Later this week, Asheville NC will again become the host of one of the largest gatherings of professional fly fishing guides in the nation. The 32nd annual Orvis Guide Rendezvous is a 3-day experience where outfitters & guides, lodge owners, and fly shops from all over the country meet up, network, and learn from one another but most directly from the leaders of Orvis, one of the oldest and most successful brands in the business.
While some of that time is closed to the general public, the Rendezvous this year culminates on Saturday, April 14 in the Down the Hatch Festival from noon onward at Highland Brewing. DTH is a grand celebration of all things fly fishing that anyone can attend…even if the only thing you associate with fly fishing is Brad Pitt backlit by a golden sunset false casting a million times in the classic book-to-film “A River Runs Through It”. (Actually…that means especially you should attend Down the Hatch!) Here are four more reasons not to miss it:
Fun Fact: Being in existence for over 150 years, Vermont-based Orvis is not only one of the most revered and respected fly fishing brands in the industry, they are also THE longest-running mail order business in the nation. Also, their Guide Rendezvous is now in its 32nd year and has made Asheville their every-other-year east coast counterpart to the other Rendezvous hub…the fly fishing kingdom of Missoula, Montana. So that alone speaks highly of Orvis seeing Asheville for the trout mecca that it is on this side of the Rockies.
Thanks to Klean Kanteen’s partnership with Orvis, the festival is proud to be another “Kick Plastic” event in the ongoing mission to eliminate disposable water bottles. Klean Kanteen will be handing out 500 FREE pint glasses to the first 500 people through the door! Water stations will also be provided by Klean Kanteen to help keep you hydrated as you enjoy Highland Brewing’s tasty suds.
Speaking of those Highland beers and doing good, 50 cents of every beer poured will go to several local stream conservation projects headed up by Asheville’s local Land O’ Sky Trout Unlimited chapter. The beers and the “do good” vibes will carry on into the evening where the proceeds from ticket sales for the night’s film festival will also go to the stream conservation projects.
Eat, drink, and be merry
Just hanging out at this festival and enjoying the sun in the Highland’s meadow will cost you zero dollars, but there will be plenty of delicious food and beer to keep you satisfied throughout the day. And this IS a festival so of course expect to hear great free live music from The Clydes at 12:30 and festival bluegrass headliner The Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers at 4:15. While enjoying the meadow, you’re also going to want to explore the vendors to see all of the latest and greatest equipment, gear, and apparel. And definitely, don’t miss one of the loved highlights of the day…the Guide Olympics!
Be inspired (and possibly win big!)
The Down the Hatch film festival starting at 7:00 pm inside the brewery is the much-anticipated event to conclude the festival. Not only will attendees be inspired and amazed by a curated collection of some of the world’s hottest and best fly fishing films, but every ticket holder will be entered into the raffle including an incredible range of gear and prizes from festival sponsors and vendors. But the grand prize? A once-in-a-lifetime getaway for two to an undisclosed world-class Orvis adventure destination! Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here. Again the proceeds will go to local WNC stream restoration and conservation projects.
For more information and a breakdown of the schedule check it out here! Hope to see you there!