• Laurel Contributor

Fly-fishing Fun

by Mary Jane McCall

Three River Fly Fishing Festival Committee From Left: Pat Gleeson, Bee Gleeson, Steve Perry, Hilary Wilkes, Chris Wilkes; Not Pictured: Rebecca Rieder, Jim Aschmeyer, John Muir

The Three River Fly Fishing Festival returns on April 25-27, offering anglers from near and far an opportunity to enjoy a weekend of fly fishing, fun and camaraderie.

Now in its ninth year, this fundraiser for the Town of Highlands Scholarship Fund offers men and women of all ages the chance to fish our miles of beautiful streams and rivers, while raising money for a worthwhile cause.

Organizers hope to raise $15,000 this year, so everyone’s support is needed. Registration for the three-day event is currently under way. So far, ten teams have registered, and the goal is 20 teams, so they’re calling all anglers to join this fun and worthwhile event. Winners will have the legitimate bragging rights of conquering some of the most challenging trout waters in the Southeast.

Festivities start on Thursday, April 25, with a casting clinic at Harris Lake near downtown. This free event is open to the public and will offer novices a perfect opportunity to learn the basics, while the more seasoned angler may find that they too can pick up a pointer or two. Bring your equipment, or the Highland Hiker will have equipment available.

An opening reception, sponsored by White Oak Realty Group, will be held at Lullwater House on Thursday night. This evening of fun offers participants a chance to talk strategy, enjoy delicious refreshments and beverages, and start the fundraising in earnest by bidding on silent auction items.

The fishing starts in earnest on Friday and Saturday when teams of two will fish all day on local waters. Each team must catch fish from the three types of rivers in our area: delayed harvest, hatchery supported, and native. Teams can be guided or self-guided, and the Highland Hiker can help with guiding arrangements if necessary.

Following an enjoyable day on the river, participants will enjoy Happy Hour at at the High Dive on Friday and a closing night banquet dinner hosted by On the Verandah on Saturday.

For more information, to register a team, or to become a sponsor, contact Hilary Wilkes at hilary@highlandhiker.com or (828) 526-0441.

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