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The 2022 Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine Festival held their 21st annual event over the weekend of January 15 and 16 at the Meadow Event Park, just north of Richmond.

Fly fishing vendors, instructors, and professionals from all over the country participated. Women anglers were the focus of this year’s festival, and they kicked it off on Friday with a women’s meet and greet before the festival started.

“Being a female angler I was so encouraged by the number of new faces in attendance this year,” PHWFF volunteer Kiki Galvin said. “In keeping with diversity and inclusion the show was welcoming to all and that was exciting!”

Women Anglers Gather at the 21st Annual Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine Festival
PHWFF Volunteer Kiki Galvin Leading a Women’s Casting Class

It was an extremely interesting festival because of the time of year and the time of the Earth. In the days of an increasing COVID-19 pandemic and with continuing predictions of a winter storm descending on us, we persevered. We showed up when we were supposed to be there, did what we could, and when it was said and done we had an excellent experience. I was mentally and emotionally uplifted by the number of people who stopped by to share their support and tell us about their positive experiences with our organization.

Virgina regional coordinator bill campbell

We caught a glimpse of Kyle Chanitz, a PHWFF volunteer, participant, and judge for our 9th Annual Fly Tying Competition!

Campbell said the best part of the weekend was visiting with everyone involved in the fly fishing industry as well as all of the PHWFF participants and volunteers, current, past and future from all over the country.

“I heard story after story about PHWFF events, whether it was destinations or impactful volunteers,” Campbell said. “I literally couldn’t count how many times folks would walk up to our booth and say ‘I’ve heard of you guys; how can I help?'”

The Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine Festival gives all who attend a welcomed dose of angling community comradery. They are also joined by several non-profit organizations such as Project Healing Waters, Casting for Recovery and The Mayfly Project. These organizations capitalize on the healing and restorative aspects of fly fishing. Combined with a relaxed atmosphere of beer and wine tasting it makes for a wonderful weekend. 

PHWFF volunteer kiki galvin

If dealing with the pandemic wasn’t enough, festival vendors and attendees alike had to deal with winter storm weather and storm “Izzy”.

By the middle of Sunday afternoon, the snow was coming down steady at the event center. PHWFF persisted and had outlasted even the most die hard of the festival attendees. They made it through, packed their stuff up, and headed slowly home.

“The camaraderie was even apparent on the trip home,” Campbell said.

“We knew we faced some difficult driving so those of us who had came from Southeastern Virginia decided to take back roads in a caravan. Our team work made it so everyone made it home safe but not until those of us who couldn’t resist made a pit stop at our favorite barbecue restaurant in Williamsburg!”

Both Campbell and Galvin would like to thank event organizer Beau Beasley and his dedicated team for the continued effort put into the festival.

Campbell would also like to thank all of the PHWFF volunteers who helped him man the booth over the weekend including Carl Allen, Bubba and Sarah Holt, Larry Wesling, Dave Ward, Mike Weiss, Tom Fink and Jean Graziano.

Campbell said this event is a memory that will last a lifetime.

“In closing, if you have not attended VFFWF, you should put it on your calendar for next year!,” Galvin exclaimed.

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