Over 30 fly fish tiers from across the Pacific Northwest will come together Saturday for the 11th annual North Umpqua Fly Fishing-Tying Festival.
This year’s event, held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., has moved from its previous out-of-town venue to the Roseburg Country Club.
“It’s a little bit smaller venue than the Glide Community Center, but we’ve got just a bunch of tiers packed in there and a casting station just outside,” said Umpqua Fly Fishers President Mike McCoy.
The event will provide an up-close look at trout, bass and steelhead fly fishing ties. Chairs will be available across from the variety of fly tiers, providing the opportunity to watch and ask questions.
“It’s really pretty intriguing to watch somebody build those because it’s really fairly simple and really gets a lot of people interested in trying it,” McCoy said. “After they have seen it done, it’s like ‘Wow, I think I could do that,’ and the reality is yes, most anybody can do that.”
Organizers decided to forgo the usual vendors due to the smaller space, but the casting station will be right outside the clubhouse, providing all skill levels with the opportunity to try their hand at fly fishing.
“Casting is really fun, I think it’s what gets people interested in fly fishing. It’s attractive to look at, sort of mesmerizing,” McCoy said. “It’s not hard to do. Fly fishing is actually very effective as far as catching — you’re using stuff that fish normally eat, so usually, fly fishers catch a lot of fish.”
The Umpqua Valley Fly Fishers, Healing Waters for Veterans, a therapeutic fly fishing program for disabled veterans, and The Steamboaters, an organization that works to protect the North Umpqua River, will be in attendance, answering questions and offering advise.
A silent auction and over 30 raffles will be held throughout the day, with prizes ranging from art and guided trips to fishing and other outdoor equipment.
Entry is free, though the organizers ask for non-perishable food items to be donated to the Roseburg Fish Food Pantry. Food and drink will be available for purchase.
“Where we are, in Roseburg, we are sort of right there in the middle of the outdoors and we have a lot of people here that utilize the outdoors — camping, fishing, hunting — and I think (this is) another way for people to see some different opportunities to explore the outdoors,” McCoy said. “It’s a good opportunity for people that have thought about fly fishing but don’t know anything about it.”