Story by Lone Star Outdoor News
Photo by Temple Fork Outfitters
The aim of Beau Beasley, the director of the 1st annual Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival, is to raise fly-fishing awareness to Texans. Having craft beers on hand at the two-day event won’t hurt the effort.
The festival comes to the Plano Center on March 11-12.
“Contrary to popular belief, fly fishing is easy, affordable, family friendly and fun,” Beasley said. “It’s my mission in life to communicate that message as widely as possible.”
Beasley also directs the Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival, now in its 17th season, and hopes to share the festival’s success with Texans.
“If even one parent leaves our event understanding for the first time that he or she can haul the kids down to a Texas farm pond after work and have a blast landing largemouth bass until dusk, I call that a win,” Beasley said. “It’s the mission of these events to grow the next generation of fly anglers.”
Dallas-based fly rod manufacturer Temple Fork Outfitters and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation are major sponsors of the festival, along with Dallas-based Tailwaters Fly Fishing Company, along with The Fly Shop from Redding, California, who is sponsoring the festival’s VIP-after Party.
“The region has been waiting for an event just like this one — for a new approach to fly fishing,” said TFO owner Rick Pope.
David Leake, owner of Tailwaters, agrees.
“When we discovered such a large scale fly-fishing event was coming to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and it included Texas microbrews, we jumped in with both feet.”
The support of RBFF’s TakeMeFishing.org campaign also enables Boy Scouts to earn their Fly Fishing Merit Badge at the festival through a series of classes taught by BSA-certified instructors.
The festival will feature lectures and classes throughout the weekend on techniques and tactics for novices and advanced casters alike, exotic fishing locales, fishing etiquette and much more. Free Women-Only Casting Classes as well as one-on-one instruction in basic knot-tying skills also will be offered. Attendees can also try their hand at paddling kayaks with the festival’s on-site kayak demo pond. Experienced anglers may enroll in more advanced distance-casting or Spey-casting classes with expert specialized instructors, or attend a course on fly tying.
And then there is the local microbrewery beer. Festival attendees 21 years and older will receive a series of tasting tickets with their paid admission. Brewery personnel from Oskar Blues, Four Corners, SweetWater and the Texas Ale Project will be on hand to answer questions on what sets the beer apart, why and how certain ingredients yield different flavors and how to brew and taste different types of beer. Beer also will be available for purchase during the festival.
“For far too long folks have perceived fly fishing as expensive, exclusive, and difficult,” Beasley said. “It’s the sport for rich, tweed-wearing old men, right? Sure, but it’s not only for them. It’s for women. It’s for families. It’s for everyone.”
Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival