Join us this weekend at the Southeastern Fly Fishing Festival May 17 & 18, 2013 at Western Carolina University’s Ramsey Center in Cullowhee. The festival will feature speakers, expert instruction, free fishing programs, a fly fishing film tour, exhibitors including equipment companies, fly fishing guide services, and environmental organizations, fly-tying demonstrations, a BBQ dinner, and much more. Friends of Panthertown will have a booth at the festival as Panthertown Valley protects the headwaters of the Tuckaseigee River and is part of the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail. Please stop by and say hello, join us or renew your membership, and learn more about fishing in Panthertown.
The Southeastern Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers has selected Jackson County to host its 2013 Southeastern Fly Fishing Festival.
The two-day event, May 17-18, takes place in the Ramsey Center arena at Western Carolina University. The Ramsey Center is centrally located in Jackson County, a popular destination for fly fishing enthusiasts and home to the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail.
The festival is designed to attract both experienced and beginning anglers. There’s an extensive lineup of guest speakers, fly-tying experts and industry exhibitors, as well as a strong educational component for novices who wish to learn more about the sport.
“If you’ve ever been to fly fishing shows, they’re more commercialized and do not have nearly as much instruction,” says Marvin Cash, president of the FFF’s Southeastern Council. “Conserving resources and teaching people to fish is really what we’re all about.”
Headlining presenters at the festival include: expert guides Ian and Charity Rutter from Townsend, Tenn.; Bryson City native Jim Casada, a noted author and outdoorsman; and two-handed fly rod guru Al Buhr of Welches, Ore.
There’s also a Friday barbecue dinner, in conjunction with Trout Unlimited, to support brook trout restoration in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The evening includes a screening of this year’s Fly Fishing Film Tour, a contest for short films about fly fishing.
Team Trout Slayer hosts a mini competition on the Tuckasegee River on Friday, and there will be opportunities to fish the WNC Fly Fishing Trail all weekend long.
“We intentionally scheduled the show on a Friday and Saturday to let people have the opportunity to fish on Sunday. That’s a big draw, particularly for fishing clubs,” Cash says. “The great thing about being in Jackson County at that time of year is the fishing will be good.”
The festival moves to Cullowhee this year after taking place in Helen, Ga., last year.
Festival hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Daily admission price is $5 for individuals and $10 for families. Admission price includes free presentations and programs, along with the opportunity to sign up for paid instruction in casting and fly-tying.
Complete details and registration info are available online at SoutheastFFF.org.
Lodging info is available at: MountainLovers.com, or by calling (800) 962-1911.