will take you on a fly fishing journey that begins in the heart of the Texas hill country and winds up in the high country of Colorado, with numerous stops along the way.  Chris will show you how to chase local species in small Texas streams and creeks and how to take those same tactics to the high elevations of Colorado and New Mexico in pursuit of native cutthroat trout!  Fishing the creeks of central Texas is an excellent way to hone your trout creek skills before heading out West.  One of the largest mistakes fly anglers make when fishing Texas’ numerous creeks is failing to fish them as carefully as they would a western trout stream.  So, from Rio Grande Cichlids to Rio Grande Cutthroat, this presentation will help you tie all the techniques together and might just inspire you to fly fish the Republic of Texas in a brand new way! For more info go to www.txflyfishingfestival.org.

Class held 9:30 AM-10:50 AM Saturday Only : Check availability by clicking here.

Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival Moves Location and Dates

Mesquite Bass Logo 2021A new year means new dates and a brand new location for the Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival: The 4th Annual Texas Fly & Brew will take place on February 27 and 28, 2021, in Mesquite, just 15 minutes from downtown Dallas. “We’re thrilled to partner with Mesquite to bring our unique festival to this great location,” says Festival Director Beau Beasley. “Since coming to Texas we’ve seen steady growth in both attendees and vendors, which requires a much larger venue. The Mesquite Convention Center allows us to offer an even greater variety of classes in 2021.”

Bruce Archer, mayor of Mesquite, comments, “We are excited to host the Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival in 2021. Mesquite is the perfect place to host this family-friendly event, and attendees can experience real Texas flavor and our community’s hospitality.”

Modeled on the venerable Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival, the Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival, which debuted in Plano in 2016, brings together nationally known fly fishing authors, professional guides, expert casters, kayak manufacturers, custom bamboo rodmakers, national and regional fly tyers, and many more in one warm and welcoming location. Attendees–whether curious novices or longtime fly anglers, singles, young families, or empty nesters–can mix and mingle with the experts, test-drive the latest gear, talk shop with guides and manufacturers, and listen to a wide variety of outdoor presentations.

“Like so many others affected by the global pandemic,” says Beasley, “we were absolutely devastated to have to cancel our 2020 festival at the last minute,” says Beasley. “Of course we had to put the safety of our vendors and attendees first. And safety has informed our move as well: This new location not only doubles our vendor space but enables indoor casting classes as well as food trucks.”

The Mesquite Convention Center is easily accessible from I-635, I-30, I-20, and US-80.

For more information visit www.txflyfishingfestival.org.

 

How To Up Your Fly Fishing Game

Have you fallen in love with fly fishing and are looking to improve your skills? We’ve compiled a list of the best places to start so you can up your fly fishing game. Like any skill, improvement often comes down to practice and experience. There’s no replacement for getting out there and putting in the work. That being said, it’s always possible to work smarter not harder. So let’s dive into the best things to focus on as a new fly fisherman.

Perfect Your Cast

One of the most important aspects of fly fishing is the cast. A fly cast has two main motions; your back cast and your forward cast. Both of these motions work best when the tip of the rod travels along a straight plane. This will properly load the rod with energy and keep your loop tight and accurate. At the end of your forward cast you want to make the tip of the rod stop as abruptly as possible. This will translate the maximum amount of loaded energy from the rod into the line. YouTube is a great resource for watching examples of perfect casting.

Get a Decent Rod

Once you’ve practiced your cast enough to be relatively consistent, you will be amazed at what a decent rod will do for you. Namely, the accuracy of your cast is likely to improve dramatically. Fly Fishing gear has come a long way, so even middle-of-the-road gear in terms of price is likely to be better than the top of the line gear from just a few years ago. If you do end up investing in a good rod, it’s a good idea to keep it protected, particularly when traveling. Riversmith makes car-top roof racks to hold your rod for a great price.

Distance Is Not The Important Part

Many sport fishermen have been fishing for years under the assumption that you have to cast a long way to be a good fly fisherman. Sport fishermen are used to casting for yards into a lake or ocean, and then reeling in. However, to be a good fly fisherman, it is more about accuracy than it is distance. If you have a place on a stream or river where you think the fish are biting, that’s where you need to aim your fly. If you’re good, your fly will land very close to your target–about a foot from it if you’re casting well. If you move your fly around too much, you may scare off the fish you were trying to land.

You Need the Perfect Fly, and You Need to Make It Move

When it comes to fly selection – imitation is the name of the game. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, evolution has done your job here. You’ll want to have an idea of what exactly you’re fishing for in a given area. Armed with this knowledge, the next step is to identify the most popular prey for that species of fish in that area. Sometimes this boils down to observation, but often you can get the scoop from locals or looking around on the web.

Be Sure You Have a Taut Line

Most fly fishermen aren’t out to hurt the fish, so they fish with barbless hooks. If you fish that way, your line has to have tension in it, or the fish aren’t going to bite. Be sure that you hold your rod up, and make your line taut.

Pick the Best Time to Fish

Fish don’t always bite. In fact, there are specific times that fish are more likely to bite. Once the temperatures are cold at night, or cool during the day, fish become sluggish. This makes them less likely to bite anything as their metabolisms have slowed down. The best times to fish are late summer into fall in most places. Peak summertime is a difficult time to fly fish, but it can still be done if you go out early in the morning or late in the evening. Fish in summer are more likely to bite when the water temperatures cool off and the sun isn’t bearing down.

