Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock in recent days, you’re likely well aware of the mounting coronavirus crisis, a pandemic that has infected more than 130,000 people worldwide and caused more than 4,756 deaths as of midday on Thursday.
The grim realities of trying to curb the spread of the deadly virus has caused all sorts of social upheaval and cancellations, including the suspensions of the NBA, NHL, and MLS seasons and the likelihood of at least a delay in the start of MLB’s baseball season.
And on Thursday, as several leagues including the Big 12 cancelled their basketball tournaments, the NCAA followed suit and cancelled its own annual basketball tournament.
Unfortunately, that’s a version of March Madness that nobody wants.
For now, the growing crisis hasn’t caused any cancellations in the local outdoors world. With several notable events scheduled to take place around the North Texas region in coming weeks, as of this writing at midday on Thursday, no cancellations or postponements had been announced.
That includes two approaching fly fishing shows, a list that includes this weekend’s 5th Annual Tarrant Regional Water District Flyfest, an event scheduled for tomorrow. The Saturday, March 14 event will run from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
If the popular event does go on as scheduled, there is a star-studded lineup of speakers and fly tyers scheduled to attend.
That list includes Matt Bennett, the popular Hill Country fly tyer known for his bass catching Lunch Money streamer pattern; Chris Johnson, owner of Living Waters Fly Shop in Round Rock; Alvin Dedeaux, a Central Texas and Gulf Coast guiding legend; and Steve Hollensed, the nationally renowned Orvis endorsed fly fishing guide from Tom Bean who specializes in fly rodding for Lake Texoma stripers and smallmouths.
If you’re interested in seeing some of those presentations, the TRWD Flyfest will be held on the banks of the Trinity River tomorrow in Fort Worth at 3100 Bryant Irvin Blvd. While the event is free to attend, parking does carry a $5 fee.
In addition to such attractions as live music, food trucks, and more than 1,800-lbs. of rainbows stocked into the Trinity, the seminar list is packed. Johnson kicks things off with a “Fly Fishing the Republic of Texas” lecture at 9 a.m.; Deadeaux will speak on “Fly Fishing Texas” at 10 a.m.; and Hollensed will present his popular “Texoma on the Fly” talk at 3 p.m.
The fly tying classes will be jam packed as well with several options available. Those include Bennett’s “Predator Flies: Tying for Texas and Beyond” at 9 a.m. and Johnson’s “Hill Country Essentials” at 11 a.m.
There will be a wealth of fly casting instruction too, led by Hollensed, who is an award-winning Fly Fishing International master fly casting instructor. The local fly casting expert will team up with Bob Garber, Stacy Lynn, and Frank Smethurst to put on a number of casting classes scheduled throughout the day.
As fluid as everything is with schedule changes due to the coronavirus outbreak, if you plan to attend the TRWD Flyfest this weekend, please consult their social media accounts and website (www.trwdflyfest.com) before driving to Tarrant County.
Another major fly fishing event coming up is the 4th Annual Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, March 21-22, 2020, in Plano, Texas.
One of the year’s best shows for those who love the long rod, this is a tremendous event that is making quite a name for itself each year with some of the industry’s top talent coming to DFW for lectures and classroom teaching sessions.
That list of talent at next weekend’s event includes Grayson County’s kayaking and fly fishing guru, Jerry Hamon, as a scheduled speaker along with the likes of Blane Chocklett, Ed Jaworowski, Landon Mayer, and recent IGFA Hall of Fame selection Dave Whitlock.
Whether or not this event will be held as scheduled remains to be seen, but for now, it’s a go according to what I can tell. I’ll provide an update on this event next week, but in the meantime, please visit their website at www.txflyfishingfestival.org for more information.