A still from “Casting Maya,” a film about Ascension Bay on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, is seen in this screenshot. From Pure Films, the short will be one of nine shown at the International Fly Fishing Film Festival on Aug. 10 in Kenai.

IF4/flyfilmfest.com A still from “Casting Maya,” a film about Ascension Bay on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, is seen in this screenshot. From Pure Films, the short will be one of nine shown at the International Fly Fishing Film Festival on Aug. 10 in Kenai.

Anglers’ night out

Annual International Fly Fishing Film Festival returns to Kenai

The annual International Fly Fishing Film Festival — hosted by the Kenai Peninsula Chapter of Trout Unlimited — will return to the Kenai Peninsula on Oct. 10.

This year, the festival will be taking place at Main Street Tap and Grill in Kenai.

Dave Atcheson, outreach coordinator for Trout Unlimited Alaska on the Kenai Peninsula, said the event has always been popular.

The festival will showcase fishing short films from around the world. Nine titles are listed on IF4’s website.

“The people that are really into fishing love it,” Atcheson said. “There’s always a lot of slow motion, fish rising, that sort of thing.”

He said attendees are usually audibly oohing and ahhing over the footage during the festival.

The annual event is a celebration of both fishing and the fishing community, Atcheson said.

It’s also an opportunity for anglers to gather.

“You maybe haven’t seen them or you saw them on the river, passing you by,” Atcheson said. At the festival, “you get to chat and see what everybody’s doing, what they did for the summer, what trips they did. It’s really great to meet up with old friends and make new friends.”

He said there’s historically been a good mix of “new folks” and “old timers” at the festivals.

Aside from a curated selection of international fishing film, attendees can also enjoy food and drink, as well as a silent auction.

Atcheson said Kenai River Brewing has a special brew of beer designed for the local Trout Unlimited chapter that they only bring out for the festival — called Two Timing Trout Ale.

The festival is also held as a fundraiser for the local Trout Unlimited chapter.

Atcheson said the auction is supported by local organizations and businesses, naming Alaska Troutfitters, Wilderness Way and Trustworthy Hardware as examples.

Local guides have donated trips, and a wide array of equipment will be available for bidding.

The funds will be used to further the efforts of the chapter, Atcheson said.

This year, the two biggest focuses are stream surveying — done in partnership with the Kenai Watershed Forum and also funded by a grant — and education.

Stream surveying is done to improve protections on local streams by having them cataloged in the anadromous waters catalog.

Trout Unlimited has an education committee actively working to develop education programs, targeted to launch in 2023, to teach students science through a fishing lens. Atcheson said the committee has three members, including Kenai Middle School science teacher Tony Lewis.

Doors open for the festival at 4 p.m. on Oct. 10. Films begin at 5:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online for $12 through a link on the Trout Unlimited Kenai Peninsula Chapter Facebook page, or at River City Books. If available, tickets can also be purchased at the door day of.

More information about the festival, trailers and a complete list of films can be found at flyfilmfest.com.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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