Puerto Rico native Jamie Aponte began fishing as a kid with his father and grandfather; today he carries on the family tradition, crediting father Jose for passing along a deep love for the water. During a summer job at Yellowstone while in college, Aponte picked up his first fly rod--and never put it down again. He is an eclectic angler: Aponte's favorite fish on the fly is whatever is biting when he's on the water. Now the owner of Pagosa, Colorado-based outfitter Piedra River Anglers, Aponte guides for trout and pike on the fly. In development is a new program that will enable him to take anglers to his home waters in Puerto Rico to fly fish for tarpon. Aponte also assists Mike Williams owner of Nomadic Waters with hosted trips to Brazil for peacock bass. Aponte loves to draw others into fly fishing with his "both/and" philosophy: Anglers can both enjoy our precious fisheries and respect, protect, and conserve them.

Mousing is a technique of topwater streamer fishing in which anglers imitate the movements of rodents, amphibians, and other large surface baits--especially at night--to produce a violent take from a predatory fish. Rob Aitken, fly-fishing guide and manager of Maggie Valley Fly Shop in western North Carolina, has been mousing for brown trout since childhood in Northern Michigan. Aitken then spent many years fishing limestone and freestone streams under cover of darkness in Pennsylvania. In Michigan and Appalachia, the "mouse" turns on sometime between June and mid July, often aligning with increased daytime water temperatures that force large fish to feed predominantly at night. By employing a few simple techniques and learning to discern potential fish-holding waters, anglers can use this skill to consistently target large fish and particularly large wild brown trout. Don’t miss this new class for this year’s festival!

Troy Basso has been fly fishing since he was 9 years old. A decade in the US Army meant that he was able to fly fish around the world for free; he found it difficult, however, to find high-quality flies in Europe and South Korea during the '90s--and thus was born a lifelong passion for fly tying. Today Basso can be found all over the Southeast chasing everything from bass to tarpon. His flies are marketed around the world through Catch Fly Fishing. Basso is also a prolific outdoor writer, columnist, fly-fishing guide, and editor-at-large for On the Fly Magazine; he has also been published in Southeastern Fly FishingFUR FISH GAME, and Midwest Outdoors. Basso teaches fly tying at Fly South in Nashville, and in his “spare time” he maintains the Troy Basso Outdoors blog, which chronicles his journeys in fly fishing and upland bird hunting. We are pleased to have Tony in one of our sought after Featured Fly Tyer’s spots at this year’s festival.

Virginia native Beau Beasley has fished all over the country and into Canada, but his “best day ever” remains fishing poppers on a Virginia farm pond. Beasley is the director of our sister event, the innovative and long-running Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival, as well as our very own Texas Fly & Brew. He has authored two angling guidebooks and garnered multiple awards for articles in regional and national publications covering conservation of such diverse species as menhaden and bonefish. Beasley has distinguished himself as a thorough, impartial investigative journalist covering thorny issues like public sporting access to local waters and lands. His third book, Healing Waters: Veterans’ Stories of Recovery in Their Own Words will be released in April. At the 2023 Texas Fly & Brew Beasley will speak on “Who Owns the River? What Is and Isn’t Public Water.” Anyone who fishes should be there.

Lee Blanton was born in north Alabama surrounded by many of the finest warmwater fisheries in the United States. Today he resides right here in the Metroplex. Fly fishing for years, Blanton is familiar with fisheries all over north and central Texas. He is a pro staffer for Winston Fly Rods, Ahrex Hooks, and Regal Vises. On the weekends, he may be found tying and teaching at Plano’s Dirty Water Fly Co. Blanton credits Dave Whitlock, Kelly Galloup, Tommy Lynch, and Andreas Andersson as major influences on his tying styles and techniques. He specializes in deer hair bugs and other useful flies that fish anywhere and everywhere. New to fFl tying, why not try Lee's Beginner Fly Tying Class?

