Lights! Camera! Action! It’s the world premier of “Summer on the Farmington”

Thursday night was the world premier of director Matthew Vinick’s film, Summer on the Farmington. The venue was Brewery Legitimus in New Hartford. Good choice! They had a large private room reserved for the event, with a dedicated bar, plenty of seating, room to socialize, and a food truck outside for people like me who get cranky if they don’t eat. (I had two delicious chicken tacos for 12 bucks.) The beer was likewise yummy; I thoroughly enjoyed my Dr. Strangehaze NE Style IPA.

We (I was accompanied by my beautiful wife) arrived early so we could socialize. How wonderful to see so many old friends, and to be able to enjoy being out for an evening of entertainment. Thanks again to everyone who took the time to say hello — I often forget names, but I recognize the faces and it’s a pleasure to get reacquainted.

Almost showtime. There was a palpable sense of anticipation in the audience before the film. Those are dry fly legends Drew and Don Butler in the third row, third from right and far right, respectively. Between them, Don and Drew have somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 consecutive months of catching a trout on a dry fly on the Farmington. You could learn a lot from those two, which is why I pick their brains every chance I get.

To the film. There’s a certain challenge to being unbiased when you’re judging a creative product that you were a part of. But, viewing a work of art is an inherently emotional experience, so I suppose I’m allowed to think and feel what I think and feel. And I thought and felt that Matthew’s film met — and exceeded — my expectations.

The film remains true to its title as it follows several Farmington River guides and anglers from the first day of summer through the last as they fish the river with dry flies. The footage is outstanding, from sweeping aerials to mayflies dancing on the surface to subsurface shots of trout feeding (worth the price of admission alone — props to Director of Photography John Kozmaczewski). But it’s not all just dry fly fishing. You get segments on the genesis of the tailwater, the creation of Trout Management Areas, the Survivor Strain Program, and more. Vinick has clearly done this homework, drawing on a rich assortment of knowledgeable sources, from DEEP staff to fly fishing store owners/managers. I heard more than one appreciative comment on the crisp pace and excellence of the editing.

Lo and behold, there I was, leading off the film. Our shooting day was a challenge; I learned later from cast and crew that my day was, by far, the worst in terms of actively feeding fish. In hindsight, I like that. If life isn’t fair, fly fishing certainly isn’t, particularly on this river. You get what you get and you don’t get upset. Matthew tended to use my interview bits as lead-ins to new subjects, and I liked that, too. Any time you see yourself on camera or hear yourself speaking, I think the tendency is to be overly self-critical, but I was very pleased with how the director used me in his story.

While the juiciest bits of the film are the action sequences, Vinick does an exceptional job of showing the fishing experience in its entirety, warts-and-all. You see the refusals. You see the swings and misses. You see the LDRs. Best of all, you get to see the tragicomic reactions when things don’t go according to plan, which tends to happen a lot in fishing. (Overhead, whispered by a nearby audience member during the film: “See, those are professional guides, and they miss fish too!”) Yup. We all put our waders on one leg at a time. And of course, you get to see the triumphs. There are some beautiful fish in the Farmington. Thanks to them for playing.

Farmington River guides in triplicate. That’s Mark Swenson surrounded by Steves (Hogan on the left); all of us appear in the film. Vinick uses the frenemy banter between Swenson and fellow guide Antoine Bissieux throughout the film, whether they’re gearing up, fishing, or hanging out at UpCountry Sportfishing. If you’ve ever spent any time around them, you know they’re not acting. Hilarity ensues!

Many of you will be wondering about future plans for Summer on the Farmington. Here’s what I can tell you. It will probably have another showing , time and place TBD. It may go to DVD or be streamed, but I have no further details. I wish I had better information to share, but when I find out more I’ll let you know.

All good things must come to an end, and so it was with the premier screening of Summer on the Farmington. The film was shown in two segments with a brief intermission, and when it was over we all rose and applauded. This is your humble scribe with director Matthew Vinick. Many thanks to Matthew and his crew, DP John Kozmaczewski, and applause to those who appeared on-screen to tell the story: Steve Hogan, Mark Swenson, Antoine Bissieux, Torrey Collins, Don and Drew Butler, Brian Eltz, Dave Goulet…and to anyone else I missed mentioning. And of course, here’s to the river. We are blessed to have such a wonderful resource. Well done, all!

Reminder: World Premier of “Summer on the Farmington” this Thursday, Feb 24 in New Hartford

I’m hoping you’ll join me at Brewery Legitimus in New Hartford for the premier of Director Matthew Vinick’s film, “Summer on the Farmington.” Doors open at 6pm, film rolls at 7pm (that’s this Thursday, February 24). You can’t get tickets at the door — it’s advance sales only online through the FRAA. I’m looking forward to sitting back, relaxing, and viewing while enjoying a tasty craft brew. If you’re there, please say hello.

New date for “Summer on the Farmington” Film: Thursday, Feb 24

I’m hoping you’ll join me for the new world premier (ok, so no searchlights, tuxes, gowns, or red carpet, but still it’s technically accurate) of Director Matthew Vinick’s film, “Summer on the Farmington.” Same place (Brewery Legitimus in New Hartford), same time (7pm), new date (Thursday, February 24)! You can only get tickets in advance online through the FRAA. Hopefully this current spike will be over and we can look forward to enjoying a tasty craft brew.

“Summer on the Farmington” film premier postponed; CFFA Show cancelled

Damn you, Omicron! Sadly, this recent COVID spike has forced the postponement of Director Matthew Vinick’s world premier of “Summer on the Farmington.” Originally slated for Wednesday January 12, no make-up date has been posted — but I’ll let you know when it comes down. Certainly it was a difficult decision, but it’s surely the right one. And we still have something cool and wonderful to look forward to! (Not to mention craft beer.)

