Chick fish flick is a guilty Manhattan pleasure for one angler

It was a big day out at the movies for the Times fishing columnist.

It was a big day out at the movies for the Times fishing columnist.

In March, my wife Norma and I traveled to New York City to visit our daughter and escape the late winter, gray pallor of the Island. On a glorious summer day it is hard to remember that the Island is not aways so bright.

I was reminded of our New York visit by the photo that appears on our front page — summer movers and shakers (and I heard there was a lot of shakin’ going on at the after-movie party) attending a private screening of the movie “Sparkle” in Oak Bluffs Monday evening.

I do not count myself among the glitterati. But it is fun to go to the movies, if you can find one worth seeing.

We stayed in New York with our friend Laurel Durst of Menemsha and Manhattan. One afternoon, Laurel announced she was going to the movies. Norma was off to shop for beading craft materials, so I jumped at the chance to see an afternoon matinée in an honest-to-goodness New York City theater.

The last matinée I attended was at the Capawock in Vineyard Haven with my daughter. I watched, or rather endured, the Spice Girls movie. It was many years ago.

I was looking forward to seeing a movie in a theater with a sound system that would make my spleen vibrate and provide such digital clarity that I could see every detail of every bulging vein and corpuscle.

After some negotiation, in which I held out briefly for John Carter of Mars, Laurel and I arrived at the newly released “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.”

A big ad in the New York Times that likely cost more than my house proclaimed that the movie was, “A testament to the human spirit.” I read that as chick flick. But the title did reference salmon fishing so I was mildly optimistic.

Going to see a movie in the middle of the afternoon is a pleasure that can make you feel guilty. It made me nostalgic for the days I skipped school when I supposed to be incarcerated at Boston English High.

Pretty much the movie is about a rich guy from Yemen who loves to fish for salmon and thinks he can create a salmon fishery in the desert. The Brits decide it is a good idea too because they want his oil, and they assign a government fisheries biologist the task of creating a miracle.

Of course, there is a love story, and of course there is some drama, and of course the Brits are really, really funny in their quirky English way. Best of all, there was enough of a fishing story line to make it a good movie, a hybrid of sorts, like tiger trout — a chick fish flick.

Several times in the movie I heard scattered laughs. “Those are fishermen,” I said to Laurel. I could tell. Fishermen have their jokes.

At one point, the British government decides it would be a good idea to transplant native salmon, take them from the streams and fly them to Yemen. The outcry from the fishermen would be familiar to any Islander.

More sharks

Discovery Channel has turned itself over to sharks. Seems viewers can’t get enough of white sharks whacking seals into the air like ping pong balls.

Thursday night, “Great White Highway,” a film produced by Chilmark seasonal resident and documentary filmmaker Bob Nixon, airs at 9 pm on the Discovery Channel. The film documents the work of Barbara A. Block and her colleagues last fall during their white shark research season off the California coast.

Cape Poge Light

The start of the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby is only three weeks away. Registrations are already available at local outlets.

For the 25th anniversary of the derby print series by famed Edgartown artist Ray Ellis, the derby is offering a limited edition print of the last in the series titled, “Journey’s End — Cape Poge Light.” The cost is $395.

The print shows the sand track leading up to Cape Poge lighthouse, a familiar sight for anyone who has ever fished the Chappy beach. For more information, call Maryanne Jerome at 508-627-8510.

Bonito and lies fly

Justin Pribanic at Coop’s said the Hooter is still “going good,” which means fishermen are catching bonito. Other than that, he said, “bonito rumors, lies, and everything else is flying around.”

There are more reports of isolated bonito inshore, and their feisty cousins, the false alabcore, have arrived off the Cape. There are still blues on Chappy. Bass fishermen are working for their fish on the North Shore by slinging eels or Sluggos.