There’s a special art to fly-fishing, says Jared DiVincent, owner of On The Fly Outfitters in downtown Brunswick.
He might be a little biased in his position, but he hopes to expose more people to the craft at the upcoming International Fly Fishing Film Festival on March 25.
“It has a more romantic feel to it, more connection to the species you catch,” DiVincent said.
That’s because you need to understand the fish and what it eats to make an effective lure. You need to understand how the prey looks and behaves so you can try to imitate it in order to entice the fish to bite.
He’s been fly-fishing for a long time, and there’s a lot he loves about it. It takes you to very remote and often untouched little nooks and crannies around the state and country.
“The pursuit of the fish, you’re more stalking them than putting live bait on the line and waiting for them to come to you,” DiVincent said.
It’s all about constantly moving, repositioning and recasting the line, he says, trying to outsmart the fish.
Locally, some common fish to go after are redfish, speckled trout and flounder, among others, says Michael Garcia, who works at On The Fly and leads all the shop’s charter fly-fishing trips. The Satilla and Altamaha rivers are good for fly-fishing, he said, offering some saltwater and freshwater environments depending on how far upriver you are.
“You’re presenting what they eat naturally, but with the fly you trick them. We use feathers, beads, other things to convince a live animal (to bite the hook),” said Garcia.
It’s the first time the film festival is coming to Brunswick, but won’t be the last, DiVincent says. Brunswick has a dedicated fly-fishing community, and he hopes to continue growing it through events like this.
The festival starts at 4 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m. at the Ritz Theatre in downtown Brunswick. The festival will feature 10 films of varying lengths. Throughout the afternoon, DiVincent said a wide array of prizes will be given out at random and some will be raffled off.
Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. For a full lineup of films and to buy tickets, visit ontheflyoutfitters.co/pages/flyfilmfest.
Some of the higher-end prizes cost $1,000-plus and include fly-fishing gear and outdoor equipment. All proceeds will go toward the Georgia Salt Water Anglers Association’s mission of advocating for fishery preservation laws.
Right now, the focus is redfish, DiVincent says. Populations are decreasing, and Georgia’s East Coast neighbors in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida, among others, have taken steps to preserve them, mostly by placing strict daily catch limits on individual fishers and vessels alike.
Georgia has catch limits on redfish, he said, but they’re nearly double that in other states. Georgia also lacks a vessel limit. For example, South Carolina places a limit of two fish per person, but six per vessel if more than three people are on board. Some states also impose a rule colloquially known as “captain no-take,” meaning the captain of a charter vessel is not allowed to keep any redfish.
The association advocates for similarly strict rules in Georgia, DiVincent said. For more information, visit georgiasaltwater.org.
The film festival is something fun and unique to offer to the store’s customers, DiVincent said, but he also hopes it exposes more people to the international art of fly-fishing.