Last night I attended the Fly Fishing Film Tour showing at the Ultra here in Manhattan. Jason Puris of TheFin.com sponsored the event and made the venue arrangements. Here’s my take on the experience.
The Setting: As we walked to the bar on 26th street, one of the guys attending with me said, “Usually stuff like this turns out to be a bunch of folding chairs around an old tv on the second floor, and maybe two other people show up.” Not the case here. The room had a section of tables set up in front of the big screen, with standing tables set up in back. Additionally, flats screens lined the wall so you could get a good view from anywhere. The bar set up made it easy–maybe too easy–to run back and grab a drink while keeping an eye on the show.
The Films: Not a single gratuitous eating shot. AEG came closest to that in their Mongolia footage, with a scene involving milk vodka or something, but that turned out to be pretty funny. Clips included work from AEG, Fly On the Wall Travels, Fishizzle (with Al Braughtinwood!), Beattie, World Angling, Castaway, Beaver Hill Productions, plus a few sponsor vids. The quality of the footage proved much higher than expected, drawing comparisons from some to Warren Miller ski vids, with lots of action, incredible scenery, some “no way that just happened” shots, and quirky personalities. The Bristol Bay short had more of a straight-up documentary style.
The Verdict: If you’re thinking of hitting the show in your town, and you enjoy watching footage of other people doing stuff you may never get to try, it’s definitely worth the ticket. The fly fishing as entertainment thing works when there’s a receptive crowd and alcohol is involved.