The Roaring Fork Valley has long been a top destination for fly-fishing enthusiasts, and on Friday, Carbondale's PAC3 will lure fishermen from far and near for The Fly Fishing Film Tour.
The film tour, or F3T, features some of the top fly-fishing films of the past year. This year's films follow the theme of adventure.
"We approached this year with the attitude that 'adventure is what you make it.' Sometimes the greatest adventures can be found in your own backyard or an urban corridor," said F3T co-owner Chris Keig in a press release. "So, that's why, in addition to our usual assortment of fascinating destinations like Thailand, Bolivia, and Georgia [the country], we've also got great segments from Washington D.C., the Midwest, the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountains."
The Carbondale event is being hosted by the Ferdinand Hayden chapter of Trout Unlimited (FHTU), which is the eighth chapter of Trout Unlimited that was founded. The chapter is named for Ferdinand Vandiveer Hayden, an explorer who led one of four special surveys of the American West. He later became the first director of the US Geological Survey.
The PAC3 stop will present 13 films and is a family-friendly event.
"We're showing all the films except for the R-rated ones," said John Paul Schaefer, president of the Ferdinand Hayden chapter. "We're doing a very "G" presentation because we want this to be a family event."
And all early indicators point to the event being a huge success.
"We were hoping for about 100 people to attend," Schaefer said. "But it looks like we'll have more than 200 at this point. It's a rip-roaring success, it's our inaugural event, but it's more likely the start of a series.
"Even in this valley, where there are so many anglers, I was surprised by the enthusiasm for the event," he added.
Friday's tour stop will feature a complimentary taco bar, provided by Mi Casita Restaurant, plus a silent auction, cash bar and many fishing-related giveaways, provided by local fly-fishing shops.
"The local shops have been great," Schaefer said. "Alpine Anglers, Roaring Fork Anglers and the Crystal Fly Shop, as well as Alpine Bank and the Bank of Colorado, among others," have been invaluable sponsors of the event.
But a special highlight will be the exclusive screening of a 12-minute film by local angler Juan Grobler. "Of Rivers and Flyfishers," which will begin at 6:15 p.m., features the Crystal, Roaring Fork, Colorado and Fryingpan rivers.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the F3T films begin at 6:30 p.m. After an hour of films, there will be a 30-minute break for the silent auction. The remaining films will resume after the auction. Tickets are available through the F3T or PAC3 websites for $13 and at the doors for $15.
All proceeds will benefit the FHTU chapter, and the funds raised at the event will directly support programs targeted at youth in the region, such as fishing clinics, camps and programs. This includes a sponsored fishing day with the Buddy Program and a summer clinic in conjunction with Access Roaring Fork. FHTU partners with a number of area non-profits throughout the year to provide opportunities for education, service and advocacy, according to a press release.
"We like to focus on youth programming, especially the Buddy Program," Schaefer said. "We provide food and gear for the kids. Last year we took the kids fishing at Lake Christine [near Basalt] and had a great time."
FHTU also supports programs that get our disabled veterans out on the water.
"We have a strong partnership with Challenge Aspen," Schaefer said. "We like to take the vets out [for a day of fishing].
In addition to the fishing programs that FHTU takes part in, there are many conservation projects and partnerships that the chapter is dedicated to. These include the Roaring Fork Conservancy's tamarisk removal projects and other various river clean-ups.
"There's a demand for that type of volunteer support," Schaefer said. "We're not a sportsmen's group, but rather a conservation group ... We like the 'dirty hands' projects."
The chapter hopes to raise awareness of volunteer opportunities in the valley, as well as show some folks a great time, all while enjoying some of the best fishing films from around the globe.
"One of the reasons we're doing this event is to tell locals that we have a local chapter [of Trout Unlimited] and get people involved," Schaefer said. "We want every boat in the valley to have a Trout Unlimited sticker on it and be able to tell people [about our amazing rivers]."