See, They’re Not Imaginary Friends.

Turns out the voices in my head are real – real live fly fishermen. And boy howdy was there ever a full-on hatch of them at the Paramount Theater last night. It was the annual fly fishing film festival in Austin and The Professor and I had a blast catching up with fishy friends.

big screen

This year the film tour had me especially nostalgic given the recent passing of Leslie, Austin’s most beloved cross-dressing homeless celebrity. The first year we brought the film tour to Austin, I was in charge (self-appointed) of getting Leslie to do a promo video for the flyfishing film tour. The process of shooting this few seconds of footage was one of the more hilarious endeavors I’ve ever got myself into.

And then, in year two with the film tour I managed to get The Lizardman to pose for a promo shot. Another long story.

I haven’t worked on the film tour the past two years, it was nice last night just to attend as a regular ole movie go-er. We could have used an extra hour on the frontend just to catch up with everyone. It felt like it was time to party, karamu, fiesta, forever. But we had to cut that short because after all, we were there to see some fishing movies.

And I have to say, I think the films are the best ever this year. We loved the stories, the people, the photography, and most of all, the fishing. The films seemed trout-heavy this year which is fine with me since I have zero saltwater trips on the books and looking forward to summer in Montana consumes most of my waking thoughts.

And speaking of Montana. Last night wasn’t just about seeing Austin fishing friends in the flesh, but Montana friends on the big screen. I know I am partial to anything that involves the Missouri River and the town of Craig, but a highlight of last night was seeing my friend Simon Perkins’ movie ‘Sipping Dry.” Not only was it filmed on the Mo, it featured a whole cast of characters who are our friends in Craig! We loved it!

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It was surreal to see them all right there on the screen in the Paramount Theater in Austin TX. Validation that they don’t just exist in my mind in the summertime. Like Pinocchio they’re real boys!

Hats off to Simon for a great job on ‘Sipping Dry’ as well as star performances from Brandon, John Arnold, Mark Raisler, Mitch, Beau, Jared and Chris. Get your sharpees ready guys, won’t be long til I am back in Craig and I am looking for autographs from each and every one of you. Even you, Brownie. Yes, that’s right Mr Holloywood Hookjaw.

this screenshot from 'Sipping Dry' lifted with love from headhuntersflyshop.com

Another fun connection from last night? Bill Farnum from Oregon. Some of you may recall it was Bill Farnum who first told me about Rett Syndrome, a neurological disorder that his daughter Ella lives with. It was that first conversation with Bill three years ago that sparked my interest in Rett which, coupled with a few other Rett coincidences, resulted in my racing in the 2010 Water Safari for Rett.

Bill flew in from Oregon just for the Austin show and threw the after party as a Rett fundraiser. It was so great to see him and brainstorm more ways to keep the energy and awareness going about finding a cure for Rett. I won’t speak out of turn but I will hint that Bill and I brainstormed something pretty damn cool as a new Rett fundraiser…stay tuned as logistics play out. It will happen.

Many thanks to all who hosted the film tour last night. Howler Brothers, Red-Headed Yeti, Trey and Scott…yall knocked it out of the park. The films were topnotch and the fellowship as fun as ever.

Including this awkward and hilarious photo op brought to you by the Austin Fly Fishing Film Festival. I can’t really repeat what was going on here.

film tour 2

But sufficeth to say, it was funny.

film tour 1

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