TU 5 Rivers Program Coordinator Max Guggenheimer raffles prizes during intermission at the Fly Fishing Film Tour.

When it comes to fly fishing videos we are living in some heady times. Over the past couple years, films focused on fly fishing have virtually exploded the internet gaining as much traction as on the media side as other action sports like skiing and mountain biking. Fly fishing has become more popular for sure, but with the market being flooded with high quality, inexpensive (and waterproof) HD video cameras, producing a compelling video on any subject is now as easy as ordering a pizza, then taking that pizza to the river. Retailers and manufacturers are also getting involved, sponsoring pros and amateurs alike in there visual pursuits. All this adds up to a robust and ever growing and evolving fly fishing film scene that is exploding right before our eyes. We’ll be telling our grandkids we were there at the beginning. All this output has culminated in the pros putting together a couple of film tours that select the best of the best.

The Fly Fishing Film Tour, or F3T, is one of those tours. We caught the tour as it swung through the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va., sponsored by the Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited, 5 Rivers Program and shown for free. This is a special occasion as most stops on the tour charge $10-15 bucks a pop to attend. The first half of the show includes some great fishing action, and features a film called Urban Lines that focuses on fly fishing the tidal waters of the Potomac River in downtown Washington, D.C. The second half features films focused more on conservation issues in North America and worldwide. Also, Hank Patterson is prevalent throughout, adding a bit of levity to the whole thing.

Like most showings, the Lexington stop was attended by a large crowd of anglers and a healthy dose of vendors and advocacy groups including Cheeky Reels, Trout Unlimited, Albemarle Angler, South River Fly Shop, and our old friend Matt Miles, who you may remember from our story on musky fishing. A good time was had by all and Max Guggenhiem used the venue to raise awareness of the VCTU’s 5 Rivers program aimed at promoting Trout Unlimited’s mission of conservation and stewardship on college and university campuses. With two universities in Lexington, VMI and Washington and Lee, it seemed like the perfect venue especially given the two schools have recently struck up a friendly competition between their respective fly fishing clubs. This year’s tournament will take place at Escatawba Farms on March 23.

The F3T will make a couple more stops in the region this spring:

February 25, 2013 – Nashville, TN
February 28, 2013 – Atlanta, GA
March 8, 2013 – Knoxville, TN
March 13, 2013 – Charlotte, NC
March 16, 2013 – Baltimore, MD
March 28, 2013 – Arlington, VA
April 4, 2013 – Asheville, NC
April 11, 2013 – Cartersville, GA
May 17, 2013 – Cullowhee, NC

Click here for a full schedule and map.

Check out the trailers to some of our favorite films from the festival: