The sixth annual Lake Athens fly fishing festival will start at 5:30 a.m. Saturday June 27 at Lake Athens Marina and RV.

This year's event will feature the big bass challenge from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. which will benefit Casting for Recovery, a national nonprofit organization providing free fly fishing retreats for women with breast cancer, which recently teamed up with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing

The owner of Johnny on the Fly, Johnny Martinez, a professional fishing guide and an Angler Education Area Chief for the Texas Parks and Wildlife, is the event host.

“This is a catch, photo, release, fly gear only, with de-barbed hooks,” he said.

Casting instruction will be conducted throughout the day and participating anglers can join the casting contest after lunch.

“Contestants and instructors will be provided latex gloves while casting and handling rods,” he said.

Bring a lawn chair to enjoy lunch. There will be casting instruction, a casting contest, prizes, food and realistic fly tying demos by Fred Hanie.

“Because of the safety standards we will not host the fly tiers round tables this year,”Martinez stated. “I am proud to announce that we will have realistic fly tiers Fred Hannie demonstrating and teaching about the craft.

Registration must be completed online at prior to arrival. The first 50 paid registrations for the Big Bass Challenge will receive a 2020 LAFFF Tee Shirt plus a goodie bag. All profits go to Project Healing Waters North Texas.

Social distancing and personal protective equipment to your comfort level is suggested. Each boat is limited to two anglers per boat and one per kayak.

Anglers should launch and stage their boats and water crafts at the docks on the shoreline east of the Boathouse Restaurant according to Johnny.

Time out will be at 1 p.m.

Martinez says anglers should return to the marina to trailer and store boats. Then proceed to the grassy area between the shoreline and the RV center where lunch and refreshments will be provided. Awards will be given after the casting contest.

Martinez is also the largemouth bass record holder on Lake Athens at 8.49 pounds. He also offers private instruction. If you have questions, please contact Johnny at 972-697-7096 or visit Johnny on the Fly Sports Fly fishing on Facebook.

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