The American Museum of Fly Fishing celebrated its 10th annual Fly Fishing Festival August 12 with great weather and a wonderful crowd of over 780 people. The festival boasted its most diverse set of vendors to date from tackle dealers to companies such as Moonlight Cookies and Icy Palmer candles. Jordan Ross and “Reflections of a Fly Rod” author Mark Usyk who represented J.P. Ross Fly Rods and Trail Marker Overland had by far the most creative booth setup. Their Trail Marker camper was parked near our casting area and came complete with an outside display of J.P. Ross hats, bracelets, books, and a fully decked out camper interior complete with a very patient dog. Festival guests cast fly rods from Thomas & Thomas, Douglas Outdoors, and the award winning G-series from Scott Fly Rods. The team from HMH vises drove all the way from Biddeford, Maine for the show with their full line of options for beginner and expert fly tiers alike while our motley crew of fly tiers brought the entertainment and deer hair.
Rachel Finn conducted a fantastic program on making soft presentations to picky trout, a hilarious and informative session as she could only put together. That was followed by a saltwater fly fishing seminar with Peter Kutzer of Orvis. He taught a number of casts that are effective on many different types of saltwater species and went over proper rod handling techniques to gain leverage when fighting big fish. Following that, Douglas Outdoors held a casting competition for the third consecutive year and the winner, Jake Sonberg, went home with a brand new Upstream fly rod courtesy of Douglas.
Festival goers flocked to the Mio Bistro food truck to try many great local options from their menu, as well as an outstanding crab roll. The Lemonistas kept everyone refreshed and Mad River Distillers and Shacksbury wowed with their fly fishing festival special Double Haul cocktail, whipped together with Mad River bourbon, Shacksbury Spritz cider, jasmine syrup and a touch of lemon. Chef Edward St. Onge of the Raven’s Den Steakhouse led an informative demonstration at 1 p.m. that delved into the science behind oysters – where they come from and what that has to do with their flavor – as well as methods to shuck them and prepare a variety of sauces.
We have come a long way since our first Fly Fishing Festival in 2007. From music and food to the introduction of more modern fly fishing brands, the annual summer celebration gets better every year. We would like to thank everyone who attended the event our 10th annual fly fishing festival, all of our vendors new and old, our demonstrators who so graciously donated their time, and our generous sponsors at Orvis, Vermont Smoke & Cure, Douglas Outdoors, Scientific Anglers, P & F Appliance, Langway of Manchester, The Works, Tall Cat Coffee, Mrs. Murphy’s Donuts, rk Miles, Mulligans, and the Vermont Country Store.
Check out more photos from the event.