Pat Dorsey is the head guide and co-owner of the Blue Quill Angler fly shop in Evergreen, Colorado where he has guided for 30 years. He oversees and trains more than 25 guides, setting the standard for integrity and professionalism in the Blue Quill Angler guide operation. Dorsey also, maintains an online stream report that monitors stream flows and conditions for the Blue, Colorado, South Platte (Cheesman, Deckers, Spinney Mountain Ranch, and Elevenmile Canyon), North Fork of the South Platte, and Williams Fork Rivers. Dorsey is an accomplished fly tier and has originated a number of very effective patterns such as the Mercury series, UV scud, Limeade, Cherry-Limeade, Paper Tiger, Top Secret Midge, Medallion Midge and the famed Black Beauty. Although Pat Dorsey no longer has the time to tie flies commercially, he once produced over 28,000 flies in a year. Dorsey is a fly designer for Umpqua Feather Merchants. His signature flies are available at the Blue Quill Angler and other specialty fly shop throughout the United States. Pat Dorsey is also a Pro Team Member for Whiting Farms. Many of his flies incorporate Whiting Farm products. Don’t miss his specialty class Fly Fishing Tips to Catch More Trout this class has limited seating for availability check here.

  1. Willard Franklin is a man on a mission. As the owner of Four W’s Outdoors, his passion is to promote safety in the outdoors, and making it a welcoming place for everyone regardless of their background. Franklin knows what every good sportsman knows, getting more folks interested in the outdoors is good from a conservation stand point, but this takes time. He knows in order to introduce new people to the outdoors, they need someone to come alongside them and show them the ropes. Franklin has been doing this for years, and has taken hundreds of folks hunting and fishing for the first time. From taking women on their first duck hunt, to teaching children how to fish, Four W’s Outdoors is there for anyone that wants to learn. Franklin is working closely with the National Safe Boating Council, and other organizations like Take Me Fishing. Franklin will be a special speaker at this year's Beyond the Cast Symposium.

Bill Gammel is the author of A Sportsman’s Pursuit: Finding Christ, Family and Friends in the Outdoors. He is known for his casting abilities. He has been fly fishing all over the US for the last 45 years and has been a fly casting instructor for 35 years. Gammel is best known for his writings and videos on the essentials of fly casting. He is a volunteer instructor for Good Fly.

Kevin Hutchison's love affair with the Texas Hill Country--and his professional fly fishing career--began more than three decades ago when first he guided on the Llano River. He guided on beautiful Hill Country rivers for over 30 years, including as an Orvis-endorsed guide for nearly a decade. Hutchison was among the first class to receive FFI-Certified Casting Instructor credentials. He has volunteered his time and expertise with Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Becoming an Outdoor Woman and Angler Education programs, the Texas Outdoor Women’s Network, Casting for Recovery outings, the Wounded Warrior Project, Project Healing Waters, Boy Scouts of America, and various other local and national charities. Hutchison completely rewrote the landmark Fly Fishing the Texas Hill Country in cooperation with author Bud Priddy's family, guaranteeing the work's life for future generations of Texas fly fishers. After 30 years of full-time guiding, Hutchison has refocused his energy on fly tying. In 2022 he purchased Wet A Hook--parent company of Tuffleye and Fly Foils--and in early 2024 he became the US distributor for Textreme high-tech fly-tying materials. Hutchison now lives in Bull Shoals, Arkansas, where he guides on a limited basis for Arkansas smallies.

We are pleased to have Kevin as one of this year’s Featured Fly Tyers at this year’s festival. Don’t miss his tying session on Hill Country Flies.

Chris Hunt is a career journalist who now focuses almost solely on writing about travel and culture. He’s the author of five books, countless newspaper and magazine articles and is now one of the managing partners of Hatch Adventure Travel, a travel start-up that focuses on matching adventurous anglers with the perfect fly-fishing or adventure destination. Hatch Adventure Travel sells small-boat tours in Alaska, African safaris, unplugged fishing adventures in Patagonia and lodge-based fly-fishing trips all over the world, from New Zealand to Iceland and from Idaho to Belize. Over the years, Chris’ work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, including Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, The New York Times, TROUT Magazine, Hatch Magazine, Fly Fisherman and the Flyfish Journal. Today, Chris splits his time between Florida and Idaho, and he travels the world vetting fly fishing lodges and camps for Hatch Adventure Travel.

This is the first time Chris will be a part of the Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival. Chris will be representing Hatch Adventure Travel, and we are so glad to have him as a presenter at this year’s festival.

Avid fly angler Joe Jackson is a prolific fly tyer best known for his artistic masterpieces with deer hair, including his Baby Yoda, Hummingbird, Cardinal, and T-Rex. An Army vet, Jackson was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan; after being medically retired with 14 years of service, Jackson discovered fly tying through Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, where he found more therapeutic relief than he did in the therapist’s chair. Jackson began tying flies in November 2016; by May 2017 his unique style had already garnered attention at an annual Project Healing Waters fly-tying event. Jackson tied in public for the first time at the International Fly-Tying Symposium in November 2017; meanwhile, his quirky art flies were creating a buzz on social media. He’s on the pro-staff of numerous companies some of which include Patridge Hooks, Lidrig, Squimpish Flies, Nature’s Spirit, Solarez and Regal Vise. Today Jackson spends most of his time tying flies, fishing, and volunteering with various veteran-focused nonprofits like Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing and Guitars4Vets. We are so pleased to have Joe Jackson as on of this year’s Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival Guest Tyers.


Mitch Kempe is a full-time guide for Fatties on the Fly, based out of Granbury, Texas. After picking up a fly rod on his annual Colorado family vacation, Kempe quickly fell in love with everything that went into catching a fish on a fly. Once he brought fly fishing back to his local lakes, ponds, and rivers, the real fun started. Kempe’s favorite part of being a full-time guide is having the opportunity to watch how excited people get when they set the hook on a fish, which reminds him of why he fell in love with the quiet sport in the first place. When he’s not running guided trips, you can usually find Kempe chasing carp up and down the Brazos or at home with his amazing wife and his three beautiful daughters.

A self-professed fly fishing fool, Bob Lindquistof Callicoon, New York, waded the waters of Long Island for more than 40 years before his retirement. His favorite targets were false albacore, striped bass, and weakfish. Lindquist has also fished the Catskills, particularly the Delaware River System, since 1983. His passion for this magnificent river system inspired him to build his retirement home on the banks of the Delaware River. Lindquist uses the skills he learned fishing the Delaware to guide on the river. He also has a passion for both Atlantic salmon and steelhead. Lindquist has worked with numerous fly-fishing manufacturers, including JviseWhiting Farms, Solarez, and Ahrex. Trained in mathematics, physics, philosophy, and education, Lindquist takes an analytic approach to fly fishing and fly tying and has been published in Fly Tyer, Salt Water Fly Fishing, Fly Fisherman, American Fly Fishing and Japanese Fly Fisherman magazines. Recently, Lindquist has added a passion for photography to his fly fishing and tying addictions. As a retired teacher and coach, he uses his public speaking skills to give presentations to clubs throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. We are very pleased to have Bob Lindquist as one of this year’s 2024  Texas Fly Fishing &  Brew Festival Featured Fly Tyers.

His father introduced Steve Maldonado of Evergreen, Colorado, to the outdoors as a child, and he has been fishing ever since. He is an Umpqua Signature Fly Designer with numerous patterns to his credit, including Maldo’s Trico, Maldo’s PMD Emerger, and Maldonado’s Jungle Junkie. He is also a pro staffer with Semperfli, Regal Vise, Scientific Anglers, Ahrex Hooks, and Solarez. A huge saltwater angling fan, Maldonado has fished all over the United States as well as Belize, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and Canada. He is passionate about fly fishing and fly tying and teaching others to match the hatch and learn to tie flies. Be sure to watch Steve as he teaches our attendees how to tie streamers for big trout.

Julie Mattson, owner of On the River Fly Fishing Guide Service, has been chasing trout since she could hold a fly rod. Mattson began her career in Alaska and then returned home to Montana before relocating to the year-round fishery in Oklahoma. Because of her more than 20 years of experience guiding, she was selected to participate in this year’s Ask a Female Expert panel discussion. Be sure to stop in and listen to Mattson as she shares her guiding experiences.

