Fly-fishing expo not to be missed

It’s not always about trout — fly fishing offers nearly unlimited possibilities when it comes to catching fish of all species. The Western Colorado Fly Fishing Exposition can teach you how to tie flies for everything from cold-water streams to jungle rivers, warm-water flats and more.

As part of the 2012 Fly Fishing Film Tour being shown Friday at the Mesa Theater and Club, Simon Perkins’ movie “Sipping Dry” details one of fly fishing’s most-consuming obsessions, the dry fly. “Sipping Dry” takes you to a place many anglers refer to as the “dry fly capital of the world”: the upper Missouri River near Craig, Mont.



WHAT: 14th annual Western Colorado Fly Fishing Exposition.

WHEN: Friday — Guided tours and fly fishing film at Mesa Theater and Club. Saturday — free activities at DoubleTree Hotel. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: youth and adult fly tiers, casting instruction and contests; hourly programs and seminars; silent auctions; vendors and equipment demos. 5:30 p.m.: banquet with featured speaker and auction.

WHERE: Friday — Free tours of Ross Reels and Scott Fly Rod Co., both in Montrose; Fly Fishing Film Tour at Mesa Theater and Club (doors open 6:30 p.m.; tickets $12 advance, $15 at the door). All other events at DoubleTree Hotel.

HOW: Film tickets at Western Anglers Fly Shop, 413 Main St. Banquet ticket sales have closed.

INFORMATION: Fly Fishing Film Tour details at

The Western Colorado Fly Fishing Exposition returns Friday and Saturday to the DoubleTree Hotel.

And as they allegedly said in the newsreels, “Movie at 7.”

It’s a movie, and an expo, you really shouldn’t miss.

The movie is the 2012 Fly Fishing Film Tour (or f3t, for short) and consists of many movies in one, a series of action-packed short films by some of the world’s most-talented angling filmmakers, including RA Beatty of Basalt.

The film tour visits 120 cities around the country and makes its Grand Junction stop at 7 p.m. Friday night at Mesa Theater and Club, 538 Main St.

The action starts with the first cast and goes and goes, from 100-pound tarpon pounding palm-sized flies on the flats of Florida and the jungles of Belize to log-sized brown trout delicately sipping mayflies on the Missouri River near Craig, Mont.

And that’s just two of the exciting films in the evening’s show.

You can see trailers from some of the films and get information at

Tickets ($12 advance, $15 door) are available from Western Anglers, 413 Main St.

It’s cheaper than therapy and a lot more fun.

The 14th annual expo, titled “Fly Fishing — a Lifetime Adventure,” starts in earnest at 9 a.m. Saturday when the first round of fly tiers sits down and gets serious about the art and science of fly tying.

Truly, if there is a creature with fins and gills, these tiers will devise something to catch it.

More than 50 of the top fly tiers around the West, many of whom call western Colorado home, will share their secrets and some of their flies with anyone curious enough to sit down, watch and ask.

The rest of the day is filled with seminars, casting instruction and contests, special events for women and youths and about as much fly-fishing information as a human can possibly absorb in one venue.

The youth programs particularly are inviting since many of the instructors aren’t much past the youth stage themselves, including local favorites Tyler Befus, 14, of Montrose and Taila Oulton, 16, of Gunnison. Every youngster gets a free expo T-shirt and, thanks to the generosity of expo sponsors, most of the young participants also go home with fly-fishing equipment.

Except for the movie and the Saturday evening banquet, it’s all free, which means you can save your money for a few raffle tickets or maybe that new fly line you’ve been delaying.

The banquet begins at 5:30 p.m. with featured speaker Kirk Deeter of Pine talking about “Fly Fishing off the Grid.”

Deeter spent the last few weeks in Bolivia, so he might have a few new things to say about being off grid.

And just in case you do pick up that new fly line and few gimme flies from the tiers, the river report says flows in the Gunnison River should remain around 500 cubic feet per second for the near future.


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