The zen of fly fishing will have you hooked

The International Fly Fishing Film Festival is coming to the Vogue Theatre in Fernie on March 29.

The zen of fly fishing will have you hooked at the IF4 March 29.

The zen of fly fishing will have you hooked at the IF4 March 29.

Calling all fly anglers, the International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) is coming to the Vogue Theatre in Fernie. You can catch film features like Stream Fishing Addiction. The movie was produced by Mike McPhee of Island Lake Lodge and was sponsored by a few businesses in town, including Tourism Fernie.

The impetus for the film was McPhee’s strong need to explain his addiction to fly fishing. He produced the 17 minute short movie filming July through October 2013 all around Fernie on the Elk River and its stream and creek tributaries, including the Wigwam. Nick Naulte did half of the filming and editing for the H2O Media film.

“I’ve been working for the action sports industry for 20 years,” said McPhee. “Fly fishing brings together so many different aspects that it’s addictive.”

He wanted to show how great it is in Fernie; that Fernie truly is a world-class fly fishing destination, specifically dry fly. Fernie is a perfect case scenario for West Slope Cut Throat Trout with it’s cold mountain water that is still warm enough for prolific bug life. The Elk Valley has the largest population of West Slope Cut Throat Trout left in North America.

The film is all about the exploration, the craft and lifelong learning that comes with fly fishing; three addictive components that seem to have McPhee hooked.

“I’ve been fly fishing for 12 years and I’m still learning.”

Fly fishing brings people to the zen and quiet of moving water and the exploration of hiking right through the bush. Then there’s the cerebral component that involves strategy that brings out the hunter instinct of stalking. The clear waters in the Elk Valley make it possible for sight fishing. All of this is punctuated by moments of adrenaline when the fish rises to the surface of the water and grabs the fly.

The crisp green and blue waters are clearly the star of the show but there are a few local characters interviewed like Kevin McIssac and Peter Harrison-Edge.

“There is a sensation that you get when first exploring a river… coming upon that spot, seeing that deep blue hole up ahead. This sense of exploration and pioneer spirit has driven mankind for eons and is responsible for much of what we are today,” said McPhee.

“Some of us instinctively need an escape to satisfy our souls and make the “day to day” worthwhile. There is a deep-seeded need to experience an untouched and pure aesthetic beauty in order to offset the mad rush and media overload. Exploration, hiking and wading through the wilderness, seems to satisfy some instinctual need within us. This urge, combined with the art of casting, a continued education in entomology and the simple pure peacefulness associated moving water, leaves some of us completely and utterly addicted.”

Tourism Fernie, Island Lake Lodge and Orvis, the oldest, most prestigious fly fishing company, and Elk River Guiding helped with production costs and Fernie Brewing Company and Mountain High Rafting assisted with logistics.

To watch the Stream Fishing Addiction trailer, go to

Tickets can be purchased at the Elk River Guiding Co. Fly Shop, The Vogue Theatre and the Elk River Alliance for $15 per ticket.  Tickets may also be available at the door of the Vogue Theatre on the evening of the event for $18.