Fly Fishing Film Tour lands back in Steamboat Springs
If you go:
What: 2017 Fly Fishing Film Tour
When: Doors open 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 10 and Saturday, March 11; films begin at 7 p.m.
Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.
Tickets: $15 in advance; $20 at the door
Steamboat Springs — From rough rivers winding into the furthest reaches of Siberia, to turquoise waters off a remote Pacific island, to the migratory route of Striped Bass from Virginia to Maine, the 2017 Fly Fishing Film Tour showcases eight very different films in settings of breathtaking beauty across the globe.
While the central theme, the appeal goes far beyond fly fishing — with stunning cinematography, access into exotic waters with elusive wildlife and intriguing human characters, heartwarming stories and powerful environmental and political messages.
The popular event is returning to the Chief Theater for the fifth time, this year with an additional night. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday with the show starting at 7:30 p.m.
The film tour is also an annual fundraiser for the Yampa Valley Fly Fishers.
“It’s kind of a solitary sport, to some extent,” said YVFF Vice-President Dan Chovan. “This is a chance for the fishing community to get together and socialize.”
Founded in 1983, YVFF fundraising efforts have gone to projects ranging from stabilizing river banks and planting vegetation to a middle school youth education program and the replacement of a culvert to allow for fish migration under a ski way in Burgess Creek.
One common thread throughout many of the films is conservation, aligned with YVFF’s mission “to conserve, protect and restore North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.”
In “At the End of a Rainbow” on the Ozernaya River in Far East Russia, “one of the most intact eco-systems left in the Northern Pacific,” anglers bring attention to salmon poaching and “how flyfishing can help protect the wilderness.”
In “Convergence,” a family takes the audience across the rivers and lakes of Montana and Idaho, showing the impacts of melting glaciers, rising water temperature, and increasing demands on water.
In “Middle of Nowhere,” the crew of anglers is the first from a foreign place to land a plane on the Pacific island, with the hope “to work with the local people to protect this tiny island from being overrun by foreign entities who might otherwise exploit this fishery for their own self interest.”
“Running the Coast” addresses the decline of the striped bass in the Atlantic over the past decade, while showing “The magic of a fish willing to literally go anywhere — from shallow, secluded wetlands to rocky beaches and busy metropolitan cityscapes, defies imagination and made for an historical and unforgettable trip.”
Deep human passion for the sport of fishing also runs through every film whether it is a man building a paraglider to scout new Tarpon locations off Florida’s coast in “120 Days: Tarpon season,” or “Odd Man Out,” the story of one Alaska-trained female fly-fishing pioneer and the expanding role of women — every bit as good as the men at catching fish — in the industry.
Another film features three women celebrating their 40th birthdays with a fly fishing trip without husbands and children. The films explore the thrill of the hunt, and the relationship between the fish and fisherman (or woman).
“Something in your heart stops when that fish hits,” observed an angler in “120 Days.”
“Corazon” tells the story of Sandflea, a legendary angler on the tiny Mexican island of Holbox, where the Carribbean Sea meets the Gulf of Mexico.
The eight new films will be shown with an intermission about halfway throughout.
Scott Parker, executive director of the Chief Theater, said it’s a great sign that demand for the event after five years prompted a second showing, and he’s encouraged by the community’s continued support of the theater.
“We like hosting repeat events,” Parker said. “This May we will host our fifth Cabaret for the Steamboat Springs Arts Council as well as our fifth New Works Festival for Perry-Mansfield. It is amazing to think that the Chief Theater is entering its fifth year of programming.”
The timing of the film tour is fitting, as fly fishing is starting to get good, said Chovan. He said with the recent spell of warm weather, he went out a couple times in February, and again last Sunday, and “It was quite good.”
Chovan said many of the biggest fish are caught in the spring, when they are hungry and restless after being under the ice for months.
For Chovan, fly fishing is his “serenity spot.” While out wandering on the river, focused intently on the flow of the river and where the fish might be, Chovan said he can forget about everything else.
“You’re so focused on what you’re doing and what’s going on, it’s hard to focus on anything else. You get on the river and your problems go away.”
Tickets are $15 in advance and are available at Steamboat Flyfisher, Bucking Rainbow, Straightline Sports and Henderson Fly Fishing. They are available for $20 at the door.
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