The Kenai Peninsula Trout Unlimited Chapter will be hosting the International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) this Saturday at the Kenai Visitor’s Center.
The annual fundraiser is returning to the area, after a several year hiatus.
This year’s films were selected by IF4 from an “overwhelming variety of stunning entries submitted from around the globe,” according to a press release. The short films cover topics from fly fishing for mako sharks to catching an unbelievable Arctic char.
Trout Unlimited will also be hosting a silent auction, with a variety of merchandise up for grabs. Food and beer will be available as well.
“We’ll also be having a guess the number of beads contest,” said John Messick, the vice-president of the local chapter.
Messick said that this marks a rejuvenation in the local Trout Unlimited chapter.
“Over the last couple of years, the chapter has kind of seen membership sort of fall off,” Messick said. “What we’ve really done this last year has rejuvenated a lot of that membership, and some of the leadership of the chapter to really get some of these fundraisers up and going. It’s a kind of push for some new projects on the peninsula that are proactive toward stream rehabilitation, protecting the river and getting people out fishing, especially.”
These projects include different casting clinics and fly tying classes throughout the year and a river clean up on May 19 organized in partnership with Kenai Watershed Forum’s Stream Watch.
“We’re coordinating a big flotilla of folks headed down the river before the water comes up to pull out the gunk, the debri, all the nasty fishing line from last year especially in places where you’re getting away from the landing areas,” Messick said.
The annual film festival fundraiser helps with organzing such events, according to Messick. Doors for the film festival open at 5:30 p.m. and films starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available to purchase at the door for $15.
The films travel across the world, documenting different fly fishing stories in unique places. The film “Rio de Gigantes” tells the story of the search for giant peacock bass in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest. “Fishing Beyond the River” combines a love for fly fishing with a passion to combat human trafficking. “Mako” presents the search for the strongest, most aggressive fish on the planet — the mako shark — off the cost of southern California.
Some of the films tell stories a little closer to home, with “Diyak” detailing a 100-mile wilderness float through the Alaska wilderness.
““I knew the fishing in Alaska would be good, but I didn’t know it would be this good! For me, it was just as much about the adventure as it was the fishing,” said fisherman Mikey Wier of his experience in the film.