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Speakers

Al Alborn, AKA the Virginia Trout Bum, fishes extensively across the Old Dominion and in surrounding states using the Japanese method of fly fishing called Tenkara. Alborn spent 22 years serving his country in the United States Army and retired as a Chief Warrant Officer 4. In 2002, Alborn retired as a Vice President, Division Manager, and Group Senior Scientist with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). He now spends his time writing, fly fishing in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and doing volunteer work within his community. He is a fly-fishing guide for Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing who likes to remind folks that “the journey is the reward.”


Beau Beasley is an outdoor investigative journalist whose work has appeared in Fly Fisherman, American Angler, Eastern Fly Fishing, Fly Tyer, Blue Ridge Outdoors, Sporting Classics and other national fly fishing magazines. He is best known for his in-depth investigation into Virginia’s crown grants as well as other access and use issues, and his work on menhaden, an important saltwater baitfish. He teaches a class on “Killer Crossover Patterns for Bass and Trout” that Old Dominion fly anglers will enjoy. Beau also serves as the Director of the Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival.


Tom Cooper is a native of Murfreesboro, NC, a four-stoplight kind of town where Cooper fronted a band, the Double Reverse Piston Crackers, as a high school sophomore. An avid angler, Cooper practiced the finer points of the quiet sport on Wilson Creek and makes it his business to get back there as often as possible in pursuit of browns and brookies. He moved to Richmond with his wife Connie in 1978 and has called the big city home ever since. He was recently recruited out of retirement by his children, Brad and Brittany, to lead sales for Steam Bell Beer Works, based in Chesterfield. When he’s not building breweries or selling beer, Cooper enjoys spending time with the family dog, picking his guitar, and tying freshwater flies. Unless you enjoy standing up in the back of the room, make plans to arrive early to Cooper’s “Understanding Micro-Brews 101.”


Fly fishing guide and author George Daniel cut his teeth on some of the most technical streams in Pennsylvania. At only 16, his idol Joe Humphreys began instructing Daniel in the art of the cast. He earned a degree in natural resource management from Lock Haven University before qualifying for Fly Fishing Team USA. Daniel competed in six World Fly Fishing Championships and coached both the US Youth Team and Fly Fishing Team USA in four World Championships. He is a two-time US National Fly Fishing Champion and was ranked as high as fifth in the world.

Daniel’s true passion is fly fishing education. He provides seminars to clubs and fly fishing shows all over the country (though he still logs more than 280 days a year on trout waters near and far). He is the author of two highly regarded, best-selling books as well as articles in Fly Fisherman, American Angler, and Fly Tyer. He is a pro-staffer for numerous companies including Orvis, Tacky Fly Boxes, FlyCraft Boats, Regal Vices, Competitive Angler Tying Supplies, Golden Trout Lanyads, and Loon. He is a fly designer and brand ambassador for Holly Flies. Don’t miss Daniel’s class on “Seductive Streamer Strategies.”


After serving his country honorably in the US Navy for four years, Herschel Finch moved to Virginia. Since 1977 Finch has been exploring (and fishing) the waters of the Old Dominion almost entirely from his kayak. He’s been on the national pro-staff of Jackson Kayak for 7 years, and also serves as a pro-staffer for Orion Coolers, YakAttack, and Bending Branches Paddles. Finch is passionate about protecting the outdoors and serves as the Conservation Chairman for both Warren County’s Izaak Walton League as well as for the Potomac River Smallmouth Club. He also has a leadership role with the Virginia Outdoorsman’s Conservation Roundtable. The festival will host Finch’s class “Kayaks on the Fly, Getting Started” each day, and all festival attendees are warmly welcomed to attend.


Patrick Fulkrod is the owner of The South Holston River Company, a full-service guiding organization that caters to beginning and experienced fly anglers alike. Patrick is an excellent instructor, and his zeal for guiding folks to trophy trout on the Watauga and South Holston Rivers is well known. Don’t let his young age be confused with inexperience; Patrick was honored as the Orvis Endorsed Guide of the Year in 2013. Yes, he’s just that good!


