All the conditions were right. I had the night requested off, even though we were slated for a record night due to perfect snow conditions and the recent forming of storm NEMO to our East. I have been excited and planning the evening for weeks now. I did my research, I searched all the proper Google sites to get all the relevant information pertinent for this trip. This time, I was ready, and finally, it was here. The F3T~Fly Fishing Film Tour for those unaware. Very similar to the Warren Miller Ski films from over a decade ago. This is our golden opportunity to see a plethora of film trailers that may whet your midwinter appetite for some dry fly action or get your juices flowing for equatorial saltwater destination stalking bones or the elusive permit.The Event was held at Boyne Mountain courtesy of Boyne Outfitters and this, their second F3T was rather successful. Initial headcount was somewhere near forty or forty five, but a few came and went and various intervals. Familiar faces and new acquaintances, it is great to see many fellow TU members and meet others who are new to the scene. The gentlemen sitting behind me drove up to the Great White North from Indianapolis, IN. They claimed it was the best location and on a weekend so they could incorporate a road trip. The Film Tour is sponsored by the usual list of trend setters in the sport- names like Yeti, Sage, Loon Outdoors, Howler Bros, MFC, Yellow Dog, SIMMS, Costa, Patagonia, Orvis, and of course Trout Unlimited dot the introductory high action, blood pumping vignette. After a brief misguided definition of what “Fishporn” is from the self-proclaimed emcee of the F3T- Hank Patterson and his forever silenced client/partner Reese set us off on our journey.
Our first stop was literally in our backyard. Some may not appreciate the amount of attention given to the Au Sable River and the rather gluttonous brown trout that lurk in a few of its bends, but the story of the three brothers Grajewski, and the bond forged between them and the big waters of Mio instilled by their parents and the love of the outdoors was a primary component. ‘The Brothers Brown’ is a film by 3rd Year Fly Fisher -Robert Thompson- and editing was superb. This may have been the longest trailer of the night, but it didn’t feel like it. I personally cannot wait for this to come out on DVD so I can enjoy it at home while tying flies on a cold windy night.
A couple of stand-outs from the night included ‘Turning Tail’- the epic saga of restoring the last salvage for the Atlantic Salmon in the lower 48 on the Penobscot River by removing three dams. This would open up miles of spawning habitat for what many claim to be the ultimate challenge any angler cold face in freshwater on the fly. John Gierach makes a guest appearance and his dry lackluster comments are right on the mark.
RA Beattie Productions always seem to catch you off guard, at first you don’t know what they are doing, then you get sucked in and are fully immersed thigh deep in the salty brackish muck he intended to drag you into. ‘Expedicion Alacarnes’ es no excepciones. With chachi’s like Dawes, Bear and Sand Flea, they devise a plan to find an island virtually untouched and quite possibly never fished. It is very similar to one of those deserted isles you see on cartoons with a crazy eyed, frayed haired sailor romancing a coconut. The Bonefishing is stellar, Permit elusive and well worth the hours of travel and planning to find Los Alacarnes.
‘Blackwater’ has all the high impact of the much sought after Golden Dorado. The woman sitting next to me, who reminded my of an elementary librarian, gasped out loud when the first black striped metallic brute smashed the surface fly. When she caught her breathe, she leaned over and asked me what kind of fish those were and where were they? That is part of the beauty of these events. The exposure of worlds many of us may never actually see or touch, but we can share and talk about during intermission. Some have actually booked trips to these far off destinations after viewing the enticing landscapes and sexy looking waters. ‘Thai One On’ is set in Bangkok, and after a brief, yet awkward trip through the red-light district searching for the elusive man-girl (recall who I am sitting next to), the Singha motivated Travis Lowe engulfs a few crunchy Hissing Madagascar Cockraoches and head for the back country searching for the even more elusive Golden Mahseer. This film depicts the cross culture evolution of the next generation working to protect the near extinct barbell mouthed carp like species from the former economically deprived villages who only sought the fish for feeding the mind and the soul. They have been working with Montana Fly Co. to close sections of the river for C&R fly fishing and donating the monies from clients to the villages and improving the level of education among its children. The narration seemed to drone on, but the message was clear and the fishing was extraordinary.
I am not going to go into detail on each and every film trailer, I hope you go to see the F3T when it comes near your town. I was hoping to see “Hit em Again Doc!”~ the follow up from last years tear jerker on an elderly physician who has Parkinson’s Disease, but enjoys fishing with his favorite guide Bryan Huskey from Silver Creek Outfitters. Apparently, that trailer didn’t make the cut for the Midwest distribution, I guess I will have to purchase that when it comes out as well. For full list of films and other resources: