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Classes

Photo Courtesy Jay Nichols

2022 Virginia Fly Fishing Festival Class Descriptions Paid/Free

A variety of both paid and free classes will be offered at the 21st Annual Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival. Unless otherwise noted, all classes and lectures mentioned in the festival program are included in the admission fee. All casting classes will be held inside. Classroom sizes have been significantly increased to ensure social distancing.

Advanced Fly Casting/ Understanding Advanced Techniques with Mac Brown (Limit 10).

This co-ed class is for students with significant experience in fly fishing and is not for inexperienced fly anglers. The class will be offered in two parts, the lecture portion will be held at the conference room at Fairfield Inn and Suites in Ashland, Virginia. The casting portion will be held on the festival grounds at the Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Virginia. Students will go over multiple aspects of casting from line speed, and distance to loops and aerial mends. This course will cover all the basic knowledge, skills and abilities required to pass the Fly Fishers International Certified & Master Certified Casting Course. Students will get a certificate of achievement from the instructor, as well as a copy of his latest book. Students who take this class are also given a weekend pass to the festival. Please note this is not a FFI Certification Class. This class has very limited seating and once purchased no refunds will be offered. This class includes weekend passes to the festival.

Classes held Friday: 8:00AM-5:30PM. Check availability by clicking here.     

NEW in 2022! Master Class: Fishing Tailwaters with Pat Dorsey (Limit 14 students).

Tailwater fisheries are dependable four-season fisheries that afford anglers consistent flows, clear water, large populations of trout, and reliable hatches. Learn the tactics and techniques to successfully master these year-round waters. Detailed discussions of dams, tailwater benefits, entomology, matching the hatch, fly selection, rigging rods, reading the water, presentation, and much more are included. This class has been designed with the more experienced angler in mind, but new fly anglers will also benefit. All materials for the course will be provided, and no fly casting is involved.

This class has limited seating, and once purchased, no refunds will be offered. Please print out your receipt and bring it with you to the festival.

Class time/dates: 11-12:50 PM Saturday & 12:30-2:30 Sunday

Availability: Click here

NEW in 2022! Becoming an Independent Angler: Women-Only Class with Jen Ripple (Limit 14 students).

So you’ve fished a few times? Maybe more than a few times but you’re still not sure what to do on the water without a guide or more experienced friend? No worries: Jen Ripple’s got you covered. Editor-in-chief of Dun magazine, Ripple has fished all over the world and brings tremendous experience to class. This specialty, guided-conversation class will help you learn to maximize your fishing options, gain independence by learning how to adjust your own rig, and select the right pattern. Ripple will also cover the differences in leaders and tippets, nylon versus fluorocarbon, and how to make those adjustments to be more efficient on the water. Students will cover gear and how to use it, whether fishing alone or in a group setting. This class is targeted toward new anglers; nevertheless, Ripple’s extensive experience in a variety of fresh and saltwater settings means that even advanced anglers will take away new information.

This women-only class is suitable for both fresh and saltwater anglers. Seating is limited to 14 female students, ages 16 and over. All materials for the course will be provided, and no fly casting is involved. This class has limited seating, and once purchased, no refunds will be offered. Please print out your receipt and bring it to the festival.

Class time/dates: 11:00-12:30 PM Saturday & Sunday

Availability: Click here

Bourbon & Bass Bugs with Lauren Riggleman and Simon Valencia (Limit 20 students).

Did you know that all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon? Our unique, two-part course is designed for adults 21 and over interested in how distilled spirits (and bourbon in particular) are made. The first part of this class is taught by Scottish-trained Lauren Riggleman, assistant distiller and general manager of Silverback Distillery. Students will learn about distilled spirits and taste five Virginia bourbons during her lecture. The second part of this class is taught by Captain Simon Valencia co-owner for Current Culture Fly Shop, who will discuss five bass bugs that Mid-Atlantic anglers find eminently effective. At the end of the class, students will take home these same patterns to “test” on their local waters. All materials for the course will be provided. Students will meet at the Specialty Instruction Lecture Area.

This class has limited seating, and once purchased no refunds will be offered. Please print out your receipt and bring it with you to the festival. Students must have alcohol ID bracelets to attend.

Class time/date: 1:00-2:50 pm Saturday only

Availability: Click here

Beginner Fly Casting Classes with Wanda Taylor (Limit 10).

This co-ed class is for beginners with little to no experience in fly fishing. Wanda is a longtime casting instructor and has also operated as a guide for many years. Wanda is known for her southern charm and for making all her students feel comfortable with their casting abilities. Students will learn all the basic mechanics of fly casting. The lecture portion of the class is done in a group; each student will receive individualized instruction. Students should bring their own rods; rods can be provided with advance notice if needed. The class will meet and be held in the Casting Area. All classes will be held inside.

This class has limited seating, and once purchased, no refunds will be offered. Please print out your receipt and bring it with you to the festival.

Class time/dates: 9:30-11:00 AM Saturday & Sunday

Availability: Click here

NEW in 2022! Master Class: Hatch Strategies: More Than Just Choosing a Fly with Tom Rosenbauer (Limit 14 students).

Join author and nationally recognized fly fishing expert Tom Rosenbauer for this new class. If anglers consistently make one mistake, it’s believing that their favorite fly will work everywhere, and under all conditions. This is simply not the case, and Rosenbauer will explain why. Students will delve into common myths and mistakes and will learn how to assess their hatch strategy correctly. Let Tom teach you all his tricks of the trade so you spend more time fishing and less time wasted digging through your fly box. Designed for more experienced anglers, new fly anglers will also benefit from this class. All materials for the course will be provided, and no fly casting is involved.

This class has limited seating and once purchased, no refunds will be offered. Please print out your receipt and bring it to the festival.

Class time/dates: 9:30-10:50 am Saturday & Sunday

Availability: Click here

NEW in 2022! Master Class: Reading the Water with Tom Rosenbauer (Limit 14 students).

Join author and nationally recognized fly fishing expert Tom Rosenbauer for this new class offering. Knowing where the fish are and aren’t is the key to a successful day on the water. Many anglers see a rising fish and immediately jump to the conclusion that this is where they should place their first cast. Rosenbauer explains why this may not be the case. Students will go over basic dos and don’ts on their approach and be instructed on how to gauge what is going on in a particular body of water before making their first cast. They will learn to understand current movements as well as the effects of structure like rocks, logjams, and even shade on fishing.  Designed for more experienced anglers, new fly anglers will also benefit from this class. All materials for the course will be provided, and no fly casting is involved.

This class has limited seating, and once purchased, no refunds will be offered. Please print out your receipt and bring it to the festival.

Class time/dates: 2:05-3:30 PM Saturday & Sunday

Availability: Click here

NEW in 2022! Master Class: Advanced Tactics for Steelhead and Salmon with Gary Edwards (Limit 14 students).

With more than 40 years of experience, longtime guide Gary Edwards takes students far beyond the how, when, and where of salmon and steelhead fishing in the tributaries of Lake Ontario. Topics covered include hands-on learning with maps, tackle configurations, pattern selection, proper wading, drawings for water flows, and how to land your fish properly. The small class setting allows the content to be as detailed as those attending would prefer. All materials for the course will be provided, and no fly casting is involved.

This class has limited seating and once purchased, no refunds will be offered.  Please print out your receipt and bring it to the festival.

This class does not include admission.

Class time/dates: Saturday 3:00-4:30 Sunday 2:30-4:00

Availability: Click here

NEW in 2022! Tying Wet Flies with Jim Bensinger (Limit 14 students).Wet flies provide anglers with a plethora of options for targeting a variety of species subsurface. Wet flies can be fished all year long, so having them in your arsenal gives you a distinct advantage. Some fly tiers often struggle with the techniques and materials used to make wet flies; this class addresses those concerns. The class is best suited to tiers with some experience, and a desire to take their grow skills. Students will cover the various parts that make up wet flies, proportions, tying considerations, and techniques while creating them. Jim Bensinger is known for his ability to instruct students of varying of skills and topics—but he excels at teaching fly tying. Tiers may bring their own vises and tools; however, class sponsor Norvise will provide vises and materials. We look forward to seeing you there ready to learn this intermediate fly-tying skill

The class has limited seating; once purchased, no refunds will be offered. Please print out your receipt and bring it with you to the festival. This class does not include admission to the festival.

Class time/dates: 1:00-12:20 Sunday Only

Availability: Click here

NEW in 2022!  Beginner Fly Tying with Jim Bensinger (Limit 14 students).

Tying your own flies is very rewarding—and lots of fun! The question is, Where do you start? What kind of vise do you need? What materials should you use? If you’re looking for answers to questions like these, look no further: We’ve got answers.

Jim Bensinger, Program Lead for Project Healing Waters at Marine Corps Base Quantico and Norvise National Fly Tying Pro-Staffer, will lead our 2022 beginner fly tying class. A demonstration tyer at events across the country, Bensinger has taught fly tying to many hundreds of students and excels at helping fly tyers develop competence at the vise.

This class covers all the basics, including thread selection, tools needed, setting up your vise, and other tying considerations and techniques. Tyers may bring their own vises and tools; however, class sponsor Norvise will provide vises and materials.

The class has limited seating; once purchased, no refunds will be offered. Please print out your receipt and bring it with you to the festival. This class does not include admission to the festival.

Class time/dates: 9:30-10:50 AM Saturday & Sunday

Availability: Click here

NEW in 2022!  Advanced Nyphing with Mac Brown (Limit 10 students).

This class is designed with the express purpose of teaching the student techniques and skills needed to become an effective nymph angler. Nymph fishing is commonly used when anglers don’t see any surface action even though fish (especially trout) are feeding. Full time guide and author Mac Brown is an acknowledge nymphing expert. In this class Mac will teach students how to avoid nymphing pit falls and what to do to greatly increase your nymphing success.

This class has limited seating, and once purchased, no refunds will be giving. Students will meet Mac in Casting Area A. Please print out your receipt and bring it to the festival.

Students who register for this class must bring their own rod and reel outfit with them for the casting portion of the class. Only 10 spots are available.

Class held: 11:15-12:45PM Saturday & Sunday.

This class does not include admission. 

Class time/dates: 11:15-12:45 PM Saturday & Sunday

Availability: Click here

An Insider’s Guide to Landing Redfish, Stripers, and Speckled Trout on the Fly with Captain Gary Dubiel (Limit 14 students).

This class is designed especially for saltwater anglers who are pursuing three of the most common saltwater species in the Mid-Atlantic. Learn where to look for these fish and what patterns to use to entice them to strike. Find out why current, wind, and even the moon cycles have an effect on these prime fly-fishing targets. Learn the correct ways to fish dropoffs, shorelines, and oyster beds, and what patterns and techniques are the most effective. While this class doesn’t include casting, fly line management and fish-fighting techniques will be covered.  Each student will also receive a complimentary Pop-N-Cork fly personally designed by Captain Gary Dubiel specifically for these species.

This class has limited seating, and once purchased, there are no refunds. Please print out your receipt and bring it with you to the festival.

Class time/dates: 12:35-2:00 PM Saturday & Sunday

Availability: Click here

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