Though it may be the dead of winter, flyfishing enthusiasts will get the chance to scratch their angling itch this weekend.
The International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) is making a stop at the Key City Theatre on Saturday evening to showcase eight films as part of it’s worldwide tour, one of which was filmed locally in the St. Mary Valley.
Chris Bird, the executive producer of Bird Marketing Group, which organizes the festival and produces Fly Fusion Magazine, says the festival will run for just under two hours and feature films shot around the world, including one on the St. Mary River.
Bird’s brother, Derek, who is one of the editors and producers of Fly Fusion magazine, had always wanted to do a film up the St. Mary valley and got the chance to do it last year, which is featured in ‘The Road Home’.
“He’s always wanted to shoot a film way up the St. Mary Valley in behind Kimberley there,” said Bird, “so we had a couple cinematographers come into town last year and they went up there for a few days to use it as a backdrop for the story they wanted to tell, and it turned out really, really well.”
Bird says it is a family-friendly environment and that the lineup of films is designed to draw the viewers into an sport and activity that the region is famous for.
“This is that mid-winter fish itch that can be scratched, but other than that, it’s a fun community,” Bird said.
Other films that are on the docket include cinematic journeys to places such as the Brazilian jungle, Southern Alberta, Alaska, Mongolia and Iceland, with anglers on the hunt for fish species such as Pirarucú,rainbow trout, dolly varden, salmon, brown trout and more.
For more on the IF4 lineup, visit their website.
Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door and are available at Mountain Man Sports and St. Mary Anglers in Cranbrook. Doors open at 6 p.m. and screenings start an hour later.
Between Fly Fusion magazine and the IF4 festival, Bird says the region boasts not only enviable locales for fly fishing, but the largest collection of fly fishing media on the continent.
“It’s not a widely known fact that the largest collection of fly fishing media in North America is produced out of Cranbrook,” Bird said. “The International Fly Fishing Film Festival is touring around to about 125 places in the world, but home is here.
“This all comes from here, so that’s something we’re super excited about.”