Casting hope: Fly Fishing Film Tour Benefits Nevada County Cast Hope Chapter | TheUnion.com

Casting hope: Fly Fishing Film Tour Benefits Nevada County Cast Hope Chapter

"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." — Henry David Thoreau.

For centuries it's been the same way; people who engage in the sport of fishing but for the sheer stillness of the environs; the peace that hovers over the water while they cast and backcast, like a metronome. It's poetic.

Their dance with Mother Nature is held in a delicate balance while tranquility guides them through the often complex ecosystem in which they do what comes to them naturally: they are fishing.

The spirit of a fisherman or woman is famously a mighty one. So it makes total sense that local fishing enthusiast Mike Ingram and his partner Karen Pommernck — after becoming interested in the Fly Fishing Film Tour that had screened in Oregon, Colorado and Montana two years ago — were determined to bring the festival to the Gold Country.

"We thought, 'Let's host this event, and find a nonprofit who could benefit,'" said Ingram.

Their vision has certainly come to life. This Saturday, the Fly Fishing Film Tour — in partnership with Cast Hope — will bring their event to the Nevada Theatre. About nine short films centered on fly fishing and its enormous impact on its devotees will be shown, the inherent theme of conservation understood.

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Those who fish together stay together

Ingram and Pommernck paired with Cast Hope, a 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides kids with the gift of the outdoors. By pairing them with mentors, Cast Hope offers young men and women a chance to get one-on-one guidance while gaining knowledge of and exposure to wildlife and nature. Cast Hope specifically aims to do so through the sport of fly fishing.

"It was so easy to go with Cast Hope and give it a go," said Ingram. "We've been collaborating and they've let us do our thing but have been chiming in with advice. We're trying to establish this as an event that comes here every year. We want it to be a win for the organization that it benefits and for our sponsors, and we try to give back to the community."

The funds that Saturday's Fly Fishing Film Tour raises will stay within the Nevada County chapter of Cast Hope, assured Ingram.

"We wanted to keep it in the community, and for it all to stay in the local chapter," he said.

"[Participating] kids are outfitted with fly fishing gear, rods, flies [and] boxes. We take a lot of trips to the Lower Yuba, some on Collins [Reservoir] and the Feather River…and some of those are overnight camping trips out on Englebright," Ingram said.

The guides often end up "adopting" their protegees for several years and forming significant and lasting bonds.

Ingram shared: "Fly Fishing is an intensive sport; there's a large learning curve. If you don't have a parent or someone who has the money or time to take you, we get you with Cast Hope. They are really giving [kids] the skills to keep fly fishing in their lives and teach their friends and families."

What to expect at the festival

Among the selections that will be screened during Saturday's Fly Fishing Film Tour will be Chuck Ragan's ode to his favorite pastime, "Landsick." A local and well-known musician (as well as fishing guide), Ragan also serves as the head of the Nevada County chapter of Cast Hope.

Films from all over the world will be screened, including selections from Africa, Dubai and Iceland.

"Whether you like fishing or fly fishing or don't like fishing at all — they are films that can be enjoyed by anyone. And they're exciting," Ingram said.

In keeping with the theme of conservation, the event will be plastic free. Kleen Kanteen will be offering $5 take-home cups which one can enjoy refills of sparkling water, beer and an assortment of other beverages. Food will be free with admission as well.

Sponsors like Costa Sunglasses, Simms and Yeti will be on hand and over 70 raffle items will be up for grabs. A silent auction will also be held.

Ingram has no doubt that the impression of teaching a child to fish can produce profound results.

"I think it's that fly fishing takes you to better places and gives you more of a connection to nature because your senses are more needed in fly fishing," said Ingram.

"There's something about getting a kid out on the river when they've never had that experience. It's a connection to nature; you challenge yourself naturally. It changes you."

Jennifer Nobles is a freelance writer for The Union and can be contacted at jenkrisnobles@gmail.com.

KNOW & GO

WHAT: Fly Fishing Film Tour: A benefit for Cast Hope

WHERE: Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad St., Nevada City

WHEN: Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. Saturday

TICKETS & INFO: $15 in advance from Reel Anglers Fly Shop. $20 online advance http://www.casthope.org or flyfilmtour.com or at the door

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