Women’s Symposium

Brand new at the 2023 Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival ( February 25-26 in Mesquite): Sponsored by Take Me Fishing, an exciting new program designed by and for women to ensure that women from all walks of life excel in the quiet sport of fly fishing.

Beyond the Cast Women’s Fly Fishing Symposium,” the first event of its kind, will offer a wide variety of intermediate to advanced fly-fishing programming created specifically for women and taught by experts from all over the country. “We’ve provided numerous introductory casting and ‘Fly Fishing 101’-style classes over the years,” says Festival Director Beau Beasley, “and those classes have been enormously successful. ‘Beyond the Cast’ is different. What we have here is a program by and for women, with a focus on topics that women have told us they’re looking for and haven’t found elsewhere.” The Texas Fly & Brew is “thrilled to partner with Joan Swartz and Texas Women Fly Fishers to bring this event to Mesquite,” continues Beasley “and so grateful to the RBFF for turning this dream into a reality.”

Stephanie Vatalaro, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communication for the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, says that RBFF is “thrilled to be the festival’s sponsor and support this unique women’s initiative at the fly-fishing festival in Texas. RBFF’s Take Me Fishing brand has an exclusive focus on women with its national campaign Women Making Waves, supporting initiatives that make women feel comfortable and confident in the sport.”

Ultimately, “Beyond the Cast” program developers, sponsors, and instructors hope to build a connected community of confident, independent women anglers. Some elements of the program include:

  • how to interact safely and appropriately with wildlife;
  • how to choose the right waders and wade safely;
  • the whys, whens, and hows of euro-nymphing;
  • how to use a kayak when fishing;
  • an ask-an-expert-anything session;
  • the ins and outs of sling packs and fly boxes; and
  • how to plan a safe day on the river, taught by a security specialist.

Symposium participants will interact with one another, industry leaders, and special guests during a complimentary lunch on the Saturday of the festival. When they aren’t participating in symposium-specific programming, students are invited to take in the rest of the festival over the course of the weekend.

Beyond the Cast Women’s Fly Fishing Symposium” will feature regional and national expert instructors and guides including Tina Murray; Julie Mattson; Tom Rosenbauer; Jerry Hamon; Kim Ranalla; special guest Amy Milne, Director of Operations for Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing; and many more. 2023 Texas Fly & Brew “Beyond the Cast” participants will meet Kirk Deeter from Trout Unlimited and will also receive a complimentary membership to TU. Attendees will also meet and speak with Joan Swartz, President of Texas Women Fly Fishers.

Because a chief goal of symposium organizers is to create a friendly, vital community of like-minded angling women, “Beyond the Cast Women’s Fly Fishing Symposium” is limited to 50 participants. “Beyond the Cast” will also include up to half a dozen Lead Anglers, carefully selected angling women who will serve as the symposium’s goodwill ambassadors and ensure that each participant is connected with at least one seasoned mentor over the course of the weekend.

Beyond the Cast FAQs

Q. Can I attend Beyond the Cast even if I’m a beginner?

A. Although the symposium has been designed primarily to meet the needs of women anglers with more than a basic knowledge of fly fishing, any woman wishing to learn more about fly fishing can attend.

Q. Do I need to bring any gear?

A. No equipment of any kind is required.

Q. Does symposium participation include a weekend pass to the festival?

A. Yes, it does!

Q. Can I buy Beyond the Cast tickets at the door?

A. Symposium tickets are limited, and when they’re gone…they’re gone for good. If Beyond the Cast tickets remain when we open the doors, then yes–they may be reserved at the door.

For more information about “Beyond the Cast Women’s Fly Fishing Symposium at the 2023 Texas Fly & Brew, contact Festival Director Beau Beasley at fishutopia@comcast.net or check out the 2023 events that will feature “Beyond the Cast”: www.txflyfishingfestival.org.

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