Kiki Galvin, owner of Ms. Guided Fly Fishing Services, has been a fly-fishing guide since 2002. Kiki has volunteered with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing since 2007 and was recently recognized as Volunteer of the Year for the National Capital region. Kiki is an enthusiastic instructor and a longtime member of the International Women Fly Fishers. She will be teaching our free walk-up casting


Simon Gawesworth, son of well-known fly fishing instructor and author John Gawesworth, learned to fish at six and took up fly fishing at eight. By the time he left school at 16 to teach fly fishing, Simon had become the British Junior Casting Champion, repeating the feat the next year. In the following years Simon broke seven British casting records and won the adult casting championships three times in succession, representing England in two European and one World Team Championships.

During his career Simon has written numerous articles for the fishing press, published two books on spey casting, presented five instructional videos and DVDs, appeared on numerous television and radio shows, and demonstrated casting at fly fishing shows around the world. He is recognized as one of the leading authorities on spey casting and fly casting instruction. He’s a Fly Fishers International certified Master Casting Instructor and Two Handed Casting Instructor.

Gawesworth lives in Washington State and works for RIO Products, where he is the Brand Manager and designs and tests fly lines. He conducts fly casting classes and seminars around the world and will provide advanced casting classes at this year’s festival.


Shannon Horton is the owner of Horton Vineyards and a longtime wine lover. Horton will be sharing her passion with us at this year’s festival. Be sure stop by her booth and check out her vineyards offerings, and especially her port. Don’t know much about wine? Great, then be sure to sit in on her “Wine 101” class which is open to all attendees at this year’s festival.


Dr. Andrij Horodysky has been a Signature Fly Designer for Umpqua Feather Merchants since 2001 and holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Marine Science. His expertise is in studies of fish sensory ecology, behavior, and conservation. Presently an Assistant Professor at Hampton University, Horodysky’s fisheries research career has ranged from chasing marlin around the Caribbean’s high seas with satellite tags; flashing lights at fish eyes and sounds at gamefish ears; and rigging security cameras, beauty mirrors, and yoga mats to measure fish temperature preferences. Horodysky’s creative interdisciplinary research has resulted in 25 scientific publications as well as numerous awards and honors from scientific and angler organizations. In 2009, Horodysky penned an invited article about fish vision for the International Game Fishing Association’s Book of World Records. He nurtures a lifelong burning desire to learn HOW fishes work: what variables drive their movements, what they eat and how it changes in space and time, how they see and what they hear, and how applying insights from his fish sensory research can improve fly fishing performance.

Horodysky approaches fly design like he approaches his career as a fisheries scientist: thinking intensely from the fish’s perspective. His patterns are born of scientific observations and experiments; his “Sci-fly” tying philosophy applies tenets of aquatic optics and fish sensory physiology–a unique voice in the industry. Combining light-bending synthetics to give impressions of movement with the breathability and silhouette of natural materials, he developed the Toadfish, Angora Shrimp, Epoxy Mudbug, Ripcord Caddis, Nitro Caddis Pupa, Brasstards, Mohawk Beetle, and Mopsicle series. His uniquely engineered patterns exploit vulnerabilities in fish sensory systems and are ruthlessly effective worldwide in fresh and saltwater.


Ed Jaworowski is passionate about fly casting. The author of The Cast and Troubleshooting the Cast, among other fly fishing books, Ed is an excellent instructor who connects well with his students regardless of their skill level. He is currently on the Temple Fork Outfitters Advisory Staff, and his Intermediate to Advanced Casting Class is just what you’ll need to take your casting skills to the next level. Ed also recently collaborated with his mentor Lefty Kreh to create a new casting DVD called The Complete Cast: Applying Principles to Fresh & Saltwater Fly Casting.


Paul Kearney is the founder of the Trout Unlimited Tri-State Conservation and Fishing Camp and has a passion for young people. He is knowledgeable about all things fly fishing and has guided extensively in the Shenandoah National Park. Paul has a strong attachment–some might call it an addiction…–to bamboo rods and will be the lead instructor for our Family Fly Fishing Classes this year.


David Klausmeyer is a household name to fly tyers. The editor of Fly Tyer magazine got his start in 1994 with American Angler. Klausmeyer’s amazing photographs of fly patterns and his uncanny ability to tie nearly any pattern have garnered him a great deal of respect in the industry and among fellow tyers. He is the author of more than a dozen books on various aspects of fly tying. In 2006, Klausmeyer was the first recipient of the Golden Hook Award, presented to him by the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum for his diligence in educating the public about fly fishing and fly tying. Stop by the American Angler/ Fly Tyer booth and say hello to Klausmeyer at this year’s festival.


