stillshot of four fly fishermen sitting on gravel beach next to river in film "Rods, Reels and Reality on the Soca" in Fly Fishing Film Tour 2024

Stoke excitement for fly fishing and support Uncompahgre River restoration

The Uncompahgre River delivers the natural habitat surrounded by a photogenic landscape that is popular with anglers, and yet segments of the river and many of its tributaries are not populated by fish or aquatic bugs due to high levels of metal pollution. To fund projects that improve the water quality in and around the Uncompahgre River, RIGS Fly Shop & Guide Service and partners are holding a showing of the national Fly Fishing Film Tour for the eighth year.

The 8th Annual Benefit for the Uncompahgre River and 18th Annual F3T Fly Fishing Film Tour will be on Saturday, March 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the Ouray County’s 4H Events Center  in Ridgway. The event is a celebration of all things fly fishing with an array of short films from destinations worldwide, as well as prizes, pizza, drinks, and a bit of local river ecology education. 

“We believe folks should support this event with the knowledge that a lot of hard work still needs to be done in the Uncompahgre River basin towards improving the quality of our watershed through protection and improvements. By supporting the event, we show our local municipalities, legislators, and water users that we value these resources and want to protect them for future generations to enjoy,” said Tim Patterson, who co-organizes the event and co-owns RIGS Fly Shop with his wife, Heather Patterson.

Proceeds from the event go to the Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership, a Ouray County-based nonprofit that protects and restores the natural, scenic, and economic assets of the headwaters area of the Uncompahgre River watershed. Donations from RIGS, Telluride Angler, Alpine Bank, Colorado Boy Southwest Pub, and The Liquor Store increase the fundraising impact of the evening.

“When RIGS decided to host an F3T in Ridgway over eight years ago, we immediately knew we wanted 100% of event proceeds and sponsorship to benefit the local watershed directly. Our goal in sponsoring has always been to help foster solidarity within the river community by supporting a benefactor who could advocate for river and fishery health, improve access for river recreation, and protect our river and stream assets at a local level. UWP was the obvious choice to take the lead in achieving this objective and to help effectuate positive change within the community,” Patterson explained.

F3T is an internationally touring short film festival with an all new official selection of films in 2024. The two-hour program features diverse locations, people, rivers, lakes, and oceans around the world.

“There’s no better way to stoke excitement for the fly-fishing season than to explore it through the lens of travel and exotic fishing destinations around the world! Our region is also a fly-fishing mecca and destination known among fly anglers worldwide. These films give us great insight into our common thread as anglers, how much fun our sport is, the people we connect with, the battles we fight, and the role we all play in protecting the resource,” he added.

On March 16, doors at the Ouray County 4H Event Center, 22739 US-550, Ridgway, Colo., open at 5:30 p.m. and films start at 6:30 p.m. Get information and the ticket link at Questions can be directed to Tanya at

Information about event organizers:

Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership,, P.O. Box 392, Ridgway, CO 81432, 970-325-3010,

Rigs Fly Shop & Guide Service,, 1075 Sherman St., Unit 101, Ridgway, 970-626-4460,

Telluride Angler,, 221 W. Colorado Ave., Telluride, Colorado, 970-728-3895,