Wayne McGee‘s lifelong dream has been to run a world-class fishing operation on a prolific river system in Alaska’s Bristol Bay. Luckily for his many clients, McGee’s dream came true! For the past 18 years, McGee has fished across Alaska–including his “home water,” the Alagnak River, where you’ll find his Alaska Trophy Adventures Lodge. McGee doesn’t limit his fishing to Alaska, though: he has pursued everything from tigerfish and Nile perch in the Congo and Nile Rivers of Africa, to Atlantic salmon and sea trout in Norway and Scotland. In a former life McGee owned a charter boat company based in Senegal, West Africa, where he chased blue marlin, tuna, and sailfish. Today his heart is firmly fixed in Alaska’s Bristol Bay and the wild Alagnak River–and he’s eager to share the region’s beauty and bounty with you!

Brian O'Keefe , who works closely with Eleven Angling published his first fly-fishing photo at the ripe old age of 16. Today, more than 50 years later, angling and photography have taken him to such far-flung locales as Cuba, Tonga, Bikini Atoll, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Kashmir, England, Brazil, Nicaragua.... As much he enjoys jaunts to the Bahamas, Belize, and the Yucatan, O'Keefe is most at home on his home waters in the Northwestern United States. He moved to Bend, Oregon, in 1975 and guided on the Deschutes, North Umpqua, and Klamath rivers in California through the late '70s. O'Keefe has lived on steelhead rivers, bass lakes, and trout streams like the Metolius River. Today he lives in Eastern Idaho, near the South Fork of the Snake River, the Teton River, and the Henry’s Fork. O'Keefe has been published in numerous fly-fishing magazines, newspapers, tackle catalogs, books, and websites, and was co-owner of Catch Magazine for seven years. Check out his work at his website, www.brianokeefephotography.com.

Texas native Steven Palmer grew up fishing for bass and bluegill with his father in the creeks and rivers around Dallas-Fort Worth. Summer trips to Colorado were his introduction to fly fishing–and the rest is history. Today Palmer is the fishing manager for Orvis and teaches numerous fly-fishing and fly-tying classes. He still loves to fish locally but has branched out to pursue gar and carp along with nontypical species all over the world. Palmer has run the hosted travel program at Orvis Plano, taking participants to popular locales as diverse as Bolivia, Montana, Belize, Louisiana, and Iceland. He enjoys offering casting instruction and helping students overcome any bad habit they’ve developed on the water. New to fly fishing or don’t know where to begin when you want to travel to fly fish? Be sure to sit in on Palmer’s “Destinations Near & Far" class at this year's festival.

Brownwood native MeChelle Duffy-Pope grew up in Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri, picking up everything about the outdoors from her father. For 27 years, she has led guided fishing, hunting, kayaking, backpacking, mountaineering, camping, and spelunking trips; she has been a fly-fishing guide for 15 years. Today Duffy-Pope owns Black Swan Anglers, a fly shop and guide service catering specifically to women. She designs and creates custom fly-fishing gear herself, hand-tying all Black Swan's flies and collaborating with other companies to offer exceptional, unique handmade fly gear. A passionate conservationist, Duffy-Pope does conservation work with numerous local, state, and national organizations. She also teaches extensively throughout the region. In addition, Duffy-Pope has developed a nonprofit called Casting for Clarity, centered on mental health awareness and the healing aspects of fly fishing.

Jason Randall’s credits much of his passion for fishing to his father. “Some of my earliest and happiest memories involve fishing,” he recalls. “I remember many trips to Canada or Minnesota for pike and small mouth.” As a young man, he learned fly fishing from other mentors.

The blessings we receive are meant to be passed on to others, so to share his passion and knowledge, in 2002, Jason began a career as an outdoor writer with feature articles appearing regularly in American Angler, as well as Fly Fisherman, Fly Tyer, Eastern Fly Fishing, Northwest Fly Fishing and many other outdoor magazines.  His first book, ‘Moving Water: A Fly Fisher’s Guide to Currents’ was released in 2012 by Stackpole/Headwater books.  It studies the effect of current on trout, their prey species and our angling presentation. His second book ‘Feeding Time: A Fly Fisher’s Guide to What, Where and When Trout Eat’, was released in August of 2013.  It focuses on matching your fishing strategies to the trout’s feeding strategies, especially when targeting large trout. In 2014, the third book in the ‘Fly Fisher’s Guide’ trilogy was released- ‘Trout Sense; A Fly Fisher’s Guide to What Trout See, Hear and Smell’, which offers anglers an opportunity to know more about the quarry they seek. In April 2017, Jason’s forth book was released from Stackpole/ Headwaters Books. Titled ‘Nymph Masters; Fly Fishing Secrets from Expert Anglers’, this book explores the depths of nymph fishing and advanced nymph fishing techniques.

