Follow a boat ‘Where the Yellowstone Goes’

Anyone interested in rivers and fishing, particularly fly fishing, can get their fill this week.

It starts with a showing Wednesday of the video “Where the Yellowstone Goes,” a feature-length documentary on a 30-day fly-fishing journey by drift boat down the Yellowstone River.

Many anglers and water-resource managers consider the Yellowstone one of the world’s great trout rivers and regard it as the longest undammed river in the contiguous U.S.

Most anglers are familiar with the Yellowstone River, especially in its upper reaches in Yellowstone National Park.

But soon the river leaves Yellowstone Lake, flows through the Hayden Valley, drops off upper and lower Yellowstone Falls and enters the 1,000-foot deep Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, where it enters long stretches of difficult-to-reach country.

Eventually the river comes out of the canyons near Emigrant, where it slows and flattens as it reaches the easily accessible sections around Livingston, Mont.

In filmmaker Hunter Weeks’ production, a small crew is followed down the Yellowstone from Gardiner, Mont., to the confluence of the Missouri River at Fort Buford, N.D., a nearly 600-mile journey.

“People are becoming more aware of how important our nation’s waterways are,” said Weeks, the film’s director. “I think this film will really resonate with this audience and help inspire people to get more involved in protecting their favorite rivers. This isn’t just about fly fishing and conservation, this is a real story of life.”

Part of the story has to do with the 2011 oil spill when a pipeline owned by ExxonMobil ruptured 10 miles west of Billings, Mont., and dropped an estimated 1,500 barrels (about 63,000 gallons) of oil into the Yellowstone.

The video is showing at 
7 p.m. Wednesday at the Mesa Theater & Lounge, 538 Main St. Tickets are $10 in advance (http://www.mesatheater.com) and $12 at the door.

Weeks and producer Sarah Hall are scheduled to attend the showing and host a post-video question-and-answer period.

On Friday, the popular and always exciting Fly Fishing Film Tour hits the Mesa Theater from 6 to 8 p.m. with its collection of fly-fishing videos from a range of adventurous and conservation-minded fishing videographers.

Information and advance tickets are available from Western Anglers Fly Shop, 413 Main St., and online at http://www.thef3t.com.

All that DVD-stimulated excitement culminates Saturday with the 15th annual Western Colorado Fly Fishing Exposition at the DoubleTree Hotel.

The two-day expo offers free tours of Ross Reels, Whiting Farms and Scott Rods on Friday and a full day Saturday of seminars and activities for fly anglers of all levels and ages along with fly-tying demonstrations by more than 50 tiers from around the country.

The expo concludes with the Saturday banquet featuring silent and live auctions and a guest appearance by well-known fly-fishing guide and innovator Jack Dennis.

Information about the expo, including Saturday’s banquet, is available at http://www.grand-valley-anglers.org.


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