The first weekend of April has become a fly fishing holiday in Durango.
Along with the Duranglers Fly Fishing Festival to be held April 5-6, the Fly Fishing Film Tour will make another stop April 6 for two shows at 4 and 8 p.m. at the Durango Arts Center. Tickets for the two shows are no longer available online, but Duranglers Flies and Supplies still has tickets available for the 4 p.m. show.
This year’s Fly Fishing Film Tour, which is in its 13th year, features films shot on water more easily accessible to anglers in the U.S. compared to some recent years. After a snow-filled winter in Durango, viewers will especially enjoy the film “Alignment,” with professional snowboarder Eric Jackson traveling into the British Columbia backcountry and giving viewers an inside look into some of his favorite steelhead trout water accessed by a splitboard.
“While the last couple year’s lineups may have skewed toward some of the more far flung destinations reached by our sport, this crop of films brings things a little closer to home,” Doug Powell of Mayfly Media said in a news release. “Don’t get me wrong, you’re still going to see the outer edge of Australia and visit an island deep in French Polynesia, but you’re also going to see some of America’s most storied fisheries in the Yellowstone, the Henry’s Fork and the South Fork of the Snake. You’re going to see Wisconsin musky caught on the fly and journey to the Black Hills of South Dakota. You’ll be taken to the edge of (British Columbia and Oregon) steelhead rivers and on the hunt for stripers under the New York City skyline. The stories in these films will offer every angler something familiar as well as plenty to add to their bucket list.”
While the film tour is the headline event of the weekend, fly fishing enthusiasts can get an early-season fix at a multitude of events. It all starts with a presentation at 7 p.m. Friday at the Henry Strater Theatre by Hank Patterson, a humorous fly fishing guide. Tickets are $8 and available at Duranglers. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for a social, and the presentation is schedule to run roughly 90 minutes.
Action will resume early Saturday morning. Doors open at Duranglers at 8 a.m., and the first 30 through the door will get a free swag bag, and one of them will contain a $100 Duranglers gift card. There will be free drawings all day for various prizes, including the grand prize drawing at 4 p.m. for a free guided trip with Duranglers.
Participants will have a better chance to win the more events they attend, and there are plenty of events. There will be a fly-tying demo from 8 to 11 a.m. with Mike Sulkosky. From 8:45 to 9:15 a.m., Hatch Reels rep Dustin Carlson also will give a presentation.
Simms rep Scott Harkins is set to show off the company’s latest wading boots and waders, including the new Flyweight boot built for hiking to mountain streams.
Erik Johnson of Colorado-based company Fishpond will take the spotlight from 10:45 to 11:15 a.m. He’s back from noon to 2 p.m. along with Theo Anest for a casting demo at Folsom Park. At the same time, Patagonia rep Dave Allen will have a boot demo and presentation.
From 2:45 to 3:30 p.m., Sulkosky will give a presentation on fishing the San Juan River, the famous trout water with smart and picky fish. He will provide tips on how to be more consistent and successful in trips to the San Juan.
The festival is also a great chance to renew fishing licenses for the new season, as last year’s year passes expired March 31.