Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) presented the sixth annual TRWD Flyfest Saturday, March 13th in and along the Clear Fork of the Trinity River near the Acme Brick Headquarters. From beginners to people with expert fly-fishing skills, TRWD Flyfest delivered a day full of family-friendly fun for everyone. It was a great way to kick off springtime on the river!
To create the best angling experience, TRWD released 1,800 lbs. of Rainbow Trout in the festival location in addition to the nearly 3,000 native fish that are released annually. The festival provided an area for the Orvis Big Trout Contest as well as designated areas for open fly fishing and open bait fishing. The public is encouraged to go out and fish the Trinity after the stockings and any time of the year to take advantage of this wonderful recreational asset.
To complement the river activities, presentations from experts were given in the Acme Brick Building throughout the day. Presentations covered topics like Fly Fishing the Republic of Texas, Fly Fishing the Trinity River, and 12 Places to Fish for each Month of the Year. Frank Smethurst, Fly Fishing pro and TV personality returned once again with a fun and engaging presentation on “How to do it yourself in the great State of Texas.” Nearly 250 people attended the various presentations throughout the day.
For those that wanted a hands-on experience, casting classes and fly tying lessons were available. Casting classes were provided by certified casting instructors with the Texas Council of Fly Fishers International. They focused on various things including beginner classes and cast analyzation and casting faults and fixes. Experts from all over the state provided fly tying classes using a camera and projector offering an up-close look at the process to nearly 120 individuals eager to learn the art of fly tying. In addition to featured speakers, festival-goers could come and go and mingle around the room for one on one time with the different experts on various fly tying patterns
James Gaines, Executive Chef with Reata Restaurant provided cooking demonstrations throughout the day. His team showed the crowd how to make Red Fish Ceviche with Cilantro and Avocado and how to grill Redfish on the Half Shell with Herb and Garlic Butter.
Besides enjoying the great weather, the festival also included food, wine tastings from local wineries Bull Lion Ranch and Vineyard, Lost Oak Winery and Pemberton Cellars, craft beer, and live music. In line with the seafood theme, Arcadia Parish Crawfish was on site serving up mudbugs. Gepetto’s Pizza Truck and Red’s Bar B Que also served the hungry Flyfest crowd.
Festival-goers were also reeled in by Fort Worth’s Deric Merrill who played an acoustic set of everyone’s favorite tunes throughout the day.
While parents enjoyed a glass of wine or craft beer, the kids were all smiles while participating in free activities like face painting, a kid fishing tank, and a rock-climbing wall.
We can’t forget the vendors who came out to promote and support fly fishing, conservation, and other outdoor programs. Among other great vendors with causes, Texas Parks and Wildlife joined the festival with their fishery management and “Take me Fishing” booths. Additionally, Tarrant Regional Water District brought their Watershed Experience Trailer. Other vendors on site included: Orvis, Backwoods, Fatties on the Fly, Fort Worth Fly Fishers, Texas Council of Fly Fishers International, Good Fly, Trinity Coalition, Hope Church, 360 West, Lotic Fly Fishing, Reel Heroes, and Ty-Rite.
TRWD Flyfest is made possible thanks to the support of Champion Sponsor Orvis and Supporting Sponsor Backwoods. Special thanks to in-kind sponsors 95.9 The Ranch, 92.1 Hank FM, KDFW Fox 4, 360West, Reata Restaurant, Fort Worth Fly Fishers, Texas Council of Fly Fishers International, The Tradition Clearfork, and Acme Brick. TRWD appreciates the support of the community for recreation on the Trinity River!
FRESH FROM THE FESTIVAL:
Search the official event hashtag #TRWDFlyfest on social media for more photos and stories from the festival. Be a part of the stream and add yours too! TRWD Flyfest is a product of the Tarrant Regional Water District’s Fish-the-Fort program which is an urban fishing initiative aimed to restore our natural environments, re-establish native species, promote stewardship and conservation, educate the community on environmental quality and enhance fishing opportunities.