Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Charleston F3T Weekend

I was able to spend a large part of this past weekend in Charleston attending the Fly Fishing Film Tour on Friday night and then spent Saturday with my family downtown for a picnic and then over to Sullivan's Island to play on the beach and dinner at Poe's Tavern before returning. No one can ever say that we don't take every advantage on our trips away.

The Fly Fishing Film Tour was again held at the Terrace Theatre which is a great choice since it's located in a quiet corner of Charleston.  There are several restaurants in the same complex and many started or ended their night with dinner and drinks nearby.

I met with the F3T road crew inside the theater about forty-five minutes before the first show.  I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that Thad Robison looked tired bordering on exhausted.  Back to back shows were catching up with the crew and it was good to hear that they would have a couple of days to rebound before their next stop early this week in Florida.

I also had the chance to put a hand shake with Matt Heron, Dave Teper, and Chad Dickey who rounded out the rest of the road crew for this stint of the tour.  It was good to catch up and get a take from each how the Fly Fishing Film Tour had gone so far this time around.

Rob McAbee of Bug Slinger made the trek up from Florida and it was great catching up with him as well.  The Bug Slinger Spring/Summer collection is going to be sharp once it goes up online.

This year there was both a 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. show which filled these seats twice.  Thad was ecstatic and said that attendance over all on the Fly Fishing Film Tour was up a third over years past.  They have sold out or nearly so on every stop.

Artist Paul Puckett made the jump over from Atlanta to pass out a few cards, show off a few of his fine paintings, and even gave away an original painting to a fortunate attendee.

Paul's work is most excellent and it's neat to hear that he's seeing increased success as an artist.  It is deserved.

Though I had already seen most of the film cuts for this year's show it was great to stand in and get the crowd's response.  The quality of the films chosen was a step up from last year and each film seemed to be about the same length which brought more continuity and correct pacing to the overall show.

Saltwater themed Red Like Winter and Satori brought a huge crowd response as did the New Zealand adventure The Waters of Greenstone.

Taylor and Hardwick of Gambit Stone were on hand at the first show with The Waters of Greenstone DVD's and I'm a little upset that I didn't get a chance to pass a twenty off to them for a copy.  I looked for them after the second show and they were already gone.  Darn.

As I was last year, I'm struck that life on the road for the F3T crew is harder than people realize.  Driving city to city, watching the same two hours of films over and over, and living daily with a lot of decisions up in the air for a few months out of year would be tough for many of us.  Yet...the F3T crew pull it off without a noticeable hitch.

The Fly Fishing Film Tour is a great night out and well worth the price of admission.  It's neat to see several hundred fly anglers all in one place and this show comes at the time of year when most are ready to get out on the water again after a long winter spent largely inside.                          

(Special thanks to Mr. and Mrs. "Mad Mike" Benson for letting me sleep on their couch Friday night.  It was much appreciated and good to hang out too.  I've been promised that May is when I'll catch my first fly caught redfish.)

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