Landon Mayer’s angling success is fueled by an addiction to pursuing large trout with small flies and lightweight fly-fishing equipment. Mayer enthusiastically teaches and demonstrates his techniques and on-river knowledge to fellow anglers and has developed innovative strategies for sighting, hooking, and landing selective trout. He shares these times and secrets in his books 101 Trout Tips: A Guide’s Secrets, Tactics, and Techniques; Colorado’s Best Fly Fishing; Sight Fishing for Trout; and How to Catch the Biggest Trout of Your Life, in addition to two DVDs: Landing the Trout of Your Life and Weapons of Bass Production.  His articles have appeared in such publications as American Angler, Southwest Fly Fishing, and Field and Stream.

As an ambassador in the fly-fishing industry, Mayer represents several lines including Simms; he is also a royalty fly designer for Umpqua Feather Merchants. He is an advisory team member of Simms, Bauer Reels, R.L. Winston, Scientific Angler, Smith Optics, Fishpond, and Yeti.


Lynchburg native Captain Matt Miles began fly fishing in 1993 and moved to Colorado in 1996 to live out his dream of becoming a fly fishing guide. While in Colorado he met Pat Dorsey, an author, photographer, and expert fly fishing guide for the Blue Quill Angler in Evergreen, Colorado. In 1997 Miles began guiding with Dorsey at the Blue Quill Angler; he has since guided over 700 trips. In 2003 Miles decided to move back to Lynchburg to guide on his home waters. Miles also ties his own flies and is a fly designer for Umpqua Feather Merchants. No matter his home base, Miles’ passion remains guiding, teaching, and being on the water.


Tim O’Neill, who began fly fishing at ten, is the founder and owner of O’Neill’s Fly Fishing, an online community dedicated to all aspects of fly fishing culture. During the following three decades, his passion for the sport carried him through many parts of the industry including retail sales, commercial fly tying, lecturing, seminar teaching, and guiding. Currently he operates O’Neill’s Fly Fishing as well as being the sole East Coast sales representative for the Nor-vise fly tying system. Tim’s fly fishing exploits have been written up in publications like Out and About Delaware and Delaware Today, and NPR interviewed him to discuss fly fishing. He considers himself an educator first and gets the most pleasure in helping others learn more about this great sport. When asked what his favorite fish to catch is, his response is always the same: “The one on the end of my tippet.” Please feel free to contact him to discuss all things fly fishing at tim@oneillsflyfishing.com.


Jason Randall is on the national pro-staff for Temple Fork Outfitters, and he’s been an outdoor writer for the last 15 years. His feature articles appear regularly in American Angler, as well as Fly Fisherman, Eastern Fly Fishing, Northwest Fly Fishing, and many other outdoor magazines.  His first book, Moving Water: A Fly Fisher’s Guide to Currents (2012), studies the effects of current on trout, their prey species, and presentation, where vertical layers of current create drag and require adjustments to improve nymph fishing success. His second book Feeding Time: A Fly Fisher’s Guide to What, Where and When Trout Eat (2013), focuses on matching your fishing strategies to the trout’s feeding strategies, especially when targeting large trout. His third book in the ‘Fly Fisher’s Guide’ trilogy, Trout Sense: A Fly Fisher’s Guide to What Trout See, Hear and Smell (2014), offers anglers an opportunity to know more about the quarry they seek. Randall’s fourth book, Nymph Masters: Fly Fishing Secrets from Expert Anglers, explores the depths of nymph fishing and advanced nymph-fishing techniques. It incorporates tips and ideas from some of the leading experts in nymph fishing.


David “Rocky” Rockwell is a full-time fly fishing guide who spends hundreds of days a year  leading anglers to salmon and steelhead on the famed waters of New York’s Salmon River. Rockwell served his nation honorably for 30 years, retiring at the rank of Colonel. And although he rarely speaks of his combat experience, Rockwell believes that the best men and women in the world serve in the United States Armed Forces. When not hosting clients for the newly expanded Tailwater Lodge in Altmar, New York, Rockwell spends time speaking to nonprofit organizations like Trout Unlimited. He also takes great delight in leading wounded warriors to their first fish on a fly rod. Don’t miss Rockwell’s talk this year on fishing New York’s Salmon River.