In 2017, Jason joined Luminaries Bob Clouser, Ed Jaworowski, the late Lefty Kreh and many others on the Temple Fork Outfitters (TFO) National Advisory Team and was the lead advisor for designing the TFO Drift rod and the family of TFO Stealth nymphing rods. Jason appears and presents at shows, clubs and events throughout North America.

We are very glad to have Jason speaking at this year’s festival. Please check back later to see a listing of his specialty classes that will be offered with limited seating this year.

“Just a sista who loves to fish” is how Jaz Robinson describes herself on her growing Instagram profile. Known as Castaway Jaz, the Dallas area resident is sharing her newfound passion for fishing with a growing audience. She’ll be the first to tell you she’s no expert, but she’s happiest when she’s sharing what she has learned with others. She loves finding fishing spots close to home, and caught her very first fish at Lakeside Park in Duncanville, which is a Texas Parks and Wildlife Neighborhood Fishin’ location. Jaz’ reputation is growing and she has been featured in Southern Living, Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine, and WFAA-TV. She’s working toward buying her first fishing boat, and hopes to one day compete as a pro angler. She will be one of our Lead Anglers in this year’s Beyond the Cast Women’s Fly Fishing Symposium.

Jeff Rowley was born and raised in the Texas Panhandle. He grew up outdoors at his family's small cabin in the Rocky Mountains, where he developed a passion for fly fishing and fly tying. At just 12 years old he received his first fly-tying kit, learning to tie mostly from books and instruction manuals. Though he has fished throughout Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas--and loves saltwater fly fishing on the Texas coast--Rowley believes that nothing compares to targeting trout in the Rocky Mountains. Rio Grande cutthroat, in particular, are Rowley's gold standard. As a fly tyer, he loves working with deer hair, tying challenging patterns, and mastering new techniques.

This is Rowley’s first time as a Featured Tyer at this year’s festival and he’s appearing on behalf of Semperfli.  Be sure to stop by and see his amazing Deer Hair Bass Bugs! Rowley is also associated with other well-known brands such as Stonfo, Ahrex Hooks, Renomed, Lid Rig, and Dead Meat Customs.

Allen Rupp has been tying flies for 35 years. Growing up around the District of Columbia, his first fish on the fly were Potomac River smallies. Allen now owns and operates Fly On The Water, and while he lives in New York City, his flies have caught fish all over the world–from Belize, Chile, Canada, Mexico, and the UK to Colorado, Montana, New York, Wisconsin, and beyond. Lately saltwater fish–and especially snook–have been taking up most of his time. Allen was a close friend and was mentored by the late Dave Whitlock and ties many of Dave’s patterns. This is Allen's third appearance at the Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival, and we are pleased to have him. He’ll be teaching  a new Friday Class Dave Whitlocks Bass Flies From Top to Bottom, in addition to an Advanced Streamer Fly Tying Class.  He will also be tying flies and doing demos at his booth throughout the weekend.

Juraj “George” Sabol, a New Jersey-based fly tyer specializing in freshwater streamers and saltwater patterns, is the owner of Hooked on the Fly 2 Custom Flies and Photography. Born and raised in the former Czechoslovakia, Sabol had finished his enlistment with the US Navy when he was drawn into fly fishing for the first time through a Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing outing. There he cast a fly rod for a few minutes and tied his first wooly bugger--and the rest is history. Fourteen years later, Sabol is still tying flies; his specialty is tying custom orders for specific trips. He lives to tie patterns to chase the ultimate predators; some of his clients call him "The Meat Maker" for that reason. Sabol is a pro staffer with HMH Vises, Ahrex Hooks, and Loon Outdoors and has been a professional photographer for over 7 years.  We are quite pleased to have George join us as a new Featured Fly Tyer for our 2024 festival.

