The resort stars in the annual International Fly Fishing Film Festival

The resort stars in the annual International Fly Fishing Film Festival

Blue Sky Ranch offers guided fly fishing adventures in the Wasatch Back, and to complement these services, the ranch hosts the annual International Fly Fishing Film Festival. This year’s event is scheduled to take place on Friday, February 23, and will include a painting opportunity along with performances.
©Richard Schultz2018/Courtesy of Blue Sky Ranch

Fly anglers from around the world will participate in the annual International Fly Fishing Film Festival on February 23 at Blue Sky Ranch In Wanship.

The event, which consists of films produced by professional filmmakers from around the world and showcases the passion, lifestyle and culture of fly fishing, will include short film screenings and opportunity drawings, overseen by Blue Sky Ranch, said Henry Hudson, general manager of Blue Sky Utah.

“We will open the doors at 5:30 p.m., at which point everyone will check in and learn about our amazing sponsors and the opportunity drawing items they have so generously donated to the festival,” he said.

Tickets for the festival cost $100 for the general public and $50 for local residents, according to Hudson.

We are one of the few destinations in North America that premieres films before they travel to any theater or become available for purchase online. Henry Hudson, General Manager of Blue Sky Utah

“This is one of the true community events we host at Blue Sky, so if I can offer this experience to local friends and families for $50 per person, it opens up our community,” he said.

Ticket prices include festival admission, food, two drink tickets, two fees for amazing trekking opportunities, equipment and gear donated by event sponsors, including Summit Land ConservancyPark City Fly Fishing GuidesFishwest Aviation Online StoreBolt Ranch Store,Official Hidden Hunting Gear And X for insurance.

Templin Family (TF) Brewing They’ll be providing beer all night long, and another sponsor of the festival is Fins & Feathers Rod & Gun ClubHudson said.

“They have the same philosophy where they try to provide an exclusive club that allows members access to the outdoors through amazing trips and bringing great coaches from the world of sports to events throughout the year,” he said. “So, bringing this film festival to the Park City area has real meaning.”

Blue Sky Ranch, a 3,500-acre ranch that includes The Lodge at Blue Sky, High West Distillery and Blue Sky Utah Adventures, has hosted the International Fly Fishing Film Festival for the past five years, Hudson said.

“We are one of the few destinations in North America that premieres films before they go with the festival to any theater or become available for purchase online,” he said. “It’s an amazing festival of short fishing films produced all over the world. There are thousands of entries every year, and only a few are chosen for us to watch.

This year’s official selections They are “South Caicos” by Phil Tuttle and Gilbert Rowley, “Benoaka” by Jaco Lucas and Danny Beyer, “Living Dreams” by Nick Hislop, “Tonolic” by Fred Campbell, “The Fugitive” by Jesse Malles, and “Tension” by Hilton Graham and Lucas Crost. “A Journey with Clyde” by Andrew Gilbert, “Kendjam” by Helmut Zaderer and Vidas Uselis, and “The Golden Journey” by Travis Bradford.

“The festival covers everything about fly fishing, whether you like to fish rivers, lakes, the Amazon or anywhere in the world where you can put a fly in the water with a fly rod,” Hudson said. “A lot of the people who come are passionate about different fly fishing disciplines, but the common theme is bringing the fly fishing community together to share their successes and stories.”

The festival continues Blue Sky’s history of offering fishing to guests, according to Hudson.

“In 2015, when we had the idea to develop this upscale, luxury resort, known as the Lodge at Blue Sky, we were already running an adventure program serving the Park City and Deer Valley tourism community,” he said. “We offered fly fishing, horseback riding, some clay shooting, just about anything you would expect to be guided with in this part of Utah.”

While developing the resort, Hudson began revamping its adventure programs.

“We wanted the adventures to meet the level of experience you would have at a lodge, restaurant, bar or spa,” he said. “It was a great opportunity for me to design an adventure company that was both luxurious and also rooted in education.”

Hudson started with a horseback riding program, then moved on to a clay shooting course.

“The next program I focused on was fly fishing,” he said. “On a personal level, fly fishing is my passion outside of work, and something I happily do at work. Any moment I spend on the water alone, teaching my friends or kids, are the best moments of the year.

Hudson has teamed up with Layne Edwards, owner and lead guide of Park City Fly Fishing Guides, for the fly fishing program.

“I connected with Layne and Park City Fly Fishing Guides because of their philosophy of being teachers when we take people to go fly fishing,” Hudson said. “We both want to teach the sport and art of fly fishing, but we also want to teach them how to be good stewards of the land.”

Fly fishing is one of the most popular guiding experiences in the Rocky Mountain region, and is a good way to learn about the environment, Hudson said.

“We want to give participants the tools, education and knowledge they need, so when they leave us after a half day for a full day of guided fly fishing, they will have a platform to step off of as a new fly fisherman,” he said. “We teach steam, river and water identification, entomology and how that interacts with fish and fly selection. We also teach people how to handle and land fish safely, and we also encourage people to contact us if they need a refresher or advice afterwards.”

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