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Women’s Fly Fishing Symposium

Ali-Brown Trout

The Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival (January 14-15, 2023 in Doswell) will feature something brand new in 2023: An exciting new program, sponsored by Take Me Fishing, and designed to ensure that women from all walks of life excel in the quiet sport of fly fishing.

Beyond the Cast Women’s Fly Fishing Symposium,” the first event of its kind, will offer a wide variety of intermediate to advanced fly-fishing programming created specifically for women and taught by experts from all over the country. “We’ve provided numerous introductory casting and ‘Fly Fishing 101’-style classes over the years,” says Festival Director Beau Beasley, “and those classes have been enormously successful. ‘Beyond the Cast’ is different. What we have here is a program by and for women, with a focus on topics that women have told us they’re looking for and haven’t found elsewhere. Having said this, women fly anglers of any skill level are welcome to attend.”

“We are thrilled to be the festival’s sponsor and support this unique women’s initiative at the fly-fishing festivals in Virginia and Texas. RBFF’s Take Me Fishing brand has a focus on women with its national campaign Women Making Waves, supporting initiatives that make women feel comfortable and confident in the sport.” says Stephanie Vatalaro, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communication for the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation.

Ultimately, “Beyond the Cast” program developers, sponsors, and instructors hope to build a connected community of confident, independent women anglers. Some elements of the program may include:

  • state wildlife officials on how to interact safely and appropriately with wildlife;
  • how to choose the right waders and wade safely;
  • how to fish from a kayak;
  • developing personalized tactics for mountain trout fishing;
  • all about sling packs and fly boxes;
  • ask an expert anything;
  • and a security specialist on planning a safe day on the river.

Symposium participants will interact with one another, industry leaders, and special guests during a complimentary lunch on the Saturday of the festival. When they aren’t participating in symposium-specific programming, students are invited to take in the rest of the festival over the course of the weekend.

Beyond the Cast Women’s Fly Fishing Symposium” will feature regional and national expert instructors and guides including Charity Rutter, Tom Rosenbauer, Kiki Galvin, Katlin Groundwater, Kim Ranalla, special guest Stephanie Vatalaro, and many more. Virginia Fly & Wine “Beyond the Cast” participants will also meet Sarah Holt, Development Director for Project Healing Waters and Beverly Smith, Vice President for Trout Unlimited and will also receive a complimentary membership to TU.

Because a chief goal of symposium organizers is to create a friendly, vital community of like-minded angling women, “Beyond the Cast Women’s Fly Fishing Symposium” is limited to 50 participants. This symposium will also include up to half a dozen Lead Anglers, carefully selected angling women who will serve as the symposium’s goodwill ambassadors and ensure that each participant is connected with at least one seasoned mentor over the course of the weekend.

To kick off the weekend’s Beyond the Cast Symposium, an evening “Women’s Meet & Greet” for symposium attendees will be held Friday, January 13, 2023, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the festival hotel. Hosted by Steam Bell Beer Works, Meet & Greet guests will enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres and great conservation with likeminded women.

Beyond the Cast FAQs

Q: Can I attend even if I’m a beginner?

A: While the classes are designed for female anglers with more than a basic knowledge of fly fishing, beginners are very welcome to attend.

Q: Do I need to bring any gear?

A: No, no equipment of any kind is required.

Q: Does the symposium include a weekend pass to the festival?

A: Yes!

Q: Can I buy Beyond the Cast Symposium tickets at the door?

A: You may purchase tickets at the door, but there is limited seating and once it is sold out, no further tickets will be made available.

For more information contact Beau Beasley at or check out the 2023 events that will feature “Beyond the Cast”: