International film festival to celebrate unique sport

Samantha Wright

Fly fishing is a popular sport for many people. So much that there’s even a fly fishing course at WKU. 

On Feb. 21, there will be an international film festival held on campus to celebrate this sport. 

The International Fly Fishing Film Festival website described the event as consisting of short and feature-length films produced by professional filmmakers from all corners of the globe, showcasing the passion, lifestyle and culture of fly fishing. Eight films will be shown, and viewers will vote on the films. The winning film in each category will result in a cash prize for its filmmakers. 

There will also be a silent auction and a giveaway at this event. The items have been donated by several fishing stores in the surrounding area. Jim Mauries, the owner of Fly South, one of the sponsors, said they offered their support because he thinks events such as these are valuable.

“An event like this is important, because it attracts a younger demographic, including females,” he said.

Gene Slusher, owner of the Lexington Angler, another sponsor, donated to the event because he appreciates events like this.

“There are not many business in Kentucky that involve fly fishing. So, we were a natural fit to sponsor an event that is geared toward the fly fishing community,” he said. “It helps build our brand and helps the event draw a larger audience.” 

The proceeds of the silent auction will benefit the WKU Recreation Administration program.

Raymond Poff, a professor of recreation administration and organizer of the event, said it promotes several things.

“The film festival is an opportunity to promote: one, the Recreation Administration program and increase the awareness of our students and our community about the recreation profession as a viable career area,” he said. “And two, fly fishing as lifetime leisure pursuit that is available in our area.”

The event also promotes Fly Fishing Montana, a travel-based program designed to help students and community members experience fly fishing in the Missoula, Montana area. This course will be available in the 2015 fall semester.

The festival will be held in the Downing Student Union auditorium. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the event starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online for $10, until noon, on Feb. 20 at Tickets will be available for $15 at the door, on Feb. 21. Trailers for the films can be viewed on