By Bill Sargent
Some of the country’s top authorities on fly fishing will be headlined at the Renzetti Fly Fishing and Rod Building Fair in Titusville on Dec. 7.
The fair will be held at the Renzetti Inc. manufacturing center at the Spaceport Florida Industrial Complex at 8800 Grissom Parkway from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $10, and admission at the door will be $15. Children 13 and under will be free.
“We have an unbelievable lineup coming that people will want to come out and meet,” said Lily Renzetti, co-owner of the business with her husband Andy Renzetti. “It’s going to be our best fair yet.”
Renzetti Inc. is the country’s leading manufacturer of fly tying vises and rod building equipment.
It will be the fourth fair the Renzettis have hosted since moving their plant from Pennsylvania in 1996.
Two organizations will benefit from the proceeds, Casting for Recovery (CR), a free weekend retreat program that teaches fly casting as therapy for women recovering from breast cancer surgery, and Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, a national non-profit group dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled service members and veterans.
In conjunction with the fair, a dinner reception called A Gathering with the Legends will be on Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at LaCita Country Club in Titusville. The industry notables will attend and the evening will include an auction with high-end fly fishing gear, including Tibor and Orvis reels and a Renzetti fly tying vice. The charge will be $50 a person. Reservations are suggested.
“There aren’t many chances to mix with so many of the fly fishing greats in one evening,” Lily Renzetti said. “Besides, the money goes to good causes and all the money will stay with projects here in Florida.”
The fair will take on a casual walk-around atmosphere inside the spacious Renzetti facility with displays of the latest products by tackle companies and tackle stores, and with the rod builders and fly tiers demonstrating their crafts. The casting clinics will be outdoors, along with boat displays by Hell’s Bay Boatworks, Custom Gheenoe, Maverick Boats and Dragonfly Boats.
Hell’s Bay, Gheenoe and Temple Fork Outfitters fly rods are official sponsors.
Tours of the Renzetti facility and its tool-making equipment also will be available
Clouser, the innovator of the famed Clouser Minnow fly pattern, and Whitlock, for years an author and trout stream specialist, will be in the fly tying section, along with well-known tiers Bob Popovics from Seaside Park, N.J., Jonny King from New York City, and Pat Ehlers from Milwaukee, Wis. When King isn’t fishing, he is a professional jazz pianist and composer, and also works as a property trial lawyer.
Fly tiers from Brevard County clubs also will join the group.
Kreh, who lives in Hunt Valley, Md., will be signing his many books, showing how to tie his famous Lefty’s Deceiver and will give his always entertaining fly fishing clinics. He’ll be joined by Curcione, a Southern California-based professional caster specializing in double-handed casting in the surf, along with Pallot and Cave, both from Central Florida. Cave operates the oldest fly fishing school in the South.
John Stumpe, for years a Melbourne-area rod builder, builds specialized rods with the Robert’s Wrap featuring spiraled guides to produce maximum leverage for big game.
Stumpe also incorporates rattlesnake and alligator skins in his custom work.
Other custom rod builders will be Mike Brooks from Vero Beach and Curt Baker from the Suncoast Rodcrafters.
Catered food service will be available throughout the day and complimentary coffee and donuts will be served until 10 a.m.
Advance tickets for the fair are available at Ace Hardware in Titusville and Harry Goode’s Outdoor Shop in Melbourne, or they can be reserved online until Dec. 1 at www.renzetti.com. For dinner reception tickets call Lily Renzetti at (321) 267-7705.