Tim Urtiaga discovered fly fishing at a very young age and quickly decided he wanted to share his love for the quiet sport with others. Over the years Urtiaga has successfully guided many clients to beautiful trout on New Mexico’s famed San Juan River. After catching a few monster Northern pike on the fly, Urtiaga was himself “hooked”—and began to offer the only guided fly-fishing trips for Northern pike off of a boat. Urtiaga, who has been featured in Field & Stream and American Fly Fishing, is trying to raise awareness of Northern pike, abolish the catch-and-kill rule, and increase conservation efforts to protect this species. Urtiaga opened Eagle Nest Fly Shack in Eagle Nest, New Mexico, to provide a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts with the gear and equipment they need to become independent anglers. The Fly Shack, which really did begin as a shack beside an old gas station, thrived and grew until Urtiaga expanded to include more space and even lodging. Today Eagle Nest Fly Shack and Lodge offers eight hotel-style accommodations as well as guided fishing with four different experienced fishing guides.

For 16 years Dallas-based casting instructor, fly fisher, and fly tyer Rex Walker has been helping people improve their fly casting skills. He has worked with many of the region’s fly fishing clubs, at fly fishing events across Texas, and with both Reel Recovery and Project Healing Waters. Walker is a Fly Fishers International-certified instructor and the fly casting coordinator for the Dallas Fly Fishers. When not helping other fly fishers, Walker can often be found on Lake Texoma chasing black bass and striped bass on the fly.

Greg Welander is a manufacturer’s representative for major fly fishing brands like  Thomas & Thomas, Moonlit Fly Fishing, Seigler Reels, Sight Cast Fly Fishing and many others. He’s a lifelong angler who has been fishing since he was four years old; he started tying flies not long after. Growing up in San Antonio, Welander has fly fished for everything from stripers on the Red River below Lake Texoma to redfish in the Lower Laguna Madre to bass in local Texas Hill Country streams and lakes. He has been a fly-tying instructor and licensed guide for over ten years. Welander regularly guides clients on the Brazos River and its tributaries in North Texas where he lives. You can follow Welander’s fly fishing journey through Upstream on the Fly.

Native Texan, mother, and grandmother to six, Carol Wells has been married to her husband--and fishing partner--for more than 30 years. She has been fishing all her life: Whether boating in fresh or saltwater or fishing from a kayak, Wells loves making new like-minded friends who also enjoy the outdoors. She is the membership coordinator for the Women's Fishing Federation, a brand ambassador for Mariner-Sails, and on the pro staff with Four W's Fishing Team and North Texas Women Fishing.


Kristin Young, co-owner of Maggie Valley Fly Shop, grew up a military brat; she well remembers bonding with her father during saltwater fishing trips wherever their family was stationed. Young followed in her father's military footsteps, enlisting in the US Air Force herself. Twenty years later, her love of fishing returned with a vengeance when husband Shannon introduced her to the quiet sport of fly fishing; the two spent countless hours fishing in Florida saltwater before moving to Maggie Valley, North Carolina, during the COVID pandemic lockdowns of 2020, inspired by the region's sense of community as well as its seemingly endless opportunities for outdoor adventure. What began as a guide service launched from their cabin has turned into Maggie Valley Fly Shop, where today the Youngs are living their angling dream. The 2024 Texas Fly & Brew welcomes speaker Kristin Young to our Beyond the Cast Women's Fly Fishing Symposium.

Shannon Young, who began fly fishing as a teenager in the mountains of North Georgia, was a bass angler for 30 years and fished the B.A.S.S. state federation circuit for three years before opening a guide service in Western North Carolina. Young loves to instruct and guide clients in the art of European or "Czech" nymphing. He and his wife Kristin own and operate Maggie Valley Fly Shop in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. As an avid fly angler, pro-staffer for Hardy Fly Rods as well as Cortland Line Company, guide, and fly shop owner, Young is driven to welcoming novices into the quiet sport of fly fishing and introducing them to the enduring beauty of the outdoors. Young is one of our new speakers for the 2024 festival, and we are grateful to have him and his wife Kristin join us.