Aspen reels in Fly Fishing Film Tour |

Aspen reels in Fly Fishing Film Tour

Janet Urquhart
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado
Contributed photo

ASPEN – RA Beattie has fished in exotic locales around the globe, but the Aspen High School graduate is in for an angling thrill of a different sort on Tuesday.

The local filmmaker will see two productions of his own on the Wheeler Opera House screen when the Fly Fishing Film Tour makes a stop in Aspen.

“I’ve grown up going to the Wheeler my entire life,” he said from the road last week. “I’ve never seen my work on the screen there, so it’s pretty exciting for me.”

His Beattie Outdoor Productions films, however, have been part of the Fly Fishing Film Tour lineup in each of the four years the tour has been in existence. He was out of town when the tour swung through Aspen last year, but this time, Beattie is one of four filmmakers who will make an appearance at the Wheeler.

For angling fanatics, the film tour is a cinematic feast of fishing in far-flung locales. Anyone who gets an adrenaline rush from landing a fat and feistly lunker in local waters is likely to appreciate the thrill of hauling in a 300-pound mako shark on a fly rod – the stuff of “Speed, Muscle and Teeth” from LDR Media.

The tour, which will make 90 stops in the U.S. and Canada, is more than “fish porn” though, Beattie said. The genre has evolved from instructional films and footage of epic battles with toothy giants to true storytelling. That’s not, however, to say viewers won’t be treated to plenty of action and some impressive fish. And laughs.

Two films this year highlight an environmental angle – Motive Fishing’s “Geofish,” which follows the exploits of four die-hard fishermen doing whatever it takes to survive on a road trip from Oregon to Baja in a diesel truck converted to run on vegetable oil; and “Red Like Winter,” from Waterline Media, capturing monster redfish taken on a fly in a Louisiana marshland that was nearly lost to a recent oil spill.

Beattie’s entries include “Blue Water,” about fishing for marlin and sailfish off the coast of Guatemala, and “Wisconsin Smallies,” a shorty on fishing for smallmouth bass in Wisconsin while subsisting on cheese curds and yellow beer.

“It’s not really a destination for fly fishing,” Beattie said of the latter locale. It might become one, though.

Joining Beattie at the Wheeler will be Brad Bohen of Third Year Fly Fishers, which also turned to the waters of Wisconsin for its “Musky Country – Zero2Hero (Z2H),” a film that follows a group of dedicated anglers as they stalk the state’s legendary muskellunge.

Also expected to make appearances are filmmaker Jay Johnson of MOTIV Films, which producted “Geofish,” and Dave Teper of World Angling, which captured permit fishing in “Satori.”

Also in the film lineup are “Black Tailed Devils” from 406 Productions, a film dedicated to capturing the pursuit of permit on film, and “The Waters of Greenstone” from Gambit Stone, about a dream drip to New Zealand to climb the country’s tallest mountain and stalk elusive trout.

For the non-angler, there’s plenty in the tour to entertain and entice, according to Beattie.

“Fly fishing, the majority of the time, takes place in incredibly beautiful places,” he said. “Whether you’re a surfer, or a biker, or whatever you’re into, you can look at these places and be inspired. By no means do you have to be a fly fisher to enjoy it.”

The tour, including door prizes and a chance to win a fishing trip, takes place from 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday at the Wheeler. Tickets are available in advance for $12 from the Wheeler and Taylor Creek Fly Shop locations in Aspen and Basalt. Tickets are $15 on Tuesday.


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