Another NEW Festival for Bath County

The banks of local streams and rivers have been growing people for the past month.  As soon as the weather starts to improve, and the trout truck makes its excursions out to the waterways, one can almost feel the collective county mood lift.  In Bath County the “We’re So Fly Festival” based out of the Gristmill Inn and Waterwheel Restaurant in Warm Springs seeks to bring in fishing enthusiasts, and encourage even more to try out the sport.  The festival offers guided and unguided trips to the Upper and Lower Jackson, Back Creek, and parts of the Cowpasture River between May 2nd and May 5th.   On the first evening of the festival, a silent auction will benefit an organization that brings fly fishing to veterans and members of the military who have been injured, as part of their healing.

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing is unique in that volunteers are teaching classes on an on-going, long term basis. It is much more than a one day fishing trip. For many participants, the socialization and camaraderie of the classes are just as important as the fishing outings.  PHW relies on Fly Fishers International, Trout Unlimited, and independent fly fishing clubs to conduct the program at the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs facilities across the nation. Their volunteers include experienced fly fishers and guides, all of whom donate their time and knowledge to conduct programs at Department of Defense facilities, Warrior Transition Units and Department of Veterans Affairs facilities nationwide.  Project Healing Waters can have a program when three groups of people come together:  they are a fly fishing club to provide the volunteers and organize, a department of defense or Veterans’ Administration medical facility willing to host the program, and injured members of the military or disabled veterans to participateAll of these groups may vary between all of the areas that Project Healing Waters reaches so no two programs will be exactly the same. 

The auction on the first night of the “We’re so fly festival” is still accepting donations to benefit Project Healing Waters.  And there’s quite a list of activities available for any non-fishermen visiting the area that weekend too.  If fly-tying isn’t your thing, then there is also goat cheese making, a farm tour, cooking demonstrations , yoga, and a small  Saturday market for all visitors and locals at the Warm Springs Inn.  For the complete list of activities over the weekend of May 2nd through 5th visit the “We’re So Fly” facebook page.

And, when they’re not too busy flooding, never underestimate the healing powers of mountain waters in late April to early May.

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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