Arlington Common Hosts First Annual Battenkill Fly Fishing Festival | Sports

ARLINGTON – The Arlington Common – a center for community, wellness and creativity – will host the first annual Battenkill Fly Fishing Festival on April 29th, May 30th and 1st at its two-acre campus in the heart of downtown Arlington.

The community campus is less than half a mile from the Battenkill River, the heart of Vermont’s fly fishing community and one of the premier fly fishing destinations for wild brown and brown trout in the United States.

The three-day event will feature Battenkill habitat restoration tours led by Trout Unlimited and three local chapters, Trout Unlimited Southwest Vermont, Clearwater and Adirondack.

It also includes 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 wild trout and the critical habitat of the Battenkill trout, fly fishing workshops and Seminars led by partner groups Casting for Recovery and Project Healing Waters and an art exhibition in Arlington Common’s Watkins House exhibition space featuring internationally acclaimed sports artists.

The Orvis Company and their experienced fly fishing team offer free casting instructions and demos to festival goers. The event will feature a keynote presentation by Tom Rosenbauer, celebrated fly fisherman, author and host of the Orvis Fly Fishing Podcast, and Orvis biggest enthusiast.

Arlington Common received a generous grant from the Vermont Department of Marketing and Tourism to support the festival and showcase the Arlington area’s local inns, restaurants, small businesses and non-profit organizations.

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

The festival’s art exhibition, Back to the River: Scenes from an Angler’s Paradise, will show the story between Arlington and Battenkill and will feature original works by celebrated fly fishing painters such as Galen Mercer, John Swan, CD Clarke, James Prosek, Adriano Manocchia and George Van Hook.

The International Fly Fishing Festival features nine films produced by a diverse group of professional filmmakers that highlight 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 and ‘Flat Out’ by Mick Guthrie

“The city of Arlington and Battenkill have long and celebrated histories of fly fishing history. The Battenkill is back and we look forward to celebrating our close-knit community, sharing our passion for the sport and showcasing the Battenkill River and its amazing network of people and organizations with our festival-goers. We look forward to celebrating the conservation efforts of the past 20 years with visitors from far and wide,” said Bill Bullock, former executive director of the American Museum of Fly Fishing and current board member of Arlington Common.

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

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

The Arlington Common opened in early 2021 and currently offers more than a dozen fitness and wellness classes, collaborations and regular community programs. The two-acre property is in the midst of a capital campaign and when complete will include a state-of-the-art community space, music and performing arts hall, and greater Arlington-area fitness and wellness center.

Arlington Common is a nonprofit community campus that strengthens the Arlington area community through wellness, culture, creativity and education.

The mission of the Battenkill Fly Fishing Festival is to support anglers in their love of the sport, create opportunities to expand fly fishing for all, and showcase the beautiful city of Arlington, one of the premier fly fishing destinations in the United States.

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