By Lyndsie Kiebert
Do you fly fish? Do you want to learn more about the sport? Did you feel something deep in your soul stir when Brad Pitt’s character died in “A River Runs Through It?”
All are valid reasons to attend Sandpoint’s seventh annual Fly Fishing Film Tour this weekend.
Among other great reasons to attend are the chance to win several raffles and door prizes, like a $500 Simms gift card, the chance to support local initiatives like Trout Unlimited and the Pend Oreille Water Festival, and the chance to see films about one of America’s fastest growing recreational activities.
Fly fishing has the highest rate of new participants according to the Outdoor Foundation, which reports that almost 13 percent of participants were new to it in 2014. The sport is also aiming for more inclusivity, as brands like Orvis are hoping to end the gender split in fly fishing by 2020. Right now, women make up nearly a third of all fly fishers. The Outdoor Foundation reports that in 2016, more than two million women took part in the sport — an increase of nearly 142,000 from the previous year.
“It’s substantial,” said Reg Crawford, who works with Trout Unlimited. She said now is the time for those curious about fly fishing to explore the sport, and that the Fly Fishing Film Tour is a perfect way to get started.
“My favorite thing about (the event) is the energy. It hits at the right time of year when people are getting excited about spring and excited about fishing,” Crawford said. “The energy just gets elevated.”
Catch F3T at the Panida Theater Saturday, March 24. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show will begin at 7 p.m.
Crawford said the Mayfly Project – a nonprofit that teaches foster children how to fly fish – will be there. This is first time they’ve tabled at the Sandpoint event. Learn more about the nonprofit at themayflyproject.com and check out their table on Saturday.
F3T is brought to Sandpoint by North 40 Fly Shop and the Panhandle Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Buy tickets in advance for $12 at the North 40 Fly Shop in Ponderay, Eichardt’s Pub or online at flyfilmtour.com. Tickets are $15 at the door the night of the show.
For the most up-to-date information, find the “2018 Fly Fishing Film Tour – Sandpoint, ID” Facebook page.
Whether you’re a regular Norman Maclean or just like being outside, Crawford said the film tour is worthwhile.
“It doesn’t matter if you fly fish or not,” she said. “The locations are beautiful. It’s about being outdoors and enjoying that.”