When Tyler Coleman moved from his family’s home in Arizona to Michigan, he learned how much he valued public lands.
“I didn’t really understand what they were until I had people saying, ‘Get out of the river; you can’t fish here,’” Coleman said. “I had never experienced that in Arizona.”
The experience inspired Coleman to not only join the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, a nonprofit focused on preserving access to public lands, but to relocate his family somewhere the outdoors were a little more open. After Coleman’s wife suggested Utah as a possible destination, he took a weeklong fishing trip through the state pursuing the four native subspecies of cutthroat trout.
“I was sold pretty quick,” Coleman said. “The second day (of the trip) was my first day in Utah and I said, ‘Yeah, we’ll move to Utah.’”
Coleman is now a Utah State University student and president of the USU Backcountry Hunters and Anglers chapter. On Thursday, Coleman and his chapter are bringing The international Fly Fishing Film Festival back to Logan. Proceeds from the event will go to USU Backcountry Hunters and Anglers Chapter to fund work projects in Logan Canyon and greater Cache Valley area.
Commonly known as IF4, this year’s festival is comprised of 11 films showcasing various waters and fish species from around the globe. Doors for the screening open at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Utah Theatre.
Tickets for the general public are $15, $10 for students and BHA members, and $5 for children.
“Last year we decided to do it as a fundraiser for the club to raise money for projects we’re doing,” Coleman said. “It went really well, so we’re doing it again this year.”
Near the beginning of last semester, Coleman said the chapter performed a cleanup project in Providence Canyon as part of a “public lands packout” competition. Coleman said they removed over 110 bags of trash, beating out every other chapter in the state and the other university clubs.
“We kicked some butt,” Coleman said. “I felt like we could have done more, too — it’s crazy.”
According to Coleman, the chapter has done five work projects since the summer of 2019. Their goal, according to Coleman, is to give back to the public lands in the Cache Valley area.
“We’re big on doing something,” Coleman said, “not just talking about it.”
For more information, visit backcountryhunters.org/utah_state_university_international_fly_fishing_film_festival.