For three hours, the fly fishing community in the Pikes Peak region came together to watch a handful of films that capture the adventure of fly fishing. The night devoted to the Fly Fishing Film Tour, with all proceeds going to Project Healing Waters, is not just about the films, though.
A Story and The Cause
Larry Fivecoats' story is captured in his film called "Breaking Through: The Story of Larry Fivecoats."
We were fortunate that Larry (pictured here with his grandson, Nicholas) was in attendance at tonight's event. Larry, a veteran of the Vietnam War and currently the co-lead for Denver's Project Healing Waters, movingly stated what Project Healing Waters has meant to him:
"It does make us better people. Better husbands. Better fathers. Better brothers. It's all part of coming home, all the way. For some of us, it just takes a little longer."
The Auction and Raffle
OK, these are always great because of the terrific prizes. The highlight tonight, though, had to do with the hand-crafted bamboo rod donated by High Plains Rods for the auction. The highest bid was $975.00. But wait...the highest bidder donated the $975 and the rod went back on the bidding table. Then the highest bid was $850! What a great gesture by one of the members of our fly fishing community. Thanks to all of the local businesses that offered raffle and auction items: Sportsman's Paradise, Gunnison River Guides, John St. John (float trip on the Yampa), Blindside, and Orvis. And for the speed raffle, people in attendance purchased 1500 raffle tickets with all proceeds of the raffle and the auction going to support Project Healing Waters.
This year's selections seemed to have a broader range of films than years past. The films seemed to fall into three categories. There were the films that got your adrenaline pumping and added destinations to your bucket list. We saw videos that captured fly fishing in Iceland, one that gave a glimpse into the characters who live and fish in Alaska, and another that attempted to define what "bucknasty browns" are. We watched "Carpland" that debunked carp as "trash fish" and recast them as sport fish worthy of pursuit. Another category were the films that addressed conservation of our fisheries. From fishing for taiment in Mongolia to fishing for bonefish in the 90 miles between the U.S. and Cuba, we were reminded that high quality fisheries need our attention so that they are sustainable. As the film "90 Miles" said, "the future of our sport depends on what we do today." All the films, though, captured the "why" of this adventure of fly fishing: the escape, the freedom of it, the way it forces us to be in the moment.
From Angler's Covey, Royal Gorge Anglers, the Cheyenne Mountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and Project Healing Waters -- thank you to all who came out. We're grateful for your support and generosity. Tight lines.
Orvis 101 Introduction to Fly Fishing
Orvis 201 Streamside