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Reel to reel adventures

Terrace Theater on James Island to host Fly Fishing Film Tour. When the Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) rolls into town for its third year March 31 at the Terrace Theater, you'll want to get your tickets early. Even with two showings scheduled this year, at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., it's still an almost guaranteed sellout. What you don't need to worry about is the Terrace running out of beer ” they learned their lesson last time.

I'm putting in an enormous order,¯ theater owner Paul Brown said with a laugh. I promised the organizers this year that we wouldn't run out of any of the 150 beers we sell.¯

Thad Robison, who helped found the tour in 2005, admits to helping down a few icy beverages at last year's fest. Nearly seven years ago, he quit his software designer job to start Mayfly media, pursuing fishing, filmmaking, and hosting the F3T tour full time. With stops in over 130 cities this year, the project has grown into one of the most anticipated events of the year for fly fisherman across the country.

Consisting of 11 short films, each clocking in between 6 and 17 minutes, F3T offers outdoor enthusiasts a firsthand vantage point to some of the world's most remote and sought after fly-fishing locales. Among this year's offerings are The Kodiak Project,¯ an expedition onto the Karluk River in Alaska, and Riding High,¯ about a season spent chasing the thrill of Florida's annual tarpon run.

Robison's own contribution is Geofish ” A Mayan Prophecy,¯ an adventure tale of four buddies on a 4x4 road trip from Oregon to Belize, seeking out unspoiled fishing grounds in the Central American jungle.

The Terrace Theater, Maybank Highway

5 p.m. March 31, second showing at 8 p.m.

Tickets: $12 available at all Charleston Angler locations

ReVerb: A Punk Rock Love Story¯: Three Chicago punk rockers find a refuge from the late-night club scene on the streams of northern Wisconsin

Riding High¯: For a saltwater fly fisherman, there are few events more stunning than the annual tarpon migration through Florida.

Doc of the Drakes¯: Dr. Robert Franklin finds peace, knee deep in Idaho's Silver Creek, after ending his career as a world-renowned surgeon due to Parkinson's disease.

Hatch¯: Bouncing between England, Slovenia and New Zealand, a filmmaker and fisherman chases the most extraordinary insect hatches around the planet.

FLY: a Legacy¯: In west Scotland, a man reflects on his coming of age with a fly rod and his grandfather.

Clearly B.C., Part One: Fall Bullies¯: Amid the brilliant fall foliage of British Columbia, fishing guide Beckie Clarke braves grizzly bears, wolves and snow to seek out the best trout streams in Elk Valley.

Geofish ” A Mayan Prophecy¯: Four buddies convert their pickup into the ultimate touring machine, driving from Oregon to Belize in search of hidden fly fishing spots deep in the jungle.

The Kodiak Project¯: Revisiting the site of the world's most legendary salmon run, four fisherman discover that Alaska's Karluk River has rebounded from overfishing into an unparalleled steelhead fishery.

Sipping Dry¯: In the dry fly capital of the world, Montana's Missouri River, fishermen struggle to put into words their passion for hooking trout amidst epic hatches.

Right On It¯: In the Bahamas, there's something magical about Abaco. It's called the bonefish.

The Arctic¯: North of the Arctic Circle, a team goes in search of Arctic char amidst frigid rapids, treeless terrain and virgin waters.

The filtering process boils down to, ˜Are they telling a good story?' ¯ explained Robison, who narrowed the entries in this year's fest down from 30 submissions. Filming has become extremely popular in the fly fishing community. We get entries each year where they're so close to having a good piece, but the music isn't licensed or they need help with editing, or the shots are too wobbly or need color correction. The competition has stepped up to the point that we can really offer a program of the absolute best.¯

Among the most notable films included this year is ReVerb: A Punk Rock Love Story,¯ the tale of three Chicago punk musicians, from the band Pegboy, who spend their free time in northern Wisconsin casting for trout in tiny streams.

These guys were basically vampires for the last 20 years, and they show up in a club with sunburns,¯ Robison said. Nobody knew they liked to fish. As it turns out, the lead singer even makes his own fly rods. It's a story of how they use fly fishing to unplug themselves from the punk rock scene.¯

F3T balances its film selection between fresh and saltwater locations, and the tour pays out half of its profits to the filmmakers. Robison said the full films shown on the tour are not available on YouTube or Vimeo, adding to the special atmosphere of the screening.

This is funny, sometimes raunchy stuff about fly fishing,¯ said Caroline Rhodes of the Charleston Angler, a primary sponsor of the Terrace screening. It's a bunch of guys doing crazy things all over the world, sometimes in places people have never fished before.¯

Rhodes attests that the tour always helps spark an increased interest in fly fishing when it comes to town, and offers a chance for competing fishermen and charters to gather on neutral ground and trade stories.

In 2010, F3T's first appearance in the Lowcountry, Charleston Angler's Captain Mike Benson even had a film included in the tour, Carolina Reds.¯ That footage helped inspire Robison to get on the water last year while he was in town.

We had an unbelievable day,¯ he recalls. It was just mudding and tails everywhere ” maybe the most redfish I've ever seen at one time.¯

Robison was sure to schedule an extra day to fish this year, as well. It's a perk that adds to his excitement for the Charleston stop, one of the fastest growing markets on the tour.

At each showing, attendees enter drawings from sponsors like The Drake magazine, Costa del Mar sunglasses, and Sage fly rods. One grand prize winner from the entire tour will win a vacation to a lodge on Idaho's Snake River.

It's the event of the year at the Terrace,¯ Brown said . Of the dozens of rentals we do all year, F3T is easily the biggest and the one with the best energy.¯

" Consisting of 11 short films, each clocking in between 6 and 17 minutes, the Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) offers outdoor enthusiasts a firsthand vantage point to some of the world's most remote and sought after fly-fishing locales.

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