The first day I attended all the conference events, trying to schmooze with other historians and learn from the presentations. After the second day, however, I got a chance to attend the Fly Fishing Film Tour. My father, who was also in Boise attending a conference, joined me. What surprised me most about the event was the level of enthusiasm. Over 200 people, ranging from young kids to retirees, attended the event in a stadium style movie theater. It was a very different age range than the skiing films I have attended. Only a few of the films were shown in their entirety. River Poets and Equilibrium documented the threat posed by the Pebble Mine to the ecosystem near Katmai National Park. The film tour also showed the trailer for Red Gold by Felt Soul Media. I heard some boos when the preview showed the mine's spokesman trying to defend the enterprise. If you have not done so already, please take action to stop the Pit Mine at www.savebristolbay.com.
Something else that impressed me about the films was the focus on conserving wild species. In fly-fishing's history, this sentiment is very recent. During the 1920s, for example, game managers at Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park replaced the native greenback cutthroat with introduced rainbows and brook trout. Anglers from the East favored these species over the natives. The AEG Film River Wolf features fly-fishing for the largest trout species in the world--the Taimen. Taimen are only found in Mongolia and can grow up to five feet long. Destinations covers an expedition into Slovenia to catch Marble Trout, a rare pearly white species. Hopefully these films will cultivate angling interest in native species so that they are not replaced by imports or harmed by habitat loss.