Most fans of the F3T will be familiar with South African filmmaker Jako Lucas and his angling adventures around the planet. For the uninitiated, Jako is a prolific globetrotter who, when he’s not exploring fisheries in Africa or chasing Dorado in South America, spends much of the year guiding in the Seychelles or the far-flung reaches of Mongolia. Amongst these marathon guiding sessions the Jeffreys Bay native has somehow found time to film and edit a handful of adrenaline-inducing fishing films, two of which (320 and Chanos Chanos: Milkfish) appeared in the 2014 and 2016 Fly Fishing Film Tours respectively.
Recently Jako and friend, Alphonse Fishing Co.’s Managing Director, Keith Rose-Innes set their sites on bringing the Fly Fishing Film Tour to South Africa for the first time. They planned a three-stop tour in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban with the hopes of stoking and uniting the angling communities in each town. The F3T South Africa finished last night following the Durban stop and by all accounts has exceeded even Jako and Keith’s most optimistic predictions. We tracked Jako down between shows last week to answer a few questions for this post and give us some insight on the F3T SA.
F3T: What inspired you to bring the F3T to SA?
JL: Having been involved in the US Film Tour for a couple of years now and having experienced what impact this show has for the audience not only by generating excitement for the Fly Fishing industry but also growing the sport by reaching a broad spectrum of fisherman from young to old.
F3T: What is the fly fishing community like in SA?
JL: The fly fishing industry in South Africa is a bit of a ‘closed’ community. Getting most of its influences from the more traditional fisherman and not really exploring ‘new age’ fishing opportunities. It is unfortunate that fly fishing in South Africa is not a huge recreational activity and considering that we are somewhat removed from the hub of fly fishing, which is in the States, it is exciting to share the possibilities with my home country. The few South Africans that venture outside of South Africa have made an exceptional impact on the industry and represent South Africa well.
F3T: What was the response like at the first show?
JL: Sold Out! We were ecstatic to learn that we would have a full house for our first ever show!! We even had guys trying to get in and offering to sit on the floor or stand in the aisles. With the meet and greet beforehand it was really good to chat with everyone and see how much they appreciate our efforts. Throughout the show, the crowd was shouting and showing emotion as if they were on a piece of water fishing themselves.
F3T: What’s different about bringing a show like this to SA than the shows you’ve seen in the US?
JL: We have tried to keep it as close to the US shows as possible, only difference being that it makes us feel proud to bring this amazing opportunity to South Africa. After having been to a few shows in America, there was a lot of pressure to put together a show that is anything close to those in the States. Its the first time I have ever seen everybody in the fly fishing industry coming together as a community… and that is the main purpose of the show.
F3T: Who are you working with to make this thing happen/help spread the word to anglers in SA?
JL: My partner in the South African Fly Fishing Film Tour is Keith Rose-Innes, a good friend and someone I have guided and worked with for more than a decade. Another one of our key team member is JoAnne Clayton, who helped us organise, plan and execute these shows with an efficiency that is more than a little impressive. And of course all our sponsors and the SA Fly Fishing community as a whole.
F3T: Anything else you’d like to add?
JL: I would really just like to thank the Fly Fishing Film Tour USA for giving us this absolute great opportunity to bring people closer to some of these amazing yet extreme fishing destinations, and without them having spent the last decade growing it in various other parts of the world, this might have not become a reality.
We want to extend a huge thanks to Jako, Keith, the South African F3T fans and everyone who worked to make the F3T SA so successful on its first lap through the country!