Also noteworthy is the CFFA’s decision to cancel their Expo Saturday, February 5. That’s two years in a row with no “best little fly fishing show in New England.” But we also appreciate the CFFA’s concern for us, and we will look forward to its triumphant return in 2023.

It’d advise going fishing, but really, it looks brutal over the next few days. Me, I’m going to be working on presentations and tying and dreaming about warmer weather, hungry fish, and tight lines.

Here’s to being able to feel your fingers…and an end to this damn pandemic!

The Currentseams Best of 2021: #4-#2

This is where making such lists gets hard. Is #3 really better than #4? And what about #1? Is it clearly the summit? What if you have two really great moments? Such are the things that we detail-oriented writers obsess about. But I’m happy with my choices. I hope you’ll be, too.

#4 The High Water Smallmouth Slob Bonanza. You know, I waited all year for July to come so I could go smallmouth fishing. Heck, I couldn’t even wait that long. So I went in June. That outing produced far more trout than bronze, so I waited for a few weeks. And then the rains came. And came. And seemingly never left. The Hous would spike and fall and then spike higher and kindof fall and then it would rain some more and….yeesh! What a disaster. Finally, I made the command decision to go fish. Yes, the water was disgustingly high. Yes, it was the color of chocolate milk. Yes, it rained again while I was fishing. (No, really. A line of severe thunderstorms came through, and I had to find shelter for an hour. It poured buckets. And…what a shock. The water came up even higher and dirtier. You can’t make this stuff up.) The good news was that I now had a chance to work on my high/off-color water summer smallmouth game. That first night was an eye opener. I caught more, bigger fish than any outing in a couple of years. The rest of the smallmouth summer was an exercise in patience, timing, and mostly frustration, but I had money memories of that July evening already in the bank.

You could measure this slob in pounds, not inches. Best of all, it was taken at the surface. Hot diggity!

#3 You Oughta Be In Pictures. Director Mathew Vinick’s love song to the Farmington River, Summer On The Farmington, will premier January 12, 7pm, at Brewery Legitimus in New Hartford. I’m excited to have been a part of this film, and I’m really looking forward viewing the finished product. Hope to see you there!

#2 My First Snook on the Fly. There are two things I’ll get up at 4 o’clock in the morning for, and one of them is fishing. It’s a 90-minute drive from Miami to Flamingo, and you go through some of the most barren country in the U.S. But the Everglades are a beautiful, wondrous place, and you can catch snook there. Well, sometimes. No snook for me on my first trip a few years ago. But this year… yeah baby! What a great fish upon which to break the snook seal. (Kudos again to my guide, Capt. Mark Giacobba.) Now, I gotta go back and get a tarpon…

I can still see the dark bulge of water materializing from within the mangroves, racing on an intercept course to the fly, and feel the sharp pull of the take and turn. Even the smaller ones are fun to catch.

“Summer on the Farmington” film teaser featuring…me

Director Matthew Vinick just released the third teaser for his upcoming film, “Summer on the Farmington.” You may recognize that almost-handsome face, and I’m pleased to note that no cameras were broken during the filming of my segments. Here it is:

You can also find the other teasers featuring Mark Swenson and Antoine Bissieux. The world premier is Wednesday, January 12, 2022, 7pm, at Brewery Legitimus in New Hartford. Tickets are $25 and are available online through the FRAA. Hope to see you there!

Films, Everglades, Steelhead, Nearing 900, and of course, Thanks

Much to do at Currentseams World Headquarters today, including: rest. I just got back from steelheading and the hours and cold weather really took it out of me. (Dehydration, anyone?) Naturally, there will be a report, but first I’ve got to finish my Everglades saga (one more day to talk about), so stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I have news from the wonderful world of fly fishing film. First, you can now buy tickets to Matthew Vinick’s film “Summer on the Farmington.” The photo below will tell you all you need to know.

Next, Ken Abrames recently posted that the Striper Moon: A Legacy film will be available on his Facebook page on Thanksgiving. I don’t know what that means in terms of access, nor do I know if it is on his personal Facebook page or his Striper Moon Blog page. I’m sorry that I don’t have more information.

Finally, I see that we’re now at 898 followers. So close to 900! Maybe there will be a holiday fly giveaway? That’s up to the potential audience. But, this seems like a natural segue into a very sincere thank you. Thank you for your readership. Thanks you for your support. Thanks you for all the questions you ask. I’m truly grateful that you consider Currentseams worthy of your time. Be safe, be well, and enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Summer on the Farmington” film premier Jan 12, 2022

We interrupt our Everglades story — there are a couple more chapters to go — with breaking news. Director Matthew Vinick has just announced the premier date for his film, “Summer on the Farmington,” (featuring yours truly, among others)! It’s Wednesday, January 12, 2022, at the Legitimus Brewery in New Hartford. That’s all I have for now, other than we should have a trailer to share sometime in the next couple weeks. In the meantime, here’s a very low-res, ultra brief teaser.

Best of 2020 #4: The filming of “Summer on the Farmington.”

When director Matthew Vinick asked me if I’d like to appear in his upcoming film on dry fly fishing the Farmington River, I didn’t think twice. Crew and angler assembled on a gorgeous afternoon in late June for my segment. The trout were gathered too, although they were most uncooperative. Sadly, we’d caught them in between feeds, and rises were few and far between. Finally, we got the shot — and the fish — we were looking for, a healthy 17″ Survivor Strain buck, taken on a size 16 Light Cahill Catskills dry. Wouldn’t you know it? After we broke the set, the river lit up and it was trout after trout from 7:30pm till dark. We had a follow-up interview shoot in October. Now all we have to do is wait for director and editor to do their thing.

I don’t have a projected release date for the film, but when I hear more, I’ll let you know.