Mar 9, 2023 | By: Justin Othoudt

Northwoods Experience: Local Trout Unlimited Chapter Hosts Frozen Fly Film Festival

Filmmaking is a lot like fishing: it requires a lot of time energy and patience, but allows for amazing stories to be told. So, it’s only natural the two worlds would collide with the Trout Unlimited Headwaters Chapter’s 2023 Frozen Fly Film Festival, held on Tuesday at Ruttger’s Birchmont Lodge in Bemidji.

“The films we showed tonight were regional fly fishing films from the Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo that happens in March,” said Trout Unlimited Headwaters Chapter President Kris Williams. “These films were provided to us from Trout Unlimited.”

This event not only serves as a chance to show the public fly fishing filmography, it also serves as a fundraising effort for Trout Unlimited Headwaters Chapter’s “Trout in the Classroom” program.

“‘Trout in the Classroom’ program is really a program to teach kids environmental things relating to trout,” said Williams. “I think it’s just a super good learning experience for kids and most of the volunteers, you know, really enjoy helping deliver these programs in the classroom.”

Anglers also got a chance to get top of the line fishing gear thanks to a silent auction and raffle, with items donated by the community. These items ranged from fishing rod shelves and rods and reels to fishing flies.

Whether it was to watch wonderfully produced fly fishing films, support a local educational program, or get a chance to score some fishing gear, it appeared the community welcomed the film festival with open arms.

“It really is good to see other community members coming out that may not be part of Trout Unlimited,” said Williams. “When we get community members who are not part of this, who are able to come in and give money, you know, whether it’s buying raffle tickets, or silent auction, or just donating money, it’s really good and it helps us spread the word.”

The event also served as the debut of a short film produced in Bemidji’s own Gene Dillon Elementary School regarding the organization’s “Trout in the Classroom” program.

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