Write Down Your Favorite Spots and Look for New Ones

If you journal, it may help your overall fly fishing experience, especially if you are likely to forget where and when you took that huge fish. Write down when and where you fished, what fly you used, and the temperature of the water. Write down how the water was flowing that day as well. Over time, you’ll be able to predict whether or not the fish might be biting at your favorite spot on any given day.

While it’s great to optimize locations you already know and like, prospecting new locations is also worth doing. Again, keep detailed notes and where you’ve been and the conditions there. In time you’ll gain a better understanding of what features to look for and what a “good spot” tends to look like.

While landing a big fish after a long battle is every fly fisher’s dream, landing a perfect technique in a perfect spot on a perfect day isn’t so bad either. Progression feels good. We hope this article helped to get your gears turning on where to start. Until next time!

Coronavirus cancels 2020 festival

Texas-Bass Logo-No Sponsors 2021Just like your own family, over the past few days our festival family has been affected by the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Just yesterday I learned of three active cases of COVID-19 in Collin County, where the Texas Fly & Brew was scheduled to be held next weekend.

With this information in mind, and out of an abundance of caution, I have made the difficult decision to postpone our 4th annual Texas Fly & Brew to March 6-7, 2021.

I’m sure I speak for the entire festival staff when I tell you that we are every bit as disappointed as you are. We have been working on this event, day in and day out, for nearly a year.

But family comes first. The photo above, taken about 10 years ago, features my precious daughter Maggie. I keep it near me so that when I get caught up in my business and my plans, I have something to ground me–to remind me of what is really important in life. Maggie and her brother Jeremiah are why I have worked so hard to create a family-friendly event: Together you and I are drawing the next generation of fly anglers out from behind their screens and into the outdoors–out of the noise and into the quiet sport.

Every sponsor, vendor, instructor, and volunteer I have spoken to over the past two days has committed to returning to Plano in 2021. I can only say THANK YOU all for your loyalty and professionalism. I’ve suspected it for a long time, but now I’m convinced: The Texas Fly & Brew has the world’s best extended family!

Loyal attendees: If you have purchased a class or ticket of any type for the 2020 Texas Fly & Brew, you will be receiving a refund. Please give us a few days; we are currently swamped. We will begin processing those refunds as promptly as possible.

And finally, I extend my thanks to the Plano Event Center for their professionalism and can-do attitude in working with me to postpone the 4th annual Texas Fly & Brew.

Keep our first responders in your prayers. Stay well and healthy. We will see you all in Plano in 2021!

Beau Beasley
Director, Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival

Award-winning Flymen Fishing Company ups the game with cutting-edge products

Flymen Fishing CompanyIf anyone knows poppers, it’s Martin Bawden of Flymen Fishing Company. Flymen is based in the mountains of Brevard, North Carolina, which is surrounded by great fly fishing water. Bawden selflessly takes one for the team by “field testing” his company’s poppers – as well as the rest of their high-quality, durable flies – all over the country. Follow Bawden on his field tests via Instagram and Facebook.

Bawden founded the company in 2008 with the goal of making fly tying accessible to all fly fishermen by simplifying the materials and offering step-by-step tutorials. Innovative products like the Surface Seducer Double Barrel Bass Bug and Fish-Skull Living Eyes will take your fly tying to the next level. Watch Bawden put the Bass Bug to the test here.

See for yourself why Flymen Fishing Company has been awarded nine Best of Show awards at the International Fly Tackle Dealer Show. Bring your popper, fly, and fly tying material questions to Bawden and his knowledgeable staff at the 2019 Texas Fly & Brew Festival.

Meet Fly Tyer editor, author Dave Klausmeyer

fly tyerReading the experts is one thing. Meeting them is another. The Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival brings you face to face with those who have shaped every aspect of this modern, quiet sport.

Enjoy fly tying? Then you’ll want to sit down across the vise from Dave Klausmeyer, Editor of Fly Tyer for nearly two decades. He wrote the book on fly tying – more than a dozen of them, actually.

Dave has won numerous writing awards – and he also happens to be a heck of a nice guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously: “This isn’t rocket science,” Dave insists. “We’re just lashing fur and feathers of dead animals to hooks. If I can do it, so can you.”

The Fly Tyer is the go-to magazine for step-by-step fly tying instructions, and also includes articles about the history of the sport, and new tools and patterns, helping you improve your game. Its wide appeal to novice and expert fly fishermen has made it one of the largest magazines on the subject. Sign up to receive your copy here. Meet Dave Klausmeyer and countless other fly fishing and fly tying experts at the 2019 Texas Fly & Brew Festival.

Grab a cold one from this Dallas brewery

Oak Highlands Brewery

Oak Highlands Brewery will be pouring pints at the Texas Fly Fishing and Brew Festival on March 23-24, 2019. Founded in 2015, OHB is a production brewery and taproom in the Lake Highlands neighborhood of Dallas that is dedicated to making the highest quality ales and lagers.

Cleverly named beers like Freaky Deaky, Tejano Pecano and Derelict have won awards at Texas, regional and national competitions. The team at Oak Highlands Brewery have a passion for the community and the way that having a beer can bring people together. In addition to tall, cold beers, the OHB taproom serves up ping pong, foosball, air hockey and a view into the brewing area.

In this spirit of community, they host monthly family nights and routinely give away 10% of select sales to rotating charities. Watch more of their story and keep up with all things OHB on Facebook.

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For more information contact Festival Director Beau Beasley at Fishutopia@comcast.net, or call 703-402-8338.