Fly fishing festival this weekend in Ennis

The Ennis on the Madison Fly Fishing Festival kicks off it’s eighth event this weekend and like always, the festival is offering a wide variety of seminars, presentations and events for fly fishermen, said Madison River Foundation executive director Richard Lessner.

“I think that we’re now kind of a known entity and something that’s on everybody’s radar,” Lessner said. “We try every year to have some of the popular stuff back and add some of the new stuff.”

The festival is a celebration of the art and culture of fly fishing and was started by the Madison River Foundation and has become the group’s signature event.

The festival kicks off on Thursday night at the Sportsman’s Lodge in Ennis with a concert featuring Dave Mallet and Tess Williams.

Friday will see a full slate of classes and seminars including a class on tying flies for the Madison River with experts Craig Mathews and John Juracek of Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone. The pair will instruct fly tiers on useful and successful patterns for the Madison River. This seminar starts at 1 p.m. at the lower conference room at First Madison Valley Bank.

This year’s festival will also include a demonstration on the Japanese fly fishing method called Tenkara, Lessner said.

Daniel Galhardo of Tenkara USA will explain the craft, which involves a long fly rod without a reel, he said. The art also involves special tenkara flies.

The tenkara demonstration will be at Saturday at noon at the lower conference room at First Madison Valley Bank.

Also this year, the festival will include a special fly tying and story telling session with legendary fly fisherman and outfitter, Bob Jacklin from West Yellowstone.

Jacklin’s presentation will be at 4 p.m. at the lower conference room at First Madison Valley Bank.

The festival will also include a fly casting competition on Saturday, casting and fly tying lessons and the famous drift boat raffle.

The final event will be a bucket raffle on Saturday night along with a barbecue dinner, Lessner said.

The entire event will take place at Peter T’s Park in Ennis and First Madison Valley Bank.

For a complete schedule and more information, go to the Madison River Foundation’s Website.

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