'Fly Fishing Film Tour' coming to South Charleston
Rock music. Exotic locales. Magnificent scenery. Great fishing. Killer cinematography.
Put them together and you get the 2012 Fly Fishing Film Tour, a cinematic collection of 10 avant-garde short features being shown at big-city theaters all around the country - and, on April 7, at the LaBelle Theatre in little old South Charleston.
"The tour has been going on for several years, but in the past it has only gone to major cities," said Philip Smith, chairman of the West Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited. "This year, TU got involved, and decided to take the tour to some smaller cities."
Since TU's Kanawha Valley Chapter is one of the country's largest, South Charleston - where the chapter holds its monthly meetings - got one of the slots.
Smith said the tour's films are nothing like the 1992 movie "A River Runs Through It" and the fly fishing shows that appear on outdoor-themed cable TV networks.
"These movies are not your grandpa's fly fishing movies," he said. "They aren't grip-and-grin, look-what-I-caught films, either. They have rock music, really awesome cinematography, guys yukking it up and having fun - kind of like 'Warren Miller does fly fishing.'"
Smith calls the films "a clarion call to young people."
"TU is making a big push to attract new members in the 20- to 40-year-old age bracket, and that's the target demographic for the film tour," he explained.
Each of the 10 films runs between 10 and 12 minutes in length. Smith said they are edited-down versions of much longer features.
"They're not trailers, though," he added. "The films tell stories."
Organizers plan to show a few films and then hold an intermission for distribution of raffle prizes. The top prize is a 7-foot, 4-weight Orvis Superfine graphite fly rod and a pair of Costa sunglasses.
Other prizes include a framed brook trout and fly fishing painting by West Virginia artist Mary Ann Nease, a half-day guided fly fishing trip at the Elk Springs Resort in Randolph County, a Scientific Anglers fly line of one's choice, and a variety of clothing items.
Smith said ticket buyers would also get discounts on custom bamboo fly rods from two renowned builders and a $50 discount on the purchase of a set of Patagonia River Crampons or Rock Grip Wading Boots.
Smith said 100 percent of the profit from ticket sales and raffles would go directly for trout conservation.
"We don't have overhead costs," he said. "We can take that money and apply it directly where it can do the most good for trout and trout fishing."
Tickets for the event are limited to the theater's 300-seat capacity. Smith said tickets are available at fly shops throughout the state, or may be purchased at the door. Tickets bought from fly shops cost $12. Tickets purchased at the door cost $15.
"The films begin at 6 p.m. People might want to get there early to check out some of the exhibit booths [and] tables that will be set up," Smith said. "Pizza and popcorn will be available."
Reach John McCoy at email@example.com or 304-348-1231.