Arts, Dining & Entertainment, Events & Activities

The 1st annual Battenkill Fly Fishing Festival to be held April 29-May 1

April 29 – May 1 — ARLINGTON — Arlington Common, a hub for community, wellness and creativity, will host the 1st annual Battenkill Fly Fishing Festival on April 29, 30 and May 1 at its two-acre campus located in Arlington’s downtown. The community campus is located less than half a mile from the Battenkill River, the heart of Vermont’s fly fishing community and one of the United States’ premier fly fishing destinations for wild brown and brook trout.

The three-day event will include guided tours of habitat restoration of the Battenkill led by Trout Unlimited and three local chapters, fisheries and habitat talks hosted by representatives from the Battenkill Watershed Alliance, Green Mountain National Forest and the state of Vermont interactive displays showcasing the Battenkill’s wild trout and critical trout habitat, fly fishing workshops and seminars led by partner groups casting for recovery and Project Healing Waters, and an art exhibit, in Arlington Common’s Watkins House exhibition space, featuring internationally acclaimed sporting artists.

The Orvis Company and its expert fly fishing staff will offer free casting instruction and demos to festival attendees. The event will feature a keynote presentation from Tom Rosenbauer, acclaimed fly fisherman, author and host of the Orvis fly fishing podcast and Orvis’ chief enthusiast.

Arlington Common received a generous grant from the Vermont Dept. of Marketing and Tourism to support the festival and showcase the Arlington area’s local inns, restaurants, small businesses and nonprofits.

The Battenkill is one of the most storied fly fishing rivers in the United States. It is home to the famous Hendrickson Hatch and was the inspiration for prominent landscape artists, including Odgen Pleissner and Jack Atherton, and was featured in several of Norman Rockwell’s pieces.

The festival’s art exhibit, Back to the River: Scenes from an Angler’s Paradise, will showcase the history between Arlington and the Battenkill and will include original works from acclaimed fly fishing painters like Galen Mercer, John Swan, CD Clarke, James Prosek, Adriano Manocchia and George Van Hook.

The International Fly Fishing Festival will showcase nine films produced by a diverse group of professional filmmakers highlighting the culture and passion of fly fishing. Films include:

  • Caddis Magic, by Phil Tuttle and Gilbert Rowley
  • Out West, by Todd Moen
  • A Fly-Fishing Refugee, by Brian Film
  • 4 Weeks of Daylight, by the Fly Fishing Nation team
  • Casting Maya, by the Pure Films team
  • Home Water, by Ryley Leboe
  • Into Blue, by the FOSH team
  • A Season in the South, by the Wilderness Lens team
  • Flat Out, by Mick Guthrie

“The town of Arlington and the Battenkill have a long and celebrated past with the history of fly fishing.

The Battenkill is back, and we look forward to celebrating our tight knit community, sharing our passion for the sport and showcasing the Battenkill River and its impressive network of people and organizations with our festival attendees. We look forward to honoring the conservation efforts over the past 20 years with visitors from far and near,” said Bill Bullock, former executive director of the American Museum of Fly Fishing and current board member of the Arlington Common.

“The Battenkill has been a part of my life since before I ever saw it. As a teenage fly tier, I fell in love with John Atherton’s descriptions of it in The Fly and the Fish, and first fished the river in the early 1970s. I’ve been blessed to live on or near the Battenkill for almost 50 years, and it never seems to both delight and frustrate me. Its trout are never easy, but the river is always easy on the eyes,” said Tom Rosenbauer, chief enthusiast of The Orvis Company.

The festival will also include food from local restaurants, community meals presented by local nonprofits, musical entertainment, and a beer tent hosted by local Vermont breweries.

For more information about the 1st Annual Battenkill Fly Fishing Festival visit: vtflyfest.com.

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