Excitement abounds for California Trout fundraiser at Patagonia movie premiere!

Finding Fontinalis Review California Trout Raffle South Lake Brewing Company South Lake Tahoe movie premiere Lara Miller Good times & epic beers what more could you want? - Image taken by: Local Freshies

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For the past few years, we’ve held movie premieres to garner excitement for the upcoming ski & snowboard seasons. When Patagonia reached out to showcase their newest film, it was a no brainer that we’d be holding our first ever summer premiere. How did it go? The community turnout was great AND we raised over $800 for the environment!

Local Businesses support the Environment

On an unusually steamy South Lake Tahoe evening, people slowly began to funnel into the venue. Each of them grabbed a cold craft beer from the South Lake Brewing taps and perused our raffle table filled with items from local businesses such as:

  • Finding Fontinalis Review California Trout Raffle South Lake Brewing Company South Lake Tahoe movie premiere
    Local businesses helped support California Trout at the Finding Fontinalis premiere by donating prizes – Image taken by: Local Freshies

    Glazed and Confused Donut– A local craft donut bakery delivering straight to your door. If you haven’t tried them, you must! They’re some of the best tasting donuts you’ll have anywhere!!! Let’s just say they’re addictive in a good way.

  • Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters – Victor hooked us up HUGE by donating not one but TWO introductory fly fishing classes. If you’re anywhere near Tahoe and want to try Fly Fishing or get some gear, this is your place.
  • Refuge Coffee – If you haven’t had a cup of their coffee around town, let’s just say you haven’t lived. We don’t know how, but Refuge makes a cup of joe to impress even the Greek Gods.
  • Tahoe Trout Farm – Started in 1946, this place has introduced the sport of fishing to many locals and visitors alike. Instead of heading to the grocery store to purchase fish, why not catch one yourself! Stocked with legendary Mt. Lassen Trout (the juicy, pink meaty kind), this is a great option for the grill!
  • Finding Fontinalis Review California Trout Raffle South Lake Brewing Company South Lake Tahoe movie premiere Lara Miller
    Good times & epic beers what more could you want? – Image taken by: Local Freshies

    Tahoe Timber – Made out of beetle kill pine and downed timber sustainably harvested from Tahoe National Forests, these sunglasses are both fashionable AND keep the environmental footprint down to a minimum.

  • Lake Tahoe Chocolate Shop – Looking for gourmet chocolate in Tahoe? Check out the best chocolatiers in the basin! Located right off of Ski Run boulevard, this is a must try.
  • Tahoe Trail Bar – Born in coffee shops on Lake Tahoe’s south shore, these tasty bars are a great way to fuel up when hiking, trail running or mountain biking.
  • Outdoor Gear Lab – Looking for reviews about gear from rock climbing to mountain bikes? Outdoor Gear Lab is your place to read up and research what gear to get for next season or even this one.
  • South Lake Brewing Co – Last but not at all least, our venue as well as sponsor South Lake Brewing, is the premiere craft beer locale. Serving their own freshly brewed beers, this is a MUST-stop on your way home from the slopes or the beach.

Mikey Weir – A True Ambassador of Patagonia and California Trout

Finding Fontinalis Review Mikey Weir Patagonia Rep California Trout Raffle South Lake Brewing Company South Lake Tahoe movie premiere
Mikey Weir of California Trout discussing all the projects they’re working on with an attendee – Image taken by: Local Freshies

As the crowd began to swell to capacity, filling every nook and cranny, we kicked off the show. First up… Mikey Weir. Growing up in a log cabin and passionate about the great outdoors, he personifies what a true steward of the environment should be. As an ambassador for both Patagonia and a representative of California Trout, this event was perfect for him. Starting out, he showed a short film highlighting who is California Trout and what they do to help ecologically enhance and restore native fish habitats all across the state.

Gold Fever – Adrenaline Pumping Fly Fishing

After the introduction about California Trout, our raffle proceeds beneficiary,  Mike showed one of his latest films, Gold Fever. Typically when you envision fly fishing, you think serenity and calmness. To get to where the best fly fishing is on the American River, located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, you need to whitewater raft into them. It is like the punk rock of fly fishing. With having to take an 18 foot drop through a chasm on a rubber raft, they hooked some beautiful fish and at the same time had a good time in this short film.

Gold Fever-Fly-Fishing California’s Gold Country from Mikey Wier on Vimeo.

Onto the show – Review of Finding Fontinalis

After a quick beer break, we jumped into the feature film of the evening: Finding Fontinalis. As always, Patagonia never disappoints. This wasn’t an average tale but rather a saga about one of America’s native fish, the Brook Trout. It opens by telling the fable story of how the record was set in Ontario and the intrigue behind it. Like any great “fish tale”, it isn’t as straight forward as you think. The film delves into why that river or any other American river hasn’t produced a fish that big or bigger again. The cause? Industrialization. Brook Trout need rapids and since it’s native habitat is on the U.S. East Coast, the healthy rivers for them to thrive really no longer exist.

Patagonia – A Sanctuary for a North American Refugee

Finding Fontinalis Review California Trout Raffle South Lake Brewing Company South Lake Tahoe movie premiere
Patagonia’s newest film premiered in Lake Tahoe to a packed house – Image taken by: Local Freshies

This is where the South American region, Patagonia, comes in. Similar to what Teddy Roosevelt did in the early 1900’s, a wealthy conservationist by the name of Francisco P. Moreno created the first park system in Argentina. It was in this area they brought the Brook Trout down South where it thrived due to the wilderness that still exists. The population grew so strong that this is a place, if any, where the century old record could be broken. As the crew headed south, they ventured deep into the park system to find the mouth of the river, which nobody had ever seen. They caught many large sized trout and though not record setting, they were some of the largest fish they’d ever seen.

A virus threatens the ecosystem

One of the things the crew noticed in some of the tributaries were fish with milky eyes to the point they were blind. They were sick! After further research, they found out that a virus was spreading, but as of yet, they don’t know how to cure it. So yet again, the fabled fish is threatened. To help combat this illness, Patagonia has created a shirt for purchase where the proceeds go to help save this fish.

As the lights came back on, it was a cold reminder that we as a community and nation need to continue our fight for the environment. When you think about it, we’re the only ones that can help it or destroy it.

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