Cory Routh, owner of Ruthless Outdoor Adventures Kayak Fishing, is hands-down one of the best-known fly angling kayakers in the country. Having fished from Texas to New York and even along the northern shore of Oahu, Cory’s kayaking experience is something he likes to share. Cory is a pro-staffer for Temple Fork Outfitters, serves as an ambassador for Under Armour, and is part of the Regional Hobie Fishing Team. Cory’s the author of Kayak Fishing: The Complete Guide; when not fishing, Cory is likely to be found on the Chesapeake Bay waterfowl hunting.


Tom Sadler is a professional guide and dedicated Tenkara fly fisherman. His passion for Tenkara was honed in Virginia’s mountain streams fishing for native brook trout, and he blogs about his experiences at MiddleRiverDispatches.com. In April 2013, Tom was tapped to be the Executive Director of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Tom will be doing Tenkara demonstrations throughout the weekend which will begin in the Mossy Creek Fly Fishing Booth.


Eric Stroup is the General Manager of Harman’s Luxury Log Cabins in Hopeville Canyon, West Virginia. Over the past 20 years, he has made a living as a commercial fly tyer, retail shop owner, writer, videographer and most notably as a guide and instructor. Stroup’s first book, Common Sense Fly Fishing, is a bestseller and the topic of his popular presentation of the same title. Stop by Saturday for a good seat!


Wanda Taylor’s unparalleled casting skills are the reason she teaches casting classes; her Southern charm and affability are the reason we ask her back year after year. Wanda was recently inducted into the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame at the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians. She is the first female Certified Master Casting Instructor recognized by the International Federation of Fly Fishers. Wanda is one of the best casters in the country and teaches our “Beginner Fly Fishing Class” at the festival.


Colby Trow has been guiding fly anglers for over a decade. He sits on many industry boards including The American Fly Fishing Trade Association, Fly Fishers of Virginia, and Massanutten TU, and works closely with VDGIF, DEQ, and Shenandoah Riverkeeper on local conservation efforts. Colby fishes and guides extensively on the Shenandoah and the James Rivers and is a fixture on Mossy Creek, Virginia’s best trout stream. He and his brother Brian opened Mossy Creek Fly Fishing in 2004 and now lead over 100 new anglers a year into the sport through their successful fly fishing classes held at Wintergreen Resort.

 

Featured Fly Tyers

Jim Bensinger is a former Marine and the owner of Fiber Flies Dubbing. Obsessed with all things fly fishing—and especially fly tying—Bensinger has developed a line of materials derived from Alpaca. This material is perfect for dubbing. Amateur fly tyers will love it. Stop by Jim’s booth, and let him show you how it works.


Walt Cary is a household name to popping bug enthusiasts. Walt’s Poppers are the best popping bugs money can buy (when you can find them) and seem to last forever. Walt has been creating these fishable works of art for nearly 50 years. Walt was recently inducted into the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame at the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians and will be speaking on how to make the world’s best poppers. Be sure to stop by his booth and watch him create these great bass and bream bugs in front of your very eyes.


Chuck Kraft is hands-down the best-known fly-fishing guide in the Old Dominion. Having guided on rivers like the James and the Shenandoah for decades, no one knows smallies like Chuck does. He’s also an innovative fly tyer with many unique patterns to his credit, including the CK Nymph, CK Baitfish, Kreelex, Claw-Dad, and his newest pattern, the Crittermite.

 


Tommy Mattioli’s patterns are known throughout the Mid-Atlantic and beyond. Though a native of New Jersey where he learned to fish while working alongside his brother as a commercial angler, he eventually moved to the Old Dominion and has taken his place as one of Virginia’s best-known tyers. Both his salt- and freshwater patterns stay in demand year-round, and his famed Tommy’s Torpedo is a must-have pattern for shad anglers. Tommy will be demonstrating fly tying all weekend in the Green Top Sporting Goods booth, and his patterns are available there for sale as well.

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For more information, contact Beau Beasley at (703) 402-8338 or fishutopia@comcast.net