Fly-fishing outfitters come together to support sustainable recreation on the Uncompaghre River

This time of winter, as temperatures dip below freezing, minds can wander to white sand beaches and blue ocean waters, or summer plans for warmer days on mountain rivers and lakes. Two local fishing outfitters are offering a way to escape to those destinations through movies and a party, with all proceeds headed toward projects that benefit the Uncompahgre River. 

RIGS Fly Shop ( in Ridgway and Telluride Angler ( are celebrating all things fly fishing with an array of short films from destinations around the world, all while raising awareness and funds to support projects on the Uncompahgre River Watershed. Ticket sales for “A Benefit for the Uncompahgre River – 2022 Fly Fishing Film Tour” at the Ouray County 4H Events Center in Ridgway on Saturday, March 19 will fund sustainable recreation efforts of the nonprofit Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership (UWP).

“This benefit will be critical to funding sustainable recreation planning and projects along the Uncompahgre River. Donations and support from the local community are key for UWP to become successful with obtaining grant funding,” said UWP Sustainable Recreation Coordinator Dan Chehayl.

Sponsors are providing prizes, such as a Yeti cooler with custom art and fishing gear, to win in a variety of ways at the event. Ouray Brewery is donating beer, which will be sold to raise more funds for watershed projects. Food will also be available. 

“The film festival is going to be a fun event this year. We’ll have some great films to watch and beer from Ouray Brewery. I’m really excited about an auction item we have up for grabs: a white Yeti Tundra 45 adorned with Em Yardley’s custom artwork!” added Chehayl.

The 16th annual Fly Fishing Film Tour upholds the national event’s tradition of firing up outdoor adventurers for the season ahead. The 2022 film lineup features locations including Costa Rica, Maryland, Belize, Louisiana, Alabama, Australia, Colombia, Colombia, and beyond. Audiences can view the incredible energy of a cicada hatch in action, follow a legendary spear fisherman across the endless atolls of Belize, watch as a mother passes her passion for fishing down to the next generation, and explore the history of one of the most legendary tarpon fisheries in the world at Casa Mar.

In addition to local sponsors, RIGS Fly Shop and Telluride Angler, the film tour’s national sponsors are Costa, Yeti, Simms Fishing, Trout Unlimited, Scientific Anglers, Ross and Abel Reels, Nokian Tyres, Adipose Boatworks and Oskar Blues Brewing. The local beer sponsor is Ouray Brewery.

On March 19, doors open at 6 p.m. and films start at 6:30 p.m.  Tickets are $25 online in advance or $30 at the door.

Feature image at top of page is from the film, Phoenix, by the Braker Brothers, showing in the 2022 Fly Fishing Film Tour.