Gallatin River Fly-Fishing Festival returns to Big Sky

GALLATIN RIVER TASK FORCE

The sixth annual Gallatin River Fly-Fishing Festival will land in Big Sky from Friday, June 30 to Sunday, July 2 as a celebration of fly fishing and conservation.

“We are really excited to grow the fly-fishing festival into a community-wide celebration of rivers and conservation,” said Kristin Gardner, executive director of the Gallatin River Task Force, the Big Sky organization that produces the event.

The fly-fishing festival features three days of family-friendly events that celebrate river sports and watershed conservation. Proceeds will benefit GRTF and work within the Upper Gallatin River Watershed. Last year, the festival raised $23,000. 

Gallatin River Guides will kick off the event with the annual Pesca Fiesta on Friday, June 30, offering deals on gear, cheap food and free beer from 5 to 7 p.m. at their shop. 

On Saturday, July 1 the Great Gallatin Guide-Off will return for the third year in a row. At 1:15 p.m. local guides and their favorite clients will fish for the honor of Guide of the Year. Following the guide-off, the inaugural Pedal, Paddle, Run-Off will start at 1:30 p.m. Teams of three will compete in a course that includes biking the banks of the West Fork, floating the waters of the Gallatin and running the trail from the confluence of the West Fork and the Gallatin back to Town Center.

At 2 p.m. an outdoor fair will make a splash in Town Center Park. Activities will include product demonstrations, casting clinics by master casting instructor Dok Arvanites, casting competitions, fly tying, kids’ activities and river conservation education booths. A concert from Low Water String Band, an energetic bluegrass quartet based in Lander, Wyoming, will accompany the festival.

The Fly-Fishing Festival will culminate on Sunday, July 2 with the Hooked on the Gallatin Banquet at the Gallatin Riverhouse Grill. The banquet features delicious barbecue, wine by Natalie’s Estate Winery, live acoustic music and a live and silent auction to benefit the Gallatin River Task Force. 

Visit gallatinriverflyfishingfestival.com to purchase banquet tickets or to register for the Pedal, Paddle, Run-Off and the Great Gallatin Guide-Off.