There’s something special about watching a dry-fly dead drift on top of a flat stream, in the anticipation that at any minute a fish could rise, electrifying the once-slack line. All anglers, specifically fly fishermen, have a story of an epic take, the perfect alpine lake, or a particularly enticing pilgrimage to a lodge. This thirst for storytelling, so prevalent in fly fishing culture, propels the founders of the Boulder-based Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T for short) each year to curate a lineup of the best short narrative films within the sport—and they’re now showing them at events around the world.
The F3T, which was born in Boulder in 2009, has showings in 170 cities this year. But the most (11 total, with more on the way) are scheduled in Colorado—despite the fact that none of the films feature local rivers. While that may mean your favorite Centennial State fishing holes will remain a secret (at least for now), the festival does feature a number of unique locales that are worthy of an adventure—from permit fishing in Australia to trout fishing on South Fork of the Snake in Idaho. “I want people to see that there are bucket list destinations [for fishing] out there,” F3T cofounder Doug Powell says.
One of this year’s featured filmmakers is Colorado native RA Beattie. Born in the Roaring Fork Valley, Beattie quickly made a name for himself as a fly fishing guide turned photographer. His latest film, NexGen, which will be screened on this year’s tour, features the narration of a young angler, Jack, setting out on his first big trip. Powell says this film is his favorite work that Beattie has ever done. “It really showcases how fun fly fishing can be,” Powell says. “Even for kids.”
This year’s festival will also give viewers a look at fisheries in Alaska, Florida, South Dakota, and French Polynesia. But Colorado, with its incredible water and vibrant communities, holds a special place in Powell’s heart—and that’s why he’s looking forward to coming home with the tour, celebrating the outdoors, and using film to excite audiences around the sport of fly-fishing.
Here’s a full list of the Colorado tour stops:
February 2: Colorado Springs, Stargazers Theater
February 15: Silverthorne, Silverthorne Town Pavilion
February 15: Evergreen, The Wild Game
March 13: Edwards, Riverwalk Theater
March 20: Boulder, Boulder Theater
March 22: Fort Collins, Lincoln Center
March 23: Denver, The Oriental Theater
March 28: Aspen, Wheeler Opera House
March 30: Grand Junction, The Historical Avalon Center
March 30: Montrose, Montrose Pavilion
April 6: Durango, Durango Arts Center
If you go: Ticket prices vary: $12 in advance, $15 at the door at most venues. Most shows sell out, so it’s best to purchase well in advance.