Reel in tips at fly-fishing festival |

Reel in tips at fly-fishing festival

This weekend's festival offers the most laid-back introduction to fly fishing as well as expert seminars for the pros to take their skill to the next level.
Courtesy of Stefan McLeod Photography |

Learn More

Matt Heron Fly Fishing presents the Truckee Fly Fishing Festival along with the Truckee Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, Nov. 18.

Demo Day

10 am. – 3:30 p.m.: Sponsor booths & demo gear, on the water presentations by Truckee’s top guides.

Cost: Free event

Location: Glenshire Bridge Fishing Access

Film Showings

5:30p.m. – 8:30p.m.: Fly Fishing Film Tour, hosted bar, gear booths, Reno/Tahoe Cast Hope raffle.

Cost: $15-$20 at Mountain Hardware, Reno Fly Shop, or during Demo Day

Location: Truckee Community Arts Center

Visit" target="_blank">class="Hyperlink"> for more information.

When you’re outside in Truckee with a fishing rod in-hand, surrounded by a group of welcoming people, you know it’s sure to be a great day.

This Saturday marks the Truckee Fly Fishing Festival, the first event of its kind bringing education, gear, experts, films and fishing fun together for a full day of family friendly activities.

“This is the first event of its kind,” said Matt Heron, founder and director of the festival and owner of Matt Heron Fly Fishing company in Truckee.

“The cool thing about it is between the guides and manufacturers who will be there, there is so much knowledge. If you’ve fly fished your whole life you can definitely learn from the guide presentations; whether you’ve been fishing for two or 50 years everyone wants to see the newest gear. And it’s hard to beat free instruction from Tahoe’s top instructors,” Heron said.

He added that this event is likely the most laid-back introduction to fly-fishing one can possibly get, presenting techniques and products in a fun, inviting and informal way.

The festival begins with a free demo day on the Truckee River from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. where guests can cast the newest rods and lines among a wide selection of gear.

Meet at the Glenshire Bridge Fishing Access parking lot in Truckee to rub elbows with reps from brands Sage, RIO, Costa, Simms, Redington and Truckee Trout Unlimited.

Some of Truckee’s top guides will give presentations on topics, such as short line nymphing, indicator fishing and single hand spey, while guests will get the opportunity to catch some fish.

Following presentations, equipment demos and fishing time is the Fly Fishing Film Tour.

Guests are invited to the Truckee Community Arts Center to view the best films, all while benefitting a good cause.

“The film tour will probably sell out, people will want to buy tickets in advance at a discount. There will be beer and wine at the film tour, and all proceeds go to Cast Hope,” Heron said.

Cast Hope has been around for nine years and has gotten a larger following year after year, running five to six hundred trips per year throughout Northern California, where they get at-risk and underprivileged youth exposure to the outdoors through fly-fishing.

“The entry price point to fly-fishing can be a little intimidating and with this program the kids, their family and mentors don’t have to think about it,” Heron said.

“If you look at any studies nationally for anything outdoors, fishing is the number one activity to get kids in the outdoors, before camping, hunting, rock climbing, or anything. We joke that fishing is the “gateway drug” for your appreciation of the outdoors,” Heron said.

Unfortunately, compared to 30 to 50 years ago, there aren’t nearly as many kids fishing as there used to be.

“We’ve lost that demographic of a father or mother figure getting kids into fly-fishing,” said Heron, who added that this festival is another way of preserving and helping spread the love for such a character-building activity.

The best possible way to learn a new skill is from an expert, and the Truckee Fly Fishing Festival is a good way to either get started in fly-fishing or spend the day learning more about the sport and master a new technique.

“Bring your waiters and be ready to fish for the weekend! Where we’re going to be the fishing is usually good anyway, but the fishing has been really good this week so that’s icing on the cake,” Heron said.

The film tour will kick off at 5 p.m., and is sure to sell out quickly. Purchase tickets in advance from ACE Mountain Hardware, the Reno Fly Shop or from Heron directly during the demo day for $15.

Tickets will also be available at the door for $20, and all of the proceeds directly benefit Cast Hope and their work teaching youths the art of fly-fishing.

Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.