Fly fishers in the Northeast should be excited about the first annual Battenkill Fly Fishing Festival, which will be held in Arlington, Vermont, on April 29 through May 1, 2022. The event will be held at the Arlington Common, which is less than half a mile from the renowned Battenkill, home to a population of wild brown trout that has captivated anglers for more than a century.
The three-day event will feature free casting instruction and demos by Orvis’s expert fly-fishing staff, as well as a keynote presentation by Tom Rosenbauer.
Other activities include guided tours of habitat restoration on the Battenkill, led by Trout Unlimited and three local chapters: Trout Unlimited of Southwest Vermont, Clearwater, and Adirondack; 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; presentations on the angling history of the river from the American Museum of Fly Fishing; fly fishing workshops and seminars led by local guides; presentations from partner groups Casting for Recovery and Project Healing Waters; and an art exhibit in the Arlington Common’s Watkins House exhibition space, featuring internationally acclaimed sporting artists.
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 of Arlington and the Battenkill and will include original works from acclaimed fly fishing painters such as Galen Mercer, John Swan, CD Clarke, James Prosek, Adriano Manocchia, George Van Hook, and several other noted artists.
• 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 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.