February 22, 2023
By Fly Fisherman Staff
This year’s International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) features nine eclectic flicks ranging from family bonds, conservation, home and public waters, hatches, dogs, and wild places, to bass, jack crevalle, golden dorado, tiger trout, cutthroat trout, and Atlantic salmon; from Chesapeake Bay to the Snake River, Mexico, Utah, the Appalachians, the Amazon, alpine lakes, and beyond. Synopses are available below.
Event attendees can win fly-fishing-related prizes and awards from sponsors. One person will be selected winner of the 2023 Grand Prize valued at thousands of dollars.
Showings continue through summer across the U.S. and Canada, concluding in November. Click here for the full schedule.
IF4 Sizzle Reel - 2023 from IF4™ on Vimeo.
Over the last 20 years, a steady stream of adventurous anglers have been traveling to the most remote places on the planet in search of big predatory fish called giant trevally or GTs. Advancements in gear and collective knowledge have made it possible for anglers to take on these aggressive fish, catapulting them into the limelight, and now they’re taking the angling world by storm. But, what if you didn’t have to travel to the most remote locations in the world to chase fish like this? What if we told you a similar species haunts many saltwater destinations around North America? In this short film, we take you on a comparative deep-dive into a truly remarkable species just as noteworthy. Welcome to the world of JACKS. Filmmakers: Jako Lucas and RA Beattie
Of The Sea
Erick Alamilla, grew up in Xcalak, Mexico while his Dad lived 30 miles off the coast on an atoll, Banco Chinchorro, working as a commercial fisherman. The atoll, part of a Mexican Reserve, is greatly protected. After years of wanting to explore the area, Erick (with the help of his brother, Toby) and lodge owner, Jesse Colten, receive a green light from the authorities for a two-day exploratory fly-fishing trip. This new film from Meris McHaney, tells the tail of one of the best gifts that life has to offer: special places and moments that bring us together. Filmmaker: Meris McHaney
Crouching Tiger Hidden Damsel
No two fish eat a fly the same way, and no hatch is the same one day after the next. Take for example one of the most predictable hatches each year, the damselfly hatch. For years Gilbert Rowley and Nic Heslop had brushed off the fabled rumors of a high mountain lake home to oversized tiger trout and a prolific damsel hatch. Decades of fishing this hatch on dozens of other lakes had them believing they had experienced all this hatch has to offer. However, as is often the case in fly fishing, it turns out they were wrong, way wrong. But this time their incorrect assumptions didn’t bother them. Because you never know when a good hatch will turn to great, or even epic. Filmmaker: Capture Adventure Media
The Turner family has guided the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park for over a 100 years. Like all of us who go to the river and mountains with fly rod in hand, it's hard to come back the same person. Wild places forever change us - imbedding a deep and spiritual reverence for things greater than ourselves. This western idea was the underpinnings to one of America’s best inventions - the National Park System. This is their story - a family’s blessing to work, live, and share one of the most beautiful river corridors anywhere in the world. A gift that has instilled an even greater passion to protect things “wild” for many generations to come. Filmmaker: Love Affair Creative
A Slam that Saves
Deep in the foothills of the Appalachians, there are four species of bass found nowhere else on Earth. The Coosa, Cahaba, Warrior, and Tallapoosa bass are all genetically-distinct, environmentally-imperiled bass in dire need of help. And thankfully, a community has rallied around them with a unique idea. Instead of gating off the species, why not champion them? Why not create a new grand slam in fly fishing for the sake of a national treasure? Join Matt Lewis and Mary Beth Meeks as they attempt to catch a “Redeye Slam” in one day. Filmmaker: Dorsal Outdoors
Just as Atlantic salmon return home to Cape Breton’s storied Margaree River year after year, anglers from all over are drawn to its banks. With public water, this river boasts a world-class fishery that is accessible to everyone. Dollar Dog tells the story of the most unlikely of fish bums–Ella. A four-legged vagabond who’s love for Atlantic salmon rivals that of her waded counterparts. A tale of the place and the fish, from which legends are born. Filmmaker: Tim Myers
The Focus follows three anglers who revisit a remote mountain stream from their youth. As they explore these deep canyons in the Utah desert, they find variations of trout that thrive in the winter runoff. This landscape provides a unique fishing experience to be remembered, but also an opportunity to reflect on bigger concepts that matter the most. Filmmaker: Conner Blake Media
Chesapeake–A Love Letter to a Watershed
The Braker brothers grew up in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. While they were shaped and inspired by the landscapes and environments that make up the watershed, they always wondered exactly what it was that made this place so special. After creating an award-winning short film about the Chesapeake Bay called A Journey Upstream, Fly Fishers International reached out and challenged the brothers to take the journey further. So, they grabbed their fly rods, camera gear, and climbed into an old campervan named the "Green Machine." Their adventure was underway. Over 1,000 miles, 7 days, and 1 watershed. Filmmaker: The Braker Bros.
In 2022, an epic adventure from Helmut Zaderer and Black Fly Eyes to explore undiscovered water for giants in the Amazon jungle. In the "Serranía Moseten" region of Bolivia there are numerous tributaries that have never seen a fly. These waters are pure and this fly-fishing film documents an exploratory adventure to fish for the powerful golden dorado.
Founded in 2011, the International Fly Fishing Film Festival or IF4 is an inclusive and far-reaching fly-fishing film event. Consisting of short and feature-length films produced by professional filmmakers from all corners of the globe, the IF4 showcases the passion, lifestyle, and culture of fly fishing.
For more information, trailers of featured films, and dates and locations, visit flyfilmfest.com.