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The F3T 2012 – Boise, Idaho Edition

February 24, 2012

Photo courtesy Andy Nelson, ski/fish nut.

I love fishing films. I’m a nerd for that stuff. If there are fishing films to be seen, I’m watching. Especially if they’re being shown at The Egyptian, the coolest and oldest venue in Boise. Bride and Oldest Son were down for it, too, so off to the 2012 F3T we went. We stopped at the Falcon Tavern ( the eatingest place in all of Boise) for dinner just before, and this was my 5 year old’s wish list for swimmers he hoped would be featured:
I was stoked to see the show was sold out. I want to see more and more events like this rolling through, so it’s great to see our community supporting them.
We got there just before things kicked off. The beer line stretched the entire length of the fully packed lobby. We stopped at the TU table to get Oldest Son a raffle ducat, and the guy there ran us down on a catsing tourney happening in May. Definitely going to be checking that out. The crowd energy level was high, and as we made our way to our seats, I swear I heard at least three different conversations about the Owyhee in hushed tones, as though it were some kind of secret. Okay, dude.
I’ll lay out my top 5 films of the night. It’d probably be funnier for me to pick on those I didn’t like, but I figure until my dumb ass makes a fly fishing film, I should keep those things to myself. Mostly, anyhow. I will say this one negative thing: For the love of Izaak Walton, can we do away with the product placement! 9 of 10 guys wore the same Simms Fishing Products hat, and I swear Orvis made more appearances in “Reverb” and “The Get Lost Project” than fish themselves. Blatant product placement sucks. It sullies whatever you’re feeling up to that moment. Just stop it.
Top 5 Films:

Riding High: In this film, the tarpon is the star. And with bucketmouths, silver-dollar scales, and the explosive athleticism of an NBA forward, the Poon is a born superstar. Set in the Florida Keys, the photography is excellent. Top notch visual factor, maybe best of the show. Fish porn factor is very high. Adrenaline factor is high. The characters are good but keep the focus where it belongs – gagger tarpon. The yellow lab boat dog does steal a few scenes, though (maybe she can look forward to her own feature soon). Overall, a total crowd pleaser.
 Sipping Dry: We’ve all seen plenty of fish porn; this film is more about Bug Porn. It’s bug worship, Montana worship, and Trout Bum worship. I typically could care less, but this film is great. It throws aside the trout bum BS and Montana myths, and plugs you into the very real stoke that these guys have for fly fishing. There’s a montage of dozens of missed strikes; it did my heart well to watch world-class trout guides struggle – as I often struggle – to put steel to flesh and connect to the fish. Sipping Dry is beautifully shot, the Missouri River guides are gregarious and interesting, and the bugs will will haunt your daydreams.
 Doc of the Drakes: Another great Bryan Huskey joint, done in his signature guy-next-door voiceover style. Maybe I’m biased because Huskey is a local guy, but this was the highlight of the show. I purposely avoided the trailer, and I’m glad I did, because it was a fresh take (not unusual for Huskey) and I got to watch it with fresh eyes. Doc of the Drakes follows an octogenarian angler and his young guide/friend fishing the Brown Drake hatch on Idaho’s Silver Creek. Very few fly fishing films are so clearly linear: There’s a huge hatch, and it only last a few days. Can Doc put it together in that short window? Man vs self, Man vs Nature, Man vs Time. It’s all there. This film is honest. It doesn’t hide the advanced nature of Doc’s disease. It doesn’t hide a clear love and admiration between two men of disparate generations. If you’ve ever wanted something badly for someone else’s good, this film will grab and squeeze and twist your heart and stomach. Again, it might be the local connection, but the crowd straight exploded at the film’s climax. Top prize.
 Fly, a Legacy: I like quiet things. I like slow movies and long books, and I like them for the spaces between. There is space in Fly, a Legacy. An aging narrator recalls fishing ventures of his youth while the camera rolls on a young angler swinging flies for Atlantics. The visuals are great, but it’s the narrator’s haunting recital of a fishing life that elevate the film. Even in recollection, he speaks about fishing with a quiet urgency. You can bet the Scottish brogue doesn’t hurt, either. Everything’s better with brogue. There is a quiet and slow power in this film. There is space in Fly, a Legacy, and it would have you look inward upon your fishing history and if you’re lucky, your fishing legacy.
 The Kodiak Chronicles: This was the last short of the night. Brought to you by LDR media, The Kodiak Chronicles had me all sorts of conflicted. I completely hated the first half of the trailer. Typical steelheader rhetoric (after making it the whole show with nary a mention of the chromers), “Hey! Steelhead are hard to catch! Especially if you swing flies for them, which everybody should do! So let’s charter a plane into the middle of freaking nowhere Alaska to make it a bit easier”. I’m so over that stuff. Then, halfway through, we meet Trent Deeter, part-time guide and part-time roofer. Trent’s got the legendary Alaskan honey hole, and he takes us and 3 of his friends with him. What happens in Alaska is all the pretentious steelhead BS is stripped away. That will happen when you actually catch fish. And catch steelies they do, in unheard-of ratios. The guys in the film are all pros, but they can do nothing to hide the sheer bliss they’re experiencing. It’s intoxicating to the viewer. That is how you do a steelhead movie. Also, the film includes the greatest drunken campfire guitar singalong in the the not-so-storied history of fly fishing cinema.
A ton of great gear was given away, the films were diverse and compelling, and the place was packed. What more can I say? Well done, F3T. We look forward to next year!
You can check out trailers for all the films, get links to the filmmakers sites, and buy tix to upcoming events here.
Oh, here’s how Oldest Son’s wish list turned out:
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. A TROUT BUM permalink
    February 24, 2012 11:45

    This shit is awful. Don’t call yourself a fly fisherman and then hate on the entire industry. Go back to your shitty home life and hide behind your middle aged computer strong man attitude. You only wished you lived in Montana douche bag. I hope your fuckin walker gets swept out from under you this summer. Takes one less ass clown off our rivers.
    P.s- your site sucks.
    How’s the Haterade taste now?

    • February 24, 2012 11:57

      I might suck, but I’m not a coward.Why don’t you step out from behind the computer? Hey, if you’re ever in the 208, we can go fishing. I’ll buy the gas. Whaddya say, Captain